With Sherry’s Run slated to take place Saturday, one might think that the organization would then take a breather after until next year.
That’s simply not the case according to board members of the organization.
Executive Board Chair and Patient Assistance Coordinator Tonyia Watson said they would be back on the ball next week planning for next year and assisting patients.
Watson, along with Executive Board Member Tiffy Clemons, said the organization has helped more than 700 individuals in the last four years alone.
The key word is individuals.
“The effects go beyond individuals because the assistance helps their families, too,” Clemons said. “When we pay an electric bill that keeps lights on for the whole family.”
Watson said the organization often gets referrals through local churches, doctors offices, the Health Department, Facebook and even individuals.
“Anyone can call and make a referral,” Clemons said.
Watson said in order to qualify for assistance, the patient would then go through a process that would verify their diagnosis and assess to make sure they had a true need.
“The turnaround is quick. It’s not like you have to wait two to three weeks or make an appointment,” Clemons said. “People think ‘oh you fill out this form and we’ll get back to you in a week or two,’ but with it’s not like that with us.”
Watson said their goal when they get a referral is to try to keep a roof over their head and food on the table, especially if there’s children involved
“If we get a referral from a doctors office and there’s already a diagnosis, we can call and get information and give them assistance right then on that very day,” Watson said.
Clemons said the organization isn’t just about one-time assistance, but they could also carry patients for “months and months and months.”
“We’re continued support on a budgeted basis depending upon their need,” Watson said. “Some may need $600 worth of help and some we’ll just pay an electric bill every month for a few months, it really just depends and varies.”
One important detail about the organization is that they help those with any type of cancer.
“If they have any type of cancer and a true need based on a financial need then we’re here to assist them,” Watson said.
Watson said what the organization assists with ranges.
“We ask patients what they need,” Watson said. “When they fill out their personal information we go over their expenses and income and we analyze what their needs are.”
Watson and Clemons said in the last year they believed they had paid more than $30,000 in electric bills.
Watson said the organization helps with paying rent, health insurance premiums, prescription assistance, copay and small medical bills, grocery and gas cards and utilities.
“The beauty of what we do is if there’s a need in another area then that’s something we can also look into doing,” Watson said.
Watson also said Sherry’s Run is the only grass roots, faith-based, non-profit cancer organization in Wilson County and that is for those who live, work, go to church or seek treatment in Wilson County or the surrounding communities.
“We give back directly to the patients in this community 52 weeks a year,” Clemons said. “A lot of people have the perception that we put this event on this weekend and that’s it, but we’re here 52 weeks a year in the office and all you have to do is pick up the phone.”