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Franklin group allows cancer patients to focus on health, not bills

WellSpan oncology

Angie Minnick embodied strength, resilience, and a spirit for volunteerism.

She battled cancer for 14 years before passing away in 2014 from complications associated with multiple myeloma.

Her legacy lives on through her daughter, Ali Huber, and Kristyn Martin, who are co-chairs for the Waynesboro Area Cancer Auction (WACA), an organization Angie once supported as a volunteer. WACA annually hosts a community auction to raise money for local cancer patients.

This year, the Franklin County-based non-profit organization donated $34,000 to WellSpan’s Oncology Bridge Fund. Managed by the Summit Health Foundation, the fund helps patients who are fighting cancer.

“We are incredibly grateful for the Waynesboro Area Cancer Auction’s enduring support of the Oncology Bridge Fund,” said Kara Ferraro, director of development, Summit Health Foundation.

With the addition of their recent gift, WACA has donated more than $109,000 to WellSpan to support local cancer patients since 2017.

“We wanted to support this fund because it is helping people right here in Franklin County during some of the biggest challenges of their life,” Martin said.

Focusing on health, not bills

When someone is diagnosed with cancer, life as they knew it changes.

Patients not only become overwhelmed with medical appointments, treatment options, and side effects, but the weight of these changes often impacts their finances due to an increase in out-of-pocket expenses at the same time as they are often too sick to work, said Shendelle Clapper, director of the WellSpan Cancer Center in Chambersburg.

“The Oncology Bridge Fund allows us to alleviate some of the financial burden our patients face while receiving cancer treatment,” Clapper said.

These funds may pay for transportation and gas cards so patients can attend appointments and treatments; medications for side effects; and food and other expenses.

“Extending this assistance offers hope,” Clapper said. “They allow our patients to rest a little easier, to focus on their health, and their relationships with family and friends.”

Helping loved ones

This level of support for patients that the Oncology Bridge Fund provides resonates with Huber and Martin, who each experienced loved ones who were touched by cancer.

Huber recalled her mother’s battle with cancer which included several bone-marrow and stem-cell transplants.

“She always stayed so strong,” she said. “Her courageous battle will inspire me forever.”

Minnick’s battle also served as an inspiration for Martin, but several years later it hit even closer to home when her own mother, Krissandra Martin, was diagnosed with stage 3 lung cancer. While her mother was able to beat the disease, Kristyn witnessed the challenges.

“It was a tough thing and if we wouldn’t have had the family resources to pull from, it would have been even more challenging,” Kristyn said.

Giving with a purpose

If you give to the Oncology Bridge Fund:

  • A $50 donation provides a month’s worth of lifesaving prescription medication.
  • A gift of $75 provides financial assistance for monthly utility bills to ensure a safe, stable environment for our patients.
  • A contribution of $100 provides 25 bus rides or four $25 gas cards to support patients who lack reliable transportation or are unable to pay for mass transit options to get them to and from their doctor appointments.

“I am thankful for the generous donations from our community. I am humbled by sacrifices made and work that is done to raise the funds,” Clapper said. “These funds represent the hands and the hearts of a community that doesn’t want a cancer patient to walk this journey alone. They want to walk alongside them, lifting some of the burden, offering another ray of hope.”

Join the Summit Health Foundation and Waynesboro Area Cancer Auction in uplifting our friends and neighbors who have been diagnosed with cancer. To learn more about the 42nd annual Waynesboro Area Cancer Auction on April 20 at Green Grove Gardens, visit https://www.wagca.org/.

To support local cancer patients in Franklin County, make a gift to the Summit Health Foundation’s Oncology Bridge Fund.

Gathering to honor a gift to the Summit Health Foundation’s Oncology Bridge Fund are WellSpan team members and representatives from the Waynesboro Area Cancer Auction including (from left) Kristin Vought, regional executive director of philanthropy of the West Region; Michelle Jones, oncology social worker; WACA co-chairs Kristyn Martin and Ali Huber; and Niki Hinckle, senior vice president for the West Region; back row, (from left) Amy Beam, oncology social worker; and Kara Ferraro, director of development for the Summit Health Foundation.

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A Fred McCleaf 1923-2024

Mr. McCleaf served in the South Pacific with the United States Navy during World War II. He owned and operated A. Fred McCleaf Plumbing & Heating most of his life.

Daily Forecast, February 24, 2024

Franklin County Forecast: In the forecast for today, we are expecting light rain, with a high of 42.03°F and a low of 27.55°F. The humidity

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