This holiday season, a Central Indiana cancer patient will have the one thing she needed the most, a heated home.
Rhonda Whittington’s furnace broke just as she was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. She did not have the money to replace it, she said.
It is bad enough not having heat, but going through chemo and radiation made it difficult to regulate her temperature.
Little Red Door Cancer Agency workers made it their mission to help Rhonda after hearing her story.
“It just gave me a whole new outlook on life,” said Rhonda. “I see things differently, I view people differently.”
“First her mom called and said she was really concerned about her daughter who was without a furnace and she was really worried because the winter was coming on and she was going through chemotherapy treatment,” said Michelle Hallmark, client navigation manager at Little Red Door.
Michelle called companies to let them know Rhonda was working during the day, having cancer treatments in the afternoon and coming home to a bitter cold house, all while raising a teenage daughter.
“My impression from Rhonda is that she isn’t the kind of person who really asks for help a lot, but I was trying to tell her ‘It’s ok,’” said Michelle. “Sometimes you do need help and people want to help and it’s really gratifying for Williams Comfort Air to help her and for us to help her during this time.”
This time, Rhonda knew she needed the help.
“Well, with a compromised immune system, I probably would have gotten really sick,” said Rhonda.
Williams Comfort Air donated and installed a brand new furnace.
“Things happened so fast,” said Rhonda. “I was blown away by how quickly it happened.”
This is what Little Red Door’s client navigation program is all about: Filling in the gaps for low income, uninsured or underinsured cancer patients.
“The thing about cancer treatment is that you still have to meet your daily needs and a lot of things sometimes get put to the back burner so not only do we try that with insurance but also any other needs they have,” said Rhonda. “The kindness that comes out of people’s hearts in times like this, it just lets you know what America is really about.”
If you need help from Little Red Door Cancer Agency, or would like to donate, please visit their website.