EASLEY — The Cancer Society of Greenville County, with the help of philanthropic individuals and industries in Pickens County, has established a new center to help those under treatment for the disease, creating a unique opportunity in Pickens County.
The Cancer Society of Greenville County, a standalone charitable organization, was founded 51 years ago in Greenville County “to improve lives and create hope” for victims of cancer. It is not affiliated with the American Cancer Society.
Over the years the group has provided a bevy of free services including diapers and supplies, ostomy supplies, walkers and wheelchairs, shower and restroom chairs, as well as helping to offset the expenses incurred by hotels and gas costs when the patient must travel outside the county.
Previously those services were unavailable to the 700 patients diagnosed every year in Pickens County, but that has changed with the introduction of The Cancer Society of Pickens County.
Now those same services are available to Pickens County residents.
“The help someone battling this horrible disease should not be dictated by their ZIP Code,” Executive Director Lisa Green said at the Aug. 24 press conference held at Baptist Easley Hospital. “The crisis, the loss of hope and the needs are the same whether you live in Greenville or Pickens.”
With the help of local industries, such as Manufacturers Caring for Pickens County, and individuals, $74,000 has been raised, which should keep the center in business for the first year, Green said.
Tom O’Hanlan, chairman of the Baptist Easley Hospital board, Manufacturers Caring for Pickens County and CEO of Sealevel, said he was pleased by the efforts of the local community.
“I am continually humbled by the heartfelt generosity of the Pickens County community,” O’Hanlan said. “MCPC is a proud example of a local industry pulling together for the good of the community.”
According to Green, $101 million is spent in relation to the disease in Pickens County each year. The presence of The Cancer Society of Pickens County will help to alleviate some of those costs for the patient.
They also provide transportation to and from appointments and treatments for patients and provide $200 per month toward pharmaceutical costs. Should a patient struggle paying bills, the new division will be able to assist with such costs as car payments, power bills and rent.
“It’s important to know that all the money raised in Pickens County will stay right here in Pickens County,” speaker Jan Childress said at the press conference. “Right now, we’ve raised $74,000. That’s enough to keep this sustained for a year.”
Services will be available for residents of Pickens County beginning Sept. 12. Support groups and individual counseling will be available as well.
Reach Kasie Strickland at 864-855-0355.