Benefit for cancer patients at SCHC Sat.
Published 10:34 am Friday, February 14, 2014
Gabrielle Butler is cancer-free today after a tough go of it with treatments and a hand-up from dedicated volunteers.
“I was 17 years old when I was diagnosed with Sarcoma cancer and I started taking chemo on June 2, 2011, my 18th birthday,” said Gabrielle Butler of Vicksburg, who found herself out of money and, seemingly, out of options at one point in her treatments.
Initially, Gabrielle spent three months in Houston under going chemotherapy before returning to Mississippi to continue the treatment at the Baptist Hospital in Jackson.
“I had to go for treatments Monday through Friday every three weeks,” she said.
Gabrielle said she still had to travel to Houston every other month for follow-up visits and it was then she learned she’d have to undergo radiation to continue the fight against the deadly cancer ravaging her liver and pancreas — a course of therapy for which she had no money to complete.
Gabrielle’s mother, Donna Douglas, reached out to Carolyn Butler, no relation, for help. Butler, herself a breast cancer survivor, is the founder of Believers of Faith Cancer Organization, a Vicksburg-based nonprofit begun in 2010 that defrays the cost of treatments for patients like Gabrielle.
Butler started the organization to help locals with cancer expenses and to lend support.
She said, previously there was no organization in Vicksburg that offered financial assistance for those going through cancer.
In January, Gabrielle learned she had a clean bill of health — thanks in some part to the $7,000 the group raised to resume her treatments.
Stories such as Gabrielle’s are expected to be highlighted Saturday at the Valentines Red Carpet Benefit Gala at the Southern Cultural Heritage Center. The ticketed fundraiser and dinner is also geared to continue the organization’s goal of providing assistance to cancer patients in need, Butler said.
For more information, call 601-415-2743 or 601-218-7185.