Henry County serves cancer patients


Photo courtesy of Joanie Whitson

Whitson and others attend the annual Kentucky Derby Fundraiser. The event gives people the opportunity to watch the derby, bet on horses and give back by raising support for HCCS.

Taylor Watkins, Editor-in-Chief

When it comes to cancer many of us give to causes like relay for life for our loved ones who have been affected by the disease, what many people do not realize is that the money they give will provide practically no immediate support for anyone suffering around them.

Henry County Cancer Services is non-profit organization in Henry County whose sole purpose is to help people in the community who are suffering with cancer. The current board president is Joanie Whitson.

“I am a cancer survivor. I had colon cancer and lung cancer and my mother died with ovarian cancer. and my grandmother died with lung cancer, so that’s why I do what I do,” said Whitson.

As president, Whitson is in charge of managing all the day to day processes. There are currently five officers and and ten board members that help the program.

“We’re not like a lot of  boards. We are a working board so when members join our team, we are actually the ones that do the events and plan the events and do the fundraising. Along with all that, as president I do all the organizational type delegation,” Whitson said.

To raise funds, the organization plans events throughout the year including a race in February, a Kentucky Derby party in May, a tennis tournament in August, a golf tournament in October, and a gala in December.

“We try to get the word our, but there’s still a lot of people in the county who don’t know we exist,” Whitson said.

Last year they helped 63 cancer patients. The organization has a max budget of $1250 per person per year; typically the organization helps by paying for medical bill, meicience, or by reimbursing mileage for trips to and from the doctor, but sometimes the requests are more unique.

“One of the things that I remember from years ago was that there was a student from Union Grove that had mouth cancer, and they would not pay for the device to cover his tongue while they did radiation. We paid for that device for him, so sometimes it’s out of the box stuff,” Whitson said.

Dale Hermann, social studies teacher, benefited from the Henry County Cancer Services when he was going through treatment.

“They will take certain bills… and they will pay them for you. That’s what they did for me. They weren’t recurring bills, they were terminal bills. I sent them a list and they found money to do that for me which was really helpful.

Those looking to support this organization can simply donate at their website www.henrycountycancerservices.com, get involved with their events throughout the year, or become a part of their board.

“There’s a place on the online that you can contact us and leave a message there and phone number and somebody will get back. We’ve had 2 people so far to do that online. They’ve become very involved,” Whitson said.