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.