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Take a Swing at Cancer

By Jesse Campbell (

Article Published: Aug. 15, 2013 | Modified: Aug. 18, 2013

Through the course of their individualized treatment, many cancer patients in the High Country may encounter costs that are not typically covered by health insurance providers.

The cost of transportation to treatments, doctor visits and any other accommodations to assist them in their battle against the disease can have tremendous financial repercussions if they are not prepared.

To help offset growing expenditures, the Appalachian Regional Healthcare System established a cancer emergency fund in Watauga County. Within a few short years, that fund was incorporated in Avery County to help those citizens wage war against the debilitating and life-threatening illness.

“Often times, cancer patients need some other service provided,” said Gillian Baker, vice president of corporate communications for ARHS. “The cancer emergency fund is a good fund we have available to assist cancer patients with additional expenses they have that are over and above what they have with treatment.”

Like with any community outreach fund that is designated to help a particular cause, health system officials welcome external support.

Between 2009 and 2012, more than $19,000 was used to help cancer patients in Avery County, according to ARHS.

To supplement the fund, ARHS will hold the inaugural “Take a Swing at Cancer” golf tournament at Sugar Mountain Golf Course on Saturday, Aug. 17. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. with a shotgun start at 8:30 a.m. An awards picnic will follow play at 1 p.m.

All-inclusive costs of the event will be covered with a registration fee of $75.

The event is sponsored by the Avery County Cancer Resource Center. The purpose of the center, which opened in 2006, is to serve cancer patients through education, advocacy and services.
The center also offers access to programs sponsored by the American Cancer Society, fittings for mastectomy bras, printed educational materials, free wigs and referrals to other agencies, according to ARHS.

For more information on the event, contact Megan Lynch Ellis at (828) 262-9654.

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