Cancer doesn’t take the day off

by Jill Kincaid

I had a list of reasons of why we should cancel our cookout on Saturday, but the primary one was the heat – 105 degrees – not exactly grilling out weather. Someone reminded me, “Cancer doesn’t take the day off and neither do we.”
So I begrudgingly committed to spending 5 hours outside on the asphalt peddling combo meals in hopes of raising some much needed funds for Chemo Buddies. Johnny was kind enough to do a WJLT live remote broadcast, and our volunteer army (led by Angie and Kevin Bakel) set up and got to work.

Our very first customer was at 10 am, a nice bald lady who explained, “I just finished treatment and there was no way I was going to miss this, I love you guys.”

It was a good sign. And then, in the spirit of, “if you build it, they will come,” people started showing up. It was amazing. A woman with Texas license plates pulled up and motioned Johnny over to her car. “I heard you on the radio,” she said. “I’m not from here, but I wanted to make a donation.” She proceeded to hand him a $100 bill and then drove away.
A very well dressed gentleman walked up to me and told me, “my wife is a patient at OHA and we really appreciate what you guys do,” as he slipped a $50 into our donation bucket.
 “Can I at least give you a hamburger?” I asked with gratitude.
“No, he answered, “today is about you.”
Customer after customer said these three lovely words, “Keep the change.”
So many kind words, so much love and appreciation, it wasn’t the heat melting my heart it was these beautiful strangers.
Grateful. Yes, so very grateful.
In all we raised just over $1000 from our cookout.

Mind blown.

And as I sit in the coolness of my air conditioned home reflecting on the day, (THANK YOU GOD FOR AIR CONDITIONING!) I realized that what touched me so deeply was the selfless sacrifice of strangers willing to step up and make a difference for people with absolutely nothing in return. And then it hit me… THAT is exactly what a Chemo Buddy does!
And it filled me with such hope to know there is so much goodness in the hearts of our people in Evansville. So much generosity of spirit.
For all of those of you who served on Saturday, and for all of those who donated, truly, I thank you.
Chemo Buddies is a 501(c)3 non profit organization that is made possible through private donations by people like you.