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Ladies of the Lake Donate to CMH Foundation Cancer Care

Ladies of the Lake Donate to Cancer Care

Teresa Collins, seated, receives a check for $5,000 from Donna Burleson for the CMH Foundation Cancer Care Fund, while Karen Husar, Ken Kurz, Sandy Burch and Sue Williams are in the back row.


You know the old adage ‘When life gives you lemons, made lemonade?’

The Ladies of the Lake Cancer Support Group turned COVID social distancing into an art form with the help of Keith Papke, a photographer/videographer who owns the Raleigh-based business Original Mind Productions. Keith also has a home on Lake Gaston.

He said, “A mutual friend introduced us to the Ladies and in conversations they were telling me about their biggest fundraiser – the home tour - and the fact that they weren’t going to be able to hold it because of COVID.”

“Cancer has run through our family like almost every family and I looked at it as an opportunity to support the cause and give back,” he added.

Sue Williams of the Ladies of the Lake said Keith donated his time and expertise to make a virtual home tour happen by photographing and videoing the homes for the 2020 tour. He also created the website for the tour.

“We just were devastated about not being able to hold our home tour, but Keith volunteered to do everything to make the virtual tour happen,” Sue added.

People can still visit the holiday homes online by going to LadiesoftheLake.info, according to Sue. People can also still donate to the cause on that site as well. The 2020 tour was the group’s 15th annual event, but the first one that was virtual.

According to Sue, the virtual tour was very successful, which led to the group making yet another sizeable donation to the CMH Foundation Cancer Care Fund.

The group presented a $5,000 check to Ken Kurz, Director of Marketing and Development at CMH and Teresa Collins, Director of the Radiation and Medical Oncology Department at CMH.

“The Ladies of the Lake Cancer Support Group has been a tremendous supporter of our Cancer Care Fund through the years,” said Ken. “The ladies’ support has helped countless patients.”

“Even in the midst of a pandemic, these ladies amaze me with their dedication and diligence to provide assistance to our cancer patients,” Teresa said. “They are a true inspiration and continue to positively impact the lives of others.  These ladies are angels and true heroes!”

The Home Tour was supported by The Kennon House, C-Line Graphics, Lake Gaston Signs, Lake Gaston Gazette-Observer and Keith Papke and Original Mind Productions.

The VCU Health CMH Cancer Care Fund was started by the CMH Foundation and generous donors to help patients in our community who are dealing with cancer.

According to Teresa, often during treatment, many patients may lose their insurance or face other financial issues like being unable to work, which makes nausea and pain medications very difficult to afford.

The Cancer Care Fund is designed to help offset the cost of these medications.

As patients visit the Hendrick Cancer Center/Solari Radiation Therapy Center daily for chemotherapy and/or radiation services the distance a patient travels can become costly; this fund can also assist with these travel expenses.

Each case is thoroughly evaluated by the cancer care team, to determine exactly what assistance is needed, and if the Cancer Patient Care Fund is an appropriate resource.

Support for the Cancer Care Fund can give these patients a hand, and also give them peace of mind, knowing that the inability to cover these costs will not stand in the way of their treatment.

When a need is identified, patients are carefully screened by the oncology social worker and Director of Oncology to determine need and to assure that these funds are used in the way donors intended.  The oncology social worker does extensive research to identify grants or other resources which may be available for the patient on top of looking at the Cancer Care Fund. 

If you are interested in donating to the VCU Health CMH Cancer Care Fund you can call (434) 447-0857 or visit vcu-cmh.org.