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Local Group Donates to VCU Health CMH Cancer Care Fund

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(L to R)  Seated: Alfreda Puryear, Ashley Willis and Cecelia Irby. Standing Latrice Davis, Linda Tucker, Clarice Smith, Ken Kurz, John Royster and Wanda Royster. 


Helping others is a foundational tenet of the Pride of Mecklenburg Chapter 178 Order of the Eastern Star of VA, PHA. The group based out of Skipwith, Virginia has members from several locales, including Chase City and Clarksville, besides Skipwith.

The group worked for quite some time to gather donations for Breast Cancer Awareness to benefit the VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital Foundation’s Cancer Care Fund. The group sold ribbons and wristbands and according to Cecelia Irby, PGWM of the group, received generous donations from the many different Group Homes in Chase City.

They recently made a trip into South Hill to present a check to Ashley Willis, BSN, RN, OCN and the Clinical Coordinator of Medical Oncology at the Hendrick Cancer and Rehab Center said Ken Kurz, BSJ, CFRM, director of the CMH Foundation.

The check was for $2,650 to go toward the Cancer Care Fund. 

“The fund was created about 10 years ago to be used for emergency situations for VCU Health CMH cancer patients who are undergoing hardship.  Their needs may include such things as emergency medications, nutritional supplements, personal care items, transportation to cancer treatments, and other items,” according to Kurz. The Foundation oversees the fund for the hospital.

He continued, “The fund is entirely made up from donations to the Foundation for Cancer Care. 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. Our oncology social worker does extensive research to identify grants or other resources which may be available for the patient.”

“We appreciate the generosity of the Pride of Mecklenburg Chapter 178 Order of the Eastern Star of VA, PHA in supporting our patients,” he added.