A couple of weeks before he turned 29, Kyle Stauffer, of Grottoes, learned he might have cancer. Surgery confirmed his doctors’ suspicions, and Stauffer was told that, following the procedure, he would need to undergo two rounds of chemotherapy. His doctors were hopeful the chemo would prevent the cancer from returning.
“I have a wife and three small children who are 6, 3 and 2, so it was really tough to go through this,” Stauffer says. “I’m used to bringing home a paycheck based on at least a 40-hour workweek, but after surgery I had to take three weeks off. Then once chemo started, I was out of work for a couple of months until I had completed both rounds. And while I was unable to work, we were getting medical bills left and right.”
Stauffer and his wife, Kate, quickly realized there was no easy way to stay caught up on their bills while receiving only a medical leave paycheck. So Stauffer contacted Christie Showalter in the Sentara RMH Business Office. Showalter worked with the Stauffers to consolidate many of their medical bills and set up a payment schedule they could afford.
“I would call Christie with questions and leave a voicemail, and she never failed to get back to me—often that same afternoon,” Stauffer says. “She really helped reduce the level of stress we were experiencing due to all the hospital bills. She truly went above and beyond.”
At the time Stauffer was recuperating from cancer surgery and undergoing chemotherapy, the RMH Foundation had not yet established the Ralph L. Sampson Sr. Hope Fund, which assists patients like Stauffer by providing screenings, medication and transportation assistance when financial barriers prevent them from getting the care they need. While Stauffer wasn’t able to receive assistance from the Hope Fund, many other cancer patients like him will be able to benefit from the fund in the future.
“Kyle is exactly the kind of patient the Hope Fund was set up to help,” says Cory Davies, executive director of the RMH Foundation. “There are many cancer patients in our area in similar circumstances who need financial assistance.”
The Hope Fund is supported by donations from generous benefactors throughout the community. Donors who have made a Leadership Gift to the fund are listed here.
Ralph Sampson Jr.
“Why did I support the Ralph L. Sampson Sr. Hope Fund? As a family we wanted to make sure we let people know our dad’s story. Once we got all the information and worked our way through the issues, we also wanted to help others and let them know that if you work together, you can get through any issue in life. It takes teamwork to make a dream work.”
Rick V. and Elizabeth Ann Kiser
Rick Kiser:“We know firsthand the time and money it takes to receive cancer treatments, and many expenses—such as travel to and from the hospital; copay costs, which can be very high; and lost income while receiving treatment—are not covered by most insurance companies. Gifts to the Hope Fund can help lighten the burden community members face during a very difficult time in their lives.”
Libby Kiser:“As the spouse of someone who is currently diagnosed with a rare and stubborn type of cancer, I understand the difficulties cancer can pose for individuals and families. The Hope Fund helps to eliminate some of those hurdles, and also demonstrates support for the community. Donating to the Hope Fund is a blessing because it allows us to help others in their time of need.”
Bank of the James
Thomas Rea: “Bank of the James is where community and banking come together. When it comes to community, what better way to make a difference than helping to provide access to quality health care and screenings? Our neighbors at Sentara RMH have the expertise to help, so this is a great way for us to empower families in the community.”
Dr. David C. and Amelia M. Hall
“Our hope is that collectively we can make an impact by helping our friends and families. If everyone does a small part, together we can make a huge difference.”
CommonWealth One Federal Credit Union
Jennifer Pitman:“CommonWealth One Federal Credit Union supports the Hope Fund because our commitment to serve the community goes beyond just our business relations. We are people helping people, regardless of their affiliation with our credit union. We have a passion for people in the Harrisonburg community and are delighted to sponsor such an incredible organization.”
Ken Copeland Family Dentistry
Dr. Ken Copeland:“I chose to support the Hope Fund as I have seen firsthand the devastating effects cancer had on one of my sons and both of my parents. I see the struggles of my friends and patients who are affected as well. I hope that my support can bring them some much-needed relief and comfort.”
Whitney and Ramsey Oral & Facial Surgery, PC
Dr. Brent Ramsey:“Our office is honored to be a supporter of the Hope Fund for Cancer. Our decision to support the fund reflects first our desire to give back to the community, but also to help fight cancer, one of the most feared and devastating diseases. We believe that together we can make a difference in this cause!”
Drs. William and Brooke Goodwin
“We donated to the Hope Fund because when our cousin, Michael Ruckman, was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer at age 46, our family desperately needed hope. Now, two years later, thanks to answered prayers and the wonderful care of all the doctors, nurses, staff and volunteers at the Hahn Cancer Center, Michael is doing well. We are so grateful for the care he and many other friends and family members have received there, and we know our donation will help others receive the care they need.”