Usually, Luann Shannon gets to meet the clients who come to her looking for assistance from The Salvation Army, but that wasn’t the case with Jerry. Instead, it was his sister, Nancy, who visited Luann in search of help. At age sixty, Jerry had been diagnosed with stage four lung cancer, the same disease that had taken the life of his sister’s husband just months before. It was an easy decision for Nancy to retire and move in with her ailing brother to do all she could to help him.
Fighting cancer can feel like an uphill battle, but the Blackford County siblings clung to each other for support. As they traveled four times each week to Fort Wayne for treatment, Jerry and Nancy tried to figure out how they could continue to make ends meet on two fixed incomes. Jerry wanted to be able to stay in his home while going through radiation and chemotherapy, but transportation costs were piling up. When a friend suggested that they contact The Salvation Army, Nancy volunteered to reach out on behalf of her brother.
Luann was able to connect with Jerry’s story immediately. “I understand because my husband went through cancer,” she explains, “and I understand what a toll it takes on you financially as well.” Using Salvation Army funds, Luann was able to provide gas vouchers to get Jerry to his treatments. He has been able to stay in his home, Nancy by his side, through the toughest months of his life.
Nancy’s gratitude is such that she wants to give back, paying forward the kindness shown to her brother by becoming a Salvation Army volunteer. For Luann, being able to help was its own reward. “It was just a blessing to be able to help this family out,” she says. “It’s nice to see that a sister was able to take care of her brother like that.”