Don Cousineau and his wife, Cathy, live a simple life and have always been able to make ends meet.
“We’ve always believed Jesus Christ would help us through,” Don Cousineau said.
In 2008, he was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia, a disease that attacks the bone marrow. For the first several years, he was in the “watch-and-wait” stage. By 2013, the cancer had progressed and was beginning to cause problems. Three weeks after completing major surgery, he had to begin chemotherapy treatments.
After chemotherapy, he went on to have several more major surgeries due to the effect of the cancer on his bones. He had insurance, but his portion of the bills was still devastating.
For the first time, Don and Cathy Cousineau found themselves in a hole they simply couldn’t climb out of on their own. He remembered seeing information about Sherry’s Run in the newspaper and on billboards back when he was first diagnosed, but had hoped they would never need it. Now, he was sure that they did, so he contacted Tonyia Watson, director of patient assistance for Sherry’s Run.
“I had just hoped for a tank of gas or some groceries,” said Don Cousineau. “But Sherry’s Run went way beyond anything we expected.”
While Sherry’s Run was able to provide gas, groceries and utility bills for Don and Cathy Cousineau, they were incredibly thankful for the emotional support they had found.
“It was absolutely amazing to talk with Tonyia,” said Cathy Cousineau. “It was real communication, and you could tell she really cared about us.”
The surgeries, chemotherapy and financial burdens had begun to take their toll on her emotionally, but Don Cousineau said each time they received a call from Sherry’s Run, it put a smile back on both of their faces.
“You can deal with health issues if everything else is not on top of you,” Don Cousineau said. “That’s what Sherry’s Run did for us.”
“Sherry’s Run is here to provide support and understanding when they need it most. Each time I was able to speak with Don and Cathy, it was encouraging to hear the hope in their voices,” Watson said.
“Sherry’s Run is the greatest blessing we have received since Don was diagnosed. I don’t know how we would have made it without them. I encourage everyone to get involved somehow, even if it is only to give $1,” said Cathy Cousineau. “We believe that prayer changes things and Sherry’s Run was an answer to our prayers.”
Don Cousineau is not cancer free, but has had six months of positive check ups. He and his wife feel positive about their plans for the future, which includes giving back to Sherry’s Run.
The 11th annual Sherry’s Run is scheduled for Sept. 13 at 8 a.m. at 623 W. Main St. in Lebanon. Registration is open at sherrysrun.org.
“Your support allows us to assist cancer patients 52 weeks a year with gas, groceries, utility bills, housing payments, prescription assistance, health insurance premiums, medical bills and colonoscopy assistance,” Watson said.
To learn more about Sherry’s Run, call 615-925-2592. To refer someone who might qualify for assistance, call 615-925-9932 or visit sherrysrun.org.