“This is going to be great!” said Doreen Perks about a new opportunity to raise funds to benefit Clearfield Countians who face the challenge of life with cancer. One of her jobs as president of the Bob Perks Cancer Assistance Fund (named for her husband, who died in 2006 of melanoma), is to help others do something “great with their grief.”
Brenda Diehl lost her husband, Fred, to pancreatic cancer last June. The owner of Fred Diehl Motors in Philipsburg, he shared the joys of country living with Brenda during their off-hours in Curwensville. Fred cared for the couple’s land and gardens. “He loved to plant trees,” said Brenda. Inspired by the work of Doreen Perks, Brenda desired something great to do with her grief, too. As a result, she reached out to Doreen about the possibility of organizing a fundraiser in Clearfield County to honor her husband.
“I am so happy to support this effort because there is a great need in Clearfield County and this will have a big impact,” said Doreen. The fundraiser is planned for June 28 at the Starr Hill Winery in Curwensville. As trees are planted there in Fred Diehl’s memory, the seed will also be planted to inspire ongoing fundraising in Clearfield County for the Bob Perks Fund.
Doreen knows firsthand about the costs associated with living with cancer. She feels fortunate that her family was able to weather the financial hardship, but while her husband was undergoing treatment, she learned by talking with other patients in the waiting rooms that people can be knocked off-center by the financial burdens. She heard stories about people losing their jobs, not being able to afford the mortgage or rent payment, or choosing between paying an electricity bill and feeding the children. “What kind of choice is that?” Doreen asked.
Individuals can apply to the fund for assistance with groceries, household bills, transportation and lodging. Besides helping individuals and families, the Bob Perks Fund also makes donations to facilities that provide cancer care. The Lance and Ellen Shaner Cancer Pavilion at Mount Nittany Medical Center was the recent recipient of $8,800 that will fund hospitality carts and an alternative to the traditional hospital gown—a comfortable “wrap.”
The hospitality carts will be delivered to benefit families who have a loved one in the hospital with end-stage cancer. The carts will facilitate serving specially prepared snacks to families so that they can spend as much time as they need at the bedside.
The special “wraps” are for people with cancer to wear for their radiation therapy treatments, and are designed to accommodate the specific needs and equipment involved in the cancer treatments. They also provide greater comfort and ease for patients, and look like a garment, not a typical hospital gown.
Applicants can learn how to apply for assistance from the Bob Perks Cancer Assistance Fund by calling 814.231.2692 or by emailing the fund at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about the Lance and Ellen Shaner Cancer Pavilion, visit mountnittany.org.