Fighting cancer is a long and draining process. It is also very expensive.
Family and friends of Shelia Whaley, a Johnson City woman with multiple myeloma blood cancer who will undergo a bone marrow stem cell transplant next month at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, have been raising funds to help with her expenses since spring.
While Whaley’s insurance will cover most of her medical costs, the many trips to Nashville she is making and the six weeks she will spend at Vanderbilt before and after the Aug. 30 procedure are a challenge.
With items donated from people in the community, Whaley and her helpers conducted a two-day garage sale at the Mayfield Drive home of her sister-in-law in June that has helped greatly with the three trips to Nashville she’s made since then, including the one she left for Monday to have the stem cell port placed in her chest.
For every item donated for the June sale and especially for a six-piece bedroom suite that came from a woman Whaley did not know but to whom she will always be grateful, a man who gave her a leather living room suite she knows only for his heart of gold, and for three new pairs of shoes brought to her by a young man who stopped by the sale and returned with his contribution after learning of her need, Whaley said she was thankful. She wrote to the Johnson City Press expressing her deepest appreciation. “I did well. ... It really helped a lot,” she said in a telephone interview last week.
As she begins the latest and what her doctors say will be her most difficult round of chemotherapy this week at Vanderbilt and undergoes a series of shots at home next week to bring her immune system down in advance of the transplant, Whaley’s family and friends are again focused on their fundraising. Their next big sale is set for Aug. 15 and 16 and will once again be held at the 3100 Mayfield Drive home of her sister-in-law, Loretta Bowman.
Three days after the sale Whaley will return to Nashville. Her stem cells will be harvested on Aug. 19 and 20 and returned to her on Aug. 30. She will then go through another round of shots to restore her immune system and if all goes well she’ll be home at the end of September.
In the meantime, her loved ones are making their plea for donated sale items to help with the cost of the room across the street from Vanderbilt where Whaley and her husband will be staying through most of the six-week procedure.
Because her immune system will be down in the days leading up to the sale, this time Whaley is asking anyone who wishes to donate items for the sale to call Mack or Loretta Brown at 232-9341.
For others who wish to help, monetary donations may be made to Shelia Whaley by mail to P.O. Box 1692, Mount Carmel, TN 37645. For more information, call Whaley at 963-4262.
The 2013 Tri-Cities Walk to End Alzheimer’s will be held Sept. 7 at Bristol Motor Speedway but the raising of funds and awareness for the battle against the increasing prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease is already under way.
Tonight at Hunter Wright Stadium in Kingsport, the Alzheimer’s Association and the Kingsport Mets will host a “Paint the Park Purple” event in conjunction with the Mets’ matchup at 7 against the Elizabethton Twins. Gates will open at 6 and anyone wearing purple, the official color of Alzheimer’s awareness, will receive $1 off the cost of admission. Hot dogs and sodas will be available throughout the game for a $1 donation to the association.
Advance tickets and more information may be obtained by calling Debbie Boggs at the Alzheimer’s Association office in Johnson City at 928-4080.
On Tuesday night starting at 6, Emeritus Remington House senior living facility at 640 Rock Springs Road in Kingsport will host its annual spaghetti dinner for the September Walk to End Alzheimer’s.
The benefit will include live music by the Jonesborough Novelty Band, a silent auction featuring new East Tennessee State University football memorabilia autographed by Phil Fulmer and Coach Carl Torbush, autographed University of Tennessee sports memorabilia, golf packages, spa treatments and more.
The cost of the meal is $10. Carry-out plates will be available at lunch and at dinner with orders placed before 3 p.m. on Monday. To place a carry-out order, reserve a ticket or for more information, call Suzy Cloyd at 278-6347.