“I’M A GENERALLY HAPPY-GO-LUCKY KIND OF GUY, BUT THE PEOPLE WHO HELPED ME AT THE FOUNDATION ARE TRULY ANGELS.”
Meet Jonathan. Jonathan, 61 years old, is a cancer patient. After dealing with concerning symptoms for some time, Jonathan finally went to see his doctor. He said he already knew what the doctor was going to tell him.
It was cancer. Prostate cancer. Advanced Prostate cancer.
“You see, I’ve seen it happen before,” he said. Jonathan’s father died from the same diagnosis. He remembered watching his father pass several years ago and a tear slipped from his eye as he smiled with the memory.
“I miss that old man every day. But I’m happy I got to be there in the end for him.” Jonathan shared.
Jonathan’s family resides in Washington and Colorado, but he calls Wyoming home. He said how important it was to him to be able to receive treatment locally for his cancer. Jonathan is in treatment at Rocky Mountain Oncology Center (RMOC) in Casper, Wyoming.
“That Dr. Lauro and Dr. Fahed, they really know what they are talking about and they worked hard to beat this cancer. I feel very blessed to have the special chemo and radiation nurses that I did. The staff is pretty amazing at Rocky Mountain Oncology.”
Being sick places a burden on one’s whole life and Jonathan explained how he couldn’t work, did not have benefits and struggled to pay monthly bills. He worked hard his whole life and to suddenly be in need of others was a change for him. He wasn’t sure where to turn, who to ask for help, or if there even was help out there for him as he went through cancer treatment.
Jonathan was connected with Kara, Financial Counselor, and Sam, Patient Navigator, at RMOC. Both Kara and Sam work hard to assist patients with the financial hardships cancer can create for them. They met with Jonathan sometimes daily during treatments and discussed what help was available to him.
As fate would have it, both Kara and Sam are Board members of the Wyoming Foundation for Cancer Care (WFCC) and they knew the Foundation could help Jonathan. The WFCC’s mission includes “reducing the impact of cancer for Wyoming residents by providing financial assistance.”
“Behind the diagnosis, all of us at the Foundation know there are real people facing real life struggles each and every day,” says Ryea’ O’Neill, Board Secretary. “We pride ourselves on helping Wyoming residents overcome some of those burdens from just needing a hug to assistance with monthly bills. The Foundation and our Angel volunteers are always there to help.”
“That’s exactly what they are, you see. They are Angels,” Jonathan said of Kara and Sam. “Those two ladies helped me so much and helped me keep a different positive mindset about this disease. I have a good mindset, a good outlook now because of the help I received from the Foundation. I just quit worrying about it. It’s one day at a time for me.”
Jonathan compared himself to a gear in the machine called cancer. He said the cancer treatment center, doctors and nurses are another gear. The WFCC is another gear in the machine and they all work together, hoping for positive outcomes.
“All I can hope for these days is that I will have been half the man my dad was in the end. I take it day by day and celebrate all the little things.” Jonathan said smiling as he walked away into the sunlight.