Partnership helps patients for holidays

RRHS Cancer Resource Center and Eaton collaborate for cancer patients
Dec. 16, 2012 @ 09:05 AM

RUTHERFORDTON — Rutherford Regional’s Cancer Resource Center and Eaton Corporation in Forest City have partnered this holiday season to provide Christmas meals for cancer patients in need.

“Each Christmas the Pink Ladies Cancer Support Group elects to do a Christmas project for patients in need and families in our community,” said Rutherford Regional’s Cancer Outreach Program Manager Jamie Ingraham. “In the past we have adopted families, collected coats for a mission trip to Kentucky and provided stocking stuffers for children in a church.”

This year, however, a grant from Eaton Charitable Fund to Rutherford Regional Health Foundation to benefit the Cancer Resource Fund made it possible to provide 25 Christmas meal boxes.

“The grant opportunity to partner with Eaton Corporation and their employees to provide for a greater number of families at Christmas was a dream come true,” Ingraham said.

Twenty-five boxes will be delivered to patients and their families who have been touched by cancer this year, Ingraham added.

“The majority of the families are those who applied and received funds from the Cancer Resource Center Fund,” she explained. “We also worked closely with the Patient Navigators and staff from local physician offices to identify patients who would benefit and enjoy a box.”

The Cancer Resource Fund was established in October 2011 to provide financial assistance to patients who are undergoing cancer treatments. It has been used to prevent the shut off of water and electrical services, helped a patient make a mortgage payment, prevented the loss of medical insurance and provided gas money to numerous patients, enabling them to attend daily radiation treatments.

“Our Foundation will raise over $100,000 this year to support cancer programs offered through Rutherford Regional Health System,” said Jill Miracle, Rutherford Regional Health Foundation executive director. “Each dollar raised for our Cancer Resource Center stays right here at home, touching the lives of our friends and neighbors. Corporate Honor Roll gifts, such as the one from Eaton Corporation, are a huge part of our success. Patients share their personal stories and struggles when we provide long-term medical care and support. We are so grateful to Eaton Charitable Fund and the local employees for helping us meet some of those needs.”

Rutherford Regional Health Foundation was chosen in part because of the number of cancer survivors who are employed at Eaton Corporation in Forest City.

“Eaton Forest City Plant has a Community Involvement Team that hears requests for donations from many local non-profit organizations each year,” said Lori Ray, Human Resources manager with Eaton Corporation in Forest City. “This year the team was compelled by the services offered by the Cancer Resource Center. Most employees have been affected by cancer in their family or friends. Some of our employees are cancer survivors. So, the team felt an emotional connection to the work of the Cancer Resource Center.”

A portion of the grant was used to purchase gift cards for patients to buy a ham or turkey and fresh groceries. The rest of the meal was collected through food drives held by the Pink Ladies and Eaton employees.

“The Pink Ladies formed two teams – Team Corn, who donated corn, cranberries and macaroni, and Team Green Beans, who donated green beans, dressing and turkey gravy,” Ingraham said. “The employees from Eaton provided sweet potatoes and the boxes.”

Eaton employees and Pink Ladies worked together to pack boxes at the Cancer Resource Center Dec. 6. Patient Navigators and volunteers will distribute the boxes by mid-December.

“The great thing about the folks at Eaton is that their involvement will not end with this project,” Ingraham said. “They want to be involved in any project – large or small – that will benefit families touched by cancer over the next year.”

Ray said Eaton employees would very much like to help with future fundraising efforts or hands-on assistance if possible.

“We believe in not just presenting a check, but also giving our personal time as volunteers to help.”

For more information on the Cancer Resource Fund, or to make a donation to the fund, please call 828-286-5070 or e-mail jill.miracle@rutherfordregional.com.