PICKENS COUNTY—A local organization is hoping to raise funds this summer in an effort to continue caring for cancer patients in Pickens County.
The Pickens County Cancer Association’s mission is to improve the quality of life of cancer patients and their families through financial, educational, and emotional assistance as well as offer cancer awareness and prevention programs/materials to the public of Pickens County.
“It is our goal that we will receive further support from grants and the Pickens County general public. We would like to eradicate the disease, however, that may not happen in the forefront, but as we wait for the cure, we need to support our clients as much as we can to beat this disease,” said Cynthia L. Smoak, Executive Director of the PCCA.
The PCCA was founded in November of 2010 by professional men and women in healthcare concerned with improving the quality of life for victims of cancer and their families in Pickens County.
The organization relies solely upon donations from the public, grants, and fundraisers, and
the office is managed by volunteers from 9am-1pm Monday-Friday.
The PCCA will hold several fundraising events this summer including a yard sale at the PCCA office on July 21, and the annual golf tournament at the Pickens Country Club on September 21.
The American Cancer Society does not provide any money to the PCCA.
The services provided by the Pickens County Cancer Association includes up to $1,000 per year for treatment related expenses, and emotional support through support groups. Free new and gently used wigs, hats, breast prostheses and mastectomy bras are offered to clients. The PCCA also offers a connection to others who have fought cancer and survived and loans of medical equipment.
The residents of Pickens County who have been stricken with cancer cannot receive any treatment in the County of Pickens due to reimbursement issues for cancer treatment services.
The population of Pickens County is just over 119,000, and of that figure, over 500 Pickens County residents are in need of cancer treatment.
“It is unfortunate that we have to ask the clients of the PCCA to leave Pickens County to go to Greenville, Anderson, or Oconee County to receive radiation or chemotherapy treatment. They are allowed to see their physicians here at the Cancer Centers of the Carolinas, however, if they have to receive treatment such as radiation five times per week they must drive Monday-Friday to Greenville to receive it,” said Smoak.
Current needs of the PCCA are storage shelves in the office, a paper shredder, Ensure or Boost, gas cards, wigs, hospital beds, and afternoon volunteers from 1pm-6pm.
For more information on the Pickens County Cancer Association call 864-878-0611 or visit www.pccancer.org.