10/20/10 The Cancer Association of Marshall County has been quietly and consistently helping cancer patients and their families since 1973. Prior to that date, the Delta Bata Tau Sorority had been involved in transporting patients to treatments. In 1973, the Marshall County group was endowed and now provides services from the estates of William Ebersole, Grace Moslander, and Roy Hawk.

The only other resources for funding for the association are through memorials or donations, according to their current treasurer Shirley Gidley. She said, “We don’t to fundraising. The only monies that we use are for stamps, a post office lock box and required insurance.” She said, “When there is a need for other materials, the members just make it happen.”

According to member Arlene McCan the 18 board members usually receive word from the community when there is a cancer patient in need of help. They limit financial aide to an individual patient  to $1000 per year. McCan said they pay providers of services, such as pharmacies, directly.

Gidley said since there is now a cancer center located in Plymouth at the Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center-Plymouth campus, transportation is not as needed as it one was. However, they continue to make runs to South Bend, Indianapolis, and other locations when there is a special treatment that can only be obtained at an out-of-town site.

Other services provided by the association include wigs, hats, special body creams, pillows, prosthesis, and undergarments. When needed, they also pay for the rental of hospital beds and wheelchairs.

Gidley, who is herself a cancer survivor, said she is one of the lucky ones. She said, “It is a very emotional and frightening position to be in.” She also recognizes the power in having a support group. She said,  “The more patients open up, the healthier they seem to get.”

Front Row: Marilyn Byers, Secretary, Arlene McCan, President, Shirley Gidley, Treasurer and Jerry Slein, Vice President.

Back Row: Debi Gidley, Vickie Ellinger, Cathy Clough, Phyllis Gray, Sally Scobey, Tammy Houin, Marsha Banning, Bobbie Anderson, Ed Kelso, Juanita Uhlig, Susie Swain, Marcia Caine, Ajean Treat, Demaris Story and Nila Greenlee. Not pictured: Susie Cook, Dixie Lingle, Debbie O’Keefe and Jennifer Dixon.

New Board members: Marcia Caine, Marsha Banning, Nila Greenlee and Demaris Story.