Thursday, July 28, 2011

Prayers for a follower

Please pray for Melissa Viers, 28, Creston Iowa. She is my daughter Sara's college roommate. Her story follows. Her cancer has returned and is in her bones and lungs.
Thank you and Blessings

Article is from the Ames Star Tribune March 2011
A benefit at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Nevada this Saturday will help a Creston family, with ties to Nevada and Maxwell, cope with the harsh financial reality of cancer treatments.

James and Melissa Viers, who grew up in the Nevada and Maxwell area, are no strangers to helping others in their community—James has been a full-time firefighter in Creston since 2006, and Melissa has been working as a breast feeding peer counselor with the MATURA office in Creston. MATURA is the designated Community Action Agency for several counties in Iowa, and offers program services for low-income families, individuals and children.

The sad irony is that it was breast feeding that led Melissa to discover she had breast cancer. “I was still nursing my youngest at the time, and I found a lump,” she said. “He was staying with family and I was pumping for him when I found it. I didn’t think anything of it because when I picked him up I was able to nurse him again and it didn’t hurt.”

But a couple of weeks passed and the lump seemed to be getting worse, so Melissa went to have her doctor examine it. “My doctor thought it was just a cyst, but he wanted to be careful so he ordered an ultrasound, and that didn’t show anything. About two or three weeks later I had a biopsy, which came back positive for cancer,” she said.

Since Melissa started chemotherapy, the medical bills have been starting to pile up. “Last year wasn’t too bad—insurance covered most of it. But we have to meet all of our out-of-pocket expenses this year,” Melissa said. Couple the chemo costs with the therapy for their daughter, who Melissa said was born very premature, and things add up fast. “We have to come to Des Moines once a week anyway and the travel costs and out-of-pocket costs are really starting to rack up,” she said.

It also doesn’t help that the Viers’ insurance health insurance is now trying to deny payment for one of the treatments Melissa needs. “Our insurance is denying one of my chemo drugs that I have to have once a week for 12 weeks—we haven’t gotten the bill for that yet, but I’m not looking forward to it,” she said.

Melissa said their church family from Cornerstone Baptist in Afton has been very helpful in assisting her family; and now her friends and family here are looking to help assist them financially with a benefit.

The Viers benefit will be a soup supper/silent auction at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Nevada on Saturday, March 26, from 5-7 p.m. Viers’ stepmother, Kim Flynn, said that companies such as Ben Franklin, Pioneer, Hy-Vee and Ames Racquet and Fitness Center have donated items for the silent auction. Flynn said they are requesting “good will donations” for the soup supper.

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