Pink Up: Family gives back after diagnosis

Pink Up: 15 years and fighting
A Heartland mother and daughter talk about how a mother's breast cancer diagnosis led them to raise money for other families dealing with the disease.
A Heartland mother and daughter talk about how a mother's breast cancer diagnosis led them to raise money for other families dealing with the disease.

JACKSON, MO (KFVS) - If someone does something nice for you, don't you wish you knew how to repay them?

One Heartland family figured out how to do just that.

"I was diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer," said Kathy Jones.

It's never the words a woman wants to hear, Breast Cancer.

"It's terrifying," said Lora Galati, Jones' daughter.

Jones got her diagnosis 15 years ago.

"My odds were not very good at that time, 10 percent survival chance," said Jones.

"It was hard to see my mom that sick," said Galati.

Jones went through chemo therapy, surgery, and stem cell replacement.

"I guess it worked because I was in remission," said

Galati said she was thankful her mom would see her and her siblings graduate from college.

"I had so much support for the community, family, church family, neighbors, it was overwhelming the support that I had," said Jones.

In addition to cards and sweet notes, some of that support was from an organization called 18 Fore Life.

They give $1,000 donations to families fighting cancer.

"We keep our money local, and we find families all over this area, from well north of cape to down south into Arkansas, we have no limitations," said Scott Kruse, the director of the program.

He said they find families through word of mouth.

They've given away $1 million since they started 13 years ago.

"All charities are wonderful, but so many of these cancer charities are not capable of keeping the money local, while they may go off and do great things with research and things like that, it doesn't get into the hands of these folks that are traveling, they need hotel money, they need food money, they need things insurance aren't paying," said Kruse.

One of those to receive a gift was Jones and her family.

"It was not about the money at all, it was about the love and support, and encouragement that came along with the gift, and how we all felt as a family," said Galati.

Now Galati, friends and family started the Hope Campaign.

They raise money and donate it to 18 Fore Life.

"We decided we wanted to be able to give back," said Galati.

They've raised $25,000 in the past two and a half years.

"We've been given so much, so to be able to give back, to the community, it's like therapy for us," said Jones.

"Having been a recipient of that ourselves, we know how much it meant, we want to be able to do that for others," said Galati.

Unfortunately, Kathy Jones got the diagnosis again.

"It's always in the back of your mind that it could come back," said Jones.

Doctors say now Jones has stage 4 breast cancer.

"I just have to take one day at a time," said Jones.

Part of her giving back isn't just raising money, but raising awareness, to encourage women to get their mammogram screenings.

If you want to help you can donate to the H.O.P.E. campaign, or 18 Fore Life, the contact information is below.

Larry B. Jones H.O.P.E. Campaign
23875 St. Hwy. BB
Bloomfield, MO 63825

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