Donor Spotlight: Generosity Heals through William Semon Fund

Imagine for a moment that you or a loved one have been given a diagnosis of cancer.  In addition to managing cancer treatments, the expenses begin to build up from co-pays, gas or travel expenses, utility bills, medications, or the random bad luck of a flat tire or needed auto repair.  Through discussions with the nurse navigator, she catches wind of the additional stress caused by one or more financial burdens.  Without hesitation, she applies for a grant on behalf of the patient that provides a gift card to help relieve the financial stress.

When Dr. William Semon battled pancreatic cancer, his wife, Linda, felt blessed that she was able to be by Bill’s side every step of the way. She recalls feeling fortunate that they were able to afford the expensive treatments and medications, yet she knew what a burden it was for some families to have to endure as they too received treatment. Bill passed away in May of 2011, and Linda knew immediately that she wanted to do something in his memory to help other cancer patients who may be struggling to make ends meet.

Working with Dr. Deming and the Foundation team, Linda established the William J. Semon Family Resource Fund and later established the William J. Semon Endowment in Bill’s memory.  The purpose of the fund is to bring relief and hopefully a little joy to patients who are facing a difficult financial situation.  Since 2012, the fund has done just that.  Mercy Cancer Center nurse navigators have helped over 500 cancer patients and have given over $107,000 in financial support to patients through gift cards provided by the William J. Semon Family Resource Fund.

Being able to provide a gift card to help a patient means the world to nurse navigator, Deana Kerkove.  Deana said that sometimes the gift cards help patients make ends meet until additional assistance is available.  Patients have been very grateful for these funds, indeed.

At a special lunch in April, Mercy Cancer Center nurse navigators, Dona Van Berkum and Kim Carstens shared stories with Linda Semon about how her generosity helps in the healing of so many cancer survivors each and every month.

Many donors make an annual gift to the William J. Semon Family Resource Fund.  Linda feels joy knowing that her generosity and that of so many of Bill’s friends has made such a difference in the lives of hundreds of patients.

Individuals wishing to join in supporting Mercy Cancer Center patients may donate to the Semon Resource Fund by following this link.  One hundred percent of all funds raised go directly to patients to impact their healing. 

3 Comments

  1. Michele Owens on June 6, 2018 at 10:29 am

    First of all this is a shock and also saddens me, Dr. Semon was a great man, I worked with him several years ago.
    I was also wondering how one qualifies for this program? I have a sister with terminal cancer, and she has UHC insurance, and they will not even cover a shower chair for her.
    Thanks for taking the time to read this.

    • Joan M. Bindel, Sr. Director of Development on June 6, 2018 at 4:25 pm

      Michele, thank you for reading our newsletter and commenting about Dr. Semon. I never met him, but I hear wonderful things about him. This program is designed for patients being treated at Mercy. If your sister is being treated here she can visit with her oncologist and nurse navigator about her needs and they will help her through the simple application process. We love assisting patients through this special fund!

    • Linda Semon on June 9, 2018 at 11:17 am

      Michele, thank you so much for your kind comments about Bill. They really touched my heart!

      I see that Joan has already told you to have your sister speak with her nurse navigator or her physician about getting help from the William J Semon Family Resource Fund. I am so sorry about your sister’s cancer diagnosis. I do so hope and pray that some day we will see a cure for all forms of this horrible disease!

      Thank you again for your sweet comments about my husband! So nice to read!

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