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Columbus Cancer CARE Foundation

The Columbus Cancer CARE Foundation fundraiser was held Sept. 17 at the American Legion with a silent and live auction, balloon release and 50/50 raffle. The evening was created to raise money for the Columbus Cancer CARE Foundation who has a goal of purchasing a van to transport cancer patients to their treatment appointments. At the close of the evening, a check presentation was made to Dr. Joan Keit, fourth from left, by the Columbus Sertoma Club to the Columbus Cancer CARE Foundation for $25,000.

Although the name of the facility is Columbus Cancer Care and the facility itself is based in Columbus, Dr. Joan Keit, the organization's medical director, said that people encompassing Colfax and Butler counties also frequently receive treatment at CCC.

"A lot of people who live in Butler and Colfax counties come to Columbus for their cancer care because there's no cancer center in those towns," Keit said.

With that in mind, CCC and the Columbus Cancer Care Foundation provides services for people in those communities and according to Keit, the response has been solid.

"Columbus Cancer Care Foundation supports the needs of cancer patients and their families not just in Platte County, but also Colfax County and Butler County, as well," Keit said. "We've had a lot of people that we've helped in Schuyler, but some of the other towns in Colfax County that we're involved in are Clarkson, Leigh, Rogers (and) we've had some patients in Howells and Richland."

For every patient, Keit and Columbus Cancer Care provides a unique therapy known as Tomotherapy, a procedure that can bend radiation around the heart to prevent any heart complications that may come from cancer treatments.

"For women that have breast cancers, particularly on the left side, the heart is close to what we're treating," Keit said. "Some radiation machines can give doses to the heart, which is bad for you. This Tomotherapy technology will better spare the heart, by bending the radiation around it."

On the foundation side, transportation is provided for patients who can't drive due to their condition. It's the most popular service provided by the foundation in Colfax and Butler counties, she said, and it takes pressure of those looking for a good way to get to their appointments.

"Maybe they don't have friends or family able to take them, so the accessibility to care has been limited," Keit said. "We started this ride program so people can get to their appointments, whether it's at Columbus Cancer Care or a doctor's office or chemotherapy or wound care at the hospital. We've provided over 1,500 round-trip rides, many of them have been from Colfax and Butler counties."

The foundation also provides a wig program, gas cards, warming blankets, lift chairs and support groups. Having those services not just in Columbus but in Colfax and Butler counties is vital for a group like Columbus Cancer Care to reach its mission.

"There are needs there that aren't met by any other organization that I'm aware of," Keit said. "Because we are a sum of smaller communities, I think it's important to pool the resources that we have and since we have the foundation that is based in Columbus, it's still meant to help all the people in our general area."

Those looking for more information about Columbus Cancer Care are encouraged to call 402-562-8666.

Zach Roth is a reporter for the Schuyler Sun. Reach him via email at zachary.roth@lee.net.

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Zach Roth is a reporter for The Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at zachary.roth@lee.net.

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