It’s hard to imagine what it’s like living with cancer, but for those who have experienced the traumatic diagnosis the Moffat County Cancer Society is a wonderful resource.
“It actually helps our clients feel good about themselves with the devastating news that they’ve got cancer,” said Kelly Smith, treasurer of the organization.
Smith is a breast cancer survivor and knows the intricacies and financial burden that comes with the disease. Doctors found a lump in her lymph nodes under her left armpit in 1996. She had eight chemotherapy treatments that cost $4,500 each. She also sustained five weeks of radiation.
“At the time, losing my hair was devastating,” she said, noting that she had to buy a wig. “But at the same time, I wouldn’t have any more bad hair days.”
Moffat County Cancer Society helped her financially, prompting Smith to get involved. She’s been the treasurer of the organization since 1997.
“I feel blessed to be a part of this organization,” Smith said.
Moffat County United Way primarily funds the cancer society, but the organization also takes private donations.
All monies go to help fund a variety of cancer patient needs.
“(Cancer patients) are very appreciative of any help financially that we can give them. When you’re going through a cancer diagnosis, it can be very stressful and overwhelming,” said Kathy Darveau, secretary of the organization. She’s been volunteering with the Moffat County Cancer Society for 23 years.
Patients use the donated money for groceries, travel bills if they have to leave town for treatment, electric bills among many other things, Darveau said.
The organization’s president is Sandra Beran, and she joined as a volunteer roughly a year ago.
“I thought it was a very good cause and was impressed with what a help this can be to families that are in need,” Beran said. “My mom had cancer, so I know the strain on the family and the hidden expenses that aren’t covered by insurance. There are so many variables.”
Not only does the financial and emotional support help those battling cancer, it also helps their loved ones.
“It’s empowering for the family when they're in such a desperate time,” Beran said. “Whatever they’re needing the money for they can use it. We’re really trying to get the word out that this is available.”
Cancer patients can reach the organization by calling 970-871-7682.
Contact Noelle Leavitt Riley at 970-875-1790 or firstname.lastname@example.org.