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webmaster | 04/20/12

Today, I sat with my sister who has cancer, and read The Madera Tribune, and wondered: What are the citizens of Madera doing for the people who have given their tax dollars to support our town? We found out two weeks ago that the only infusion center in Madera will be shut down and all the people who need cancer treatments will have to drive to Fresno.

As I watched my sister with her frail body, I wondered why our town would not support a unit to be provided here in Madera. But I hear or read daily, or every other day, about the high-speed train and how our tax dollars will be used to support this project, and wonder how can we as a society be so cold and indifferent about these frail souls which will now have to make the trip for treatments.

I have not read one article about this new latest situation, or anyone taking on the injustice being done to these frail lives. Is it that people are not aware that this is happening, is it a nonissue because it has not touched their lives?

Why, I asked myself, as I walked through the infusion center at Madera Community Outpatient Center, and saw the variety of people in chairs getting their treatments? I wondered, how will this impact their lives? Where will they get the money to pay for the gas for these trips, and do they have family members that can help them get there and get back, and what will they have to not pay, in order to pay for their gas, and transportation. How many have the financial ability to take care of their monthly expenses and still be able to afford the trip to Fresno, and all that will entail?

Will their trips after the cancer treatments be trips of pain and agony back to their homes?

I would like to tell you a little bit about my sister. She is a very kind woman who always gave to the people she heard about that needed a helping hand. She worked hard all her life and never complained. She took care of her family, and worked until all hours of the night to make sure her work was done, so she could take care of her family. She didn’t accumulate wealth for her senior years, but she got by, as long as she could work.

Well she can’t work right now because of the cancer, and her family is trying very hard to keep her bills paid. Each challenge that comes her way she smiles, and keeps going. She has a strong will to fight the cancer, but as her sister, I can see how with each setback it is one more situation to carry. She is a proud lady, but is learning a new respect for humility.

I called the American Cancer Society, and they sent me information on what they can do to support the new extended miles which she will have to endure. We will fill out the information, and hope there will be some relief, but not sure that the trips for the doctor appointments, lab work, shots before the cancer treatment and all the other day-by-day appointments will be covered.

Are these cancer societies so worried about raising money for research that the individuals who are undergoing the actual pain and devastation have been left behind?

So as I write this I think that her financial situation is very fragile, but her physical ability to endure the trips, and waits will be a new challenge. When she had a recent setback with blood clots she was told by her doctor to go to the hospital. You would think that if the doctor called ahead to say she was to be admitted that she would not have had to wait for six hours in a waiting room, but guess what: Six hours later she was waiting to be admitted. Where has the compassion gone for people who are under these types of situations?

I hear about the fundraisers to fight cancer, but the people on the front lines that treat these people seem to have forgotten about the dignity of these individuals. As she sat for hours in an uncomfortable chair, and waited with her cap covering the bald head that use to be covered with medium blond locks of hair she smiled, and became very quiet. With her pain-filled body you wonder does anyone see her, or do they even care?

I guess the people who read this article will say, welcome to the real world, and others will say, bad luck for her, but I write this with a ultimate question, for all:

Where do each of us place our priorities? Are we so involved with making sure we have the latest train, so we can keep up with Europe, that we forgot about our responsibilities to the individuals facing cancer, diabetes, blood disorders or other life-threatening disease, that counted on the local Infusion Center? Have we become more interested in making sure that our tax dollars go to Planned Parenthood, than those who have cancer, and other life threatening illnesses that do not have a choice for the situations they now face?

As the Obamacare issue heats up, please read and stay informed on what is actually in the health care mandate. What is said versus what is written does not always “Equal Justice For All. “

If you have read this article, please pray for all who are facing life threatening issues, and join me in making it known to all that we are losing our only local Infusion Center.

Cecelia Jones,


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