Man praises those who helped with medical expenses

A MAN who needed to travel down south for cancer treatment but couldn’t afford it is praising a local group for helping him out.

TONY BRYAN is now cancer-free after getting assistance from Helping Hands of the Northwest for his trip to Vancouver for treatment.

A MAN who needed to travel down south for cancer treatment but couldn’t afford it is praising a local group for helping him out.

Tony Bryan, who was diagnosed with lung cancer this past April, travelled to Vancouver twice for treatment and had to go a third time for surgery but couldn’t afford it.

He got in touch with Ron and Mavis Ramsey, who started Helping Hands of the Northwest, which raises money for people who need it to pay for their prescriptions,  and they helped make that third trip possible.

“I got surgery and 15 per cent of my lung was taken out and it went really well,” said Bryan.

In a letter, he said “saying thank you to these selfless volunteers hardly seems enough.

“They would never accept accolades, saying any number of people volunteer their time and efforts and people who donate deserve the thanks.

“To all of you a heartfelt thanks.”

Helping Hands, started in January 2009 by Ron and Mavis Ramsey, collects bottles and cans and scrap metal for recycling and works with pharmacists to have the money go toward paying for prescriptions for seniors and others who can’t afford it.

Since it began, Helping Hands has raised more than $12,000 to help people.

Since it’s started helping out with airfare too, three or four people have been able to get the medical help they need, says Mavis.

Hawkair and Uniglobe Travel have got on board; Mavis says Hawkair supplies the flights, Uniglobe provides the air miles that are donated, and Helping Hands pays the taxes for the flight.

“We’ve tripled in size since we started three years ago,” says Mavis. “A lot of people and businesses are onboard.”

And Bryan, who is on pain medication, is cancer free now.

He doesn’t need chemotherapy or radiation; he just has to get an x-ray done every six months.