Community Cancer Network: ‘Community support is everything’

(WLFI Photo)
(WLFI Photo)

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — Al Coney will never forget that day in October nearly a year ago, the day that would change his life forever.

“It was a total shock,” recalled Coney. “I mean, I knew I had a problem, but I didn’t know it was that bad.”

It was colon cancer. Stage four.

“I went into immediate surgery and was told I wouldn’t be able to work again,” he said.

Coney had to leave his job as a mail carrier and focus full time on his battle with cancer. But money got tight.

“I had no income … and things were getting really bare.”

That’s when he saw a flyer for Community Cancer Network: a local group that offers nonmedical help to people, like Coney. It includes support, such as fuel cards, to get to his treatments.

“It took a burden off of my shoulders and it helped me to be able to worry not so much about getting to my appointment and [instead], about getting my treatments and getting healthier, getting better,” said Coney.

Other support includes wigs and transportation to and from appointments.

“Community support is everything,” said Telisa Clevenger-Smith, Community Cancer Network director.

She said this kind of help is all thanks to people in the community who provide the support for those in battle.

“[It] gives them hope and helps them move forward,” Clevenger-Smith said.

For Al Coney, who lost his brother to skin cancer earlier this year, it’s emotional support too as he takes it all one day at a time.

“They catch people who fall through the loopholes that are not able to get help,” said Coney. “They’re here.”

Hope on the Horizon, a gala and benefit auction, will be held the evening of Saturday, Sept. 17, to support Community Cancer Network. Click here for more details.

You can also show your support during the sixth annual Carry the Torch walk Sunday, Sept. 25, 2-4 p.m. at Riehle Plaza. The free event will feature a celebration of survivors, food, festivities and a walk through downtown Lafayette. Register by Sept. 16 to receive a signature T-shirt. To sign up or for more information, call 765-446-5464, ext. 3.

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