Cancer Friends Support Group gives children a ‘Chance’

Bonnie Myers of Cancer Friends Group presents check to Samantha Higgins of ‘Children’s Chance’

The Breast Friends and Cancer Friends Support Group that meets once a month at the Good Samaritan Resource Center, held this month’s meeting Aug. 11 at the home of Bonnie and Tommy Myers in Winnsboro. It was to be a poolside party and many of us were looking forward to dangling our feet in the pool’s cool refreshing water. But as fate would have it, the skies opened up and it poured with rain.

Myers, a cancer survivor herself, was the co-founder of this group with her friend Nancy Stone. It was organized back in April of 1999 with the purpose of giving support to cancer patients, providing a place where they can be with others who understand and to give hope and praise for the survivors. There was a dire need for such a group in Fairfield County as “the list of cancer patients continues to grow each year,” Myers said.

A discussion was held on the Memory Quilt that the group will be making. They will first make a survivors quilt with images of cancer survivors on it. After the first quilt is finished, they will decide where best to display it and start a quilt for those who lost their battle with cancer. Money for the material will come from the sale of cookbooks and the bake sale held earlier this year.

It was decided that money from the successful cookbook sale was to go to ‘Kids with Cancer.’ The books went on sale last year in time to be purchased as Christmas gifts. There are a few books left; if anyone is interested, contact Bonnie Myers at 635-5826. More than 300 books were sold and after a few donations, a check in the amount of $3,300 was presented on behalf of the cancer group to Samantha Higgins of Children’s Chance at the August meeting.

Children’s Chance is a non-profit organization that was established in September of 1996 by two mothers of children with cancer. The organization takes children from birth to age 18 years. This organization assists South Carolina children with cancer and their families with non-medical needs by meeting their emotional, psychological and financial needs. They furnish help with rent, mortgage, utility bills, groceries, lost wages, school supplies and counseling. The facility is located in Columbia and is the only statewide organization that offers this type of help. These programs are provided with the help of oncology clinics located in Columbia and Charleston in South Carolina; Augusta, Ga.; Charlotte, N.C. and Greenville. Regardless of where the child is being treated, if he or she is a resident of South Carolina and is either on active treatment for cancer or less than one year of treatment, they are eligible for this program.

The mission of Children’s Chance is to improve the quality of life of children dealing with the trauma of children’s cancer and to help the families remain intact and functional during their crisis. Monies for this organization come from grants, fund raisers and donations – it is not government funded. The check presented this day from the Breast Friends and Cancer Friends will be administered to children with cancer in Fairfield County. Higgins said that there are 150 to 200 new cases in South Carolina each year. The most common diagnosis for the children is leukemia, which can take two or three years of treatment. Another project for the cancer children considered by the group is the knitting or crocheting of hats for the cancer patients who have experienced hair loss.

As he has in the past, Tommy Myers, Bonnie’s husband of 36 years, cooked hotdogs on the grill for the group. Also served were condiments and chili, coleslaw, potato chips and baked beans. And what would a luncheon be without desserts, which included pineapple cake, pecan pie, key lime pie and blueberry and banana cake.

This group should be very proud of themselves for the amount of money they made toward such a worthy cause.