RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Fighting cancer is never easy, but when you also have to be a mom and take care of a family, it can sometimes be too much. The Helene Foundation was established in 2009 to help moms who are battling cancer.
Bree Chrisman-Wise, a wife and mother of three in Wake County went to the emergency room last year thinking she was having a heart attack, but left the hospital hours later with a non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma diagnosis. Less than two weeks later, she was undergoing here first chemotherapy treatment at UNC REX Cancer Center . During her treatment, Chrisman-Wise was having a tough time keeping up with her duties as a mom, but that’s where the Helene Foundation stepped in.
Helene Davidian lost her cancer battle back in 2009, and while she and her family had everything they needed during that cancer fight, they realized that other moms might not have enough help. A friend nominated Chrisman-Wise to receive some help from the Helene Foundation. Chrisman-Wise said “You’re so exhausted and you know kids get home and they need help with homework and I just didn’t have it in me.”
The Helene Foundation was able to step in and help with after school activities and tutoring for her three children. They were also able to help with gas and transportation for all the doctor’s visit during chemo and radiation treatments.
Susan Bowers, the executive director of the Helene Foundation said, “The mom may get the cancer diagnosis, but it affects the entire family, so that’s our goal: We want the family life to go on with as much normalcy as we can.”
For this reason, Bowers and her volunteers provide each family with things they specifically need. That could be meals and groceries or after-school programs and camps for the kids.
While many referrals for the Helene Foundation come from social workers at area hospitals, they welcome submissions from the public. Learn more about what they do and how you can help The Helene Foundation here.