Groups help cancer patients

By Michelle Dupler, Tri-City HeraldDecember 26, 2012 

Cancer doesn't take a holiday, so neither did two groups of people who help cancer patients fight their battles.

Within the past few days, donations benefiting cancer patients were made by Northwest Cancer Clinic in Kennewick, and by a group of women who raise money for cancer programs at a theme party each year.

Staff at Northwest Cancer Clinic asked co-workers to pitch in to provide a holiday gift to a patient with cancer who has children.

Together they raised $500 for a gift card for the family. A staff member also individually gave a $500 gift card to a different patient.

"When people are facing Christmas with the uncertainty of cancer, this can bring forward overwhelming feelings of sadness," Alan Dotts, chairman of the clinic's Christmas Committee, said in a statement.

Dr. Sheila Rege, radiation oncologist, said the clinic's staff "care deeply about our patients' well-being and were happy to bring some cheer to a deserving family."

The clinic opened in April to provide radiation oncology after some of its physicians left the Tri-Cities Cancer Center.

The latter was the beneficiary of the theme-party fundraiser by six women who have been touched by cancer, either as patients or family members. Many of the women involved were treated at the Tri-Cities Cancer Center in Kennewick.

Their theme for this year was "Breast Friends," and the party included a "pink elephant" gift exchange at which attendees were asked to bring donations to benefit programs at the Tri-Cities Cancer Center, a news release said.

They raised $355, as well as making and donating hats and blankets for cancer patients.

Their next theme -- unveiled during this year's party -- will be "Pink-O-Ween," and include a party in October to raise awareness about breast cancer.

The Tri-Cities Cancer Center is a partnership of Lourdes Health Network, Kennewick General Hospital and Kadlec Regional Medical Center. It opened in 1994 as a free-standing, nonprofit cancer treatment facility.

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