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Philanthropy Friday: Christians Overcoming Cancer

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Helping Everyone Succeed on Their Road to Recovery. Christians Overcoming Cancer is a non-profit organization passionate about helping Central Ohio cancer patients succeed on their road to recovery through awareness, emotional support and financial relief. They serve men, women and families with a cancer-diagnosed child who is in active treatment for cancer.

Founder, Mary Jenkins started the organization out of personal hardship. Her story is very touching and best told in her own words. Give me a brief background about the organizations, how did it start?

“In January 2006 I was diagnosed with Stage III Breast Cancer. Soon after starting treatment my employer placed me on unpaid medical leave which made a bad situation worse as now my income from work was ending yet I still had bills coming that I would have to pay.

I set out on a quest to find assistance to help me pay my rent, utilities, phone, car note, insurance and food. I quickly learned that financial assistance was not a service offered by many organizations. Emotionally drained I contacted my church and asked for help. Fortunately they agreed to assist. By doing so, it made it possible for me to have my treatments without the worry of how my bills would get paid. Their support put me in a position to listen to the stories of others who were also in treatment. While undergoing my own chemo treatments, other patients would tell their stories of the emotional and financial hardships that they were experiencing while in treatment. Some included, not having lights at home because of not having money to pay the bill, coming from out of town for treatment and sleeping in the car because they didn’t have the money for a room, or considering stopping treatment because they couldn’t afford the co-pays.

I found myself venting to everyone I knew about what was happening to the people in treatment. It was then that people began giving me money to help but I chose to give it to others who were suffering.

This became the basis for the organization. In September 2006, the 100% volunteer run organization became official. While still in treatment myself I founded Christians Overcoming Cancer to help breast cancer patients succeed on their road to recovery through awareness, emotional support and financial relief services.

About three months later we received a referral from a woman who had been diagnosed with cervical cancer who needed $150 or her car would be repossessed. Rather than say you have the wrong kind of cancer, an internal decision was made to provide access to our services to ANYONE in active treatment…men, women and families with a cancer-diagnosed child.”

Serving Those With Cancer

Services are provided to all cancer patients while in active treatment with respect, compassion, and without religious discrimination. These services include:

• The “Be Aware” project creates awareness. It includes the Four Corners program, which helps bring services of organizations in the suburbs back into the inner city through various partnerships. It also includes an Overcoming Fitness program, with partner YUN Fitness Bootcamp, promoting overall fitness.

• The “We Care” project offers emotional support. We Care includes the Overcoming Care program that provides home aid as needed, as well as their Overcomer’s Cuisine program that gives nutritious dinners to cancer patients and their family post cancer-related surgery.

• The Dollars Allocated To Assist (DATA) Services program provides financial relief. It provides financial assistance to cancer patients in active treatment based on what they say they need. Christians Overcoming Cancer maintains two funds, the general assistance fund for anyone in active treatment and the Mark Hudson II fund of which money raised is restricted for use only by families with a child in active treatment.

To learn more about these services, visit their website at www.christiansovercomingcancer.com.

$5 Alive and Other Ways to Help

Christians Overcoming Cancer has an ongoing fundraising campaign, $5 Alive, where they invite people to support their efforts by donating at least $5 monthly. Their goal is to have 10,000 people committed to donating monthly which would give the DATA program $50,000 monthly to help reduce the financial burdens almost everyone experiences while in active treatment for cancer.

People can donate by going to www.christiansovercomingcancer.com and clicking on the donate button or by joining their cause on Facebook “Dollars Allocated To Assist” and making a donation through the site. Become a fan of their Facebook page.

You can also help Christians Overcoming Cancer through volunteering at their cancer patient focused events. One of their largest events is just around the corner. Join 10TVs Lindsay Seavert on August 15th at the Hyatt Regency for “The Night They Remembered”, where the organization remembers all those who are battling, have battled, or whose cancer battle has ended. The evening event includes dinner, contemporary dancers, Remembrance Awards and the unveiling of the video “Faces We Remember.” Tickets are $25.00 and can be purchased online at www.remember.eventbrite.com. A limited number of tickets have been discounted to $20.00.

To read a touching behind the scenes story about Christians Overcoming Cancer and to see more photos visit www.columbusimpressions.com.

For more information on Christians Overcoming Cancer visit www.christiansovercomingcancer.com.

Philanthropy Friday is a feature article by columbus imPRessions that will highlight a Columbus area non-profit organization every other week.

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