Community rallies to help woman

Published 7:41 pm Saturday, November 19, 2016

The Eclipse community has rallied to help a community activist faced with an unjust situation.

Paula Hicks, a resident of the Eclipse community, was assisted by her family and neighbors to help with her medical costs.

In September of this year, Hicks’ doctor noticed a dark spot during her mammogram. A few days later, her doctor performed a biopsy and said the dark spot was breast cancer.

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“It changed our world,” Hicks said.

On top of the unfortunate discovery, Hicks and her husband were having problems with their insurance coverage.

Hicks registered for health care coverage online and discovered their policy only covered about 10 percent of the medical costs.

By this point, the couple was facing several thousands of dollars in medical bills with no feasible way to pay for them.

“Surviving cancer is one thing, and surviving bills is another,” Hicks said.

So, the couple’s family and friends decided to step up and help.

Originally, the venture was going to be private and rely primarily on donations from loved ones. Eventually, the community got wind of what was going on, which prompted a fundraiser.

“It was bigger than what we thought,” said Linda Lynch, one of the fundraiser committee members. “It just stated growing more and more. More people wanted to help out.”

Hicks said, “it’s common practice in the community to help friends and neighbors out.”

Hicks’ fundraiser will be hosted at the C.E.&H. Ruritan Club, located at 8881 Eclipse Drive, on Nov. 26 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission to the event is free.

The club is also donating funds toward the food at the event, Hicks said.

There will be a bake sale, raffles, a silent auction with paintings donated by local artists and Hicks, a cash-and-carry table and much more. Also for sale will be barbecue, hotdogs, chicken salad, clam chowder and Brunswick stew.

Hicks said she plans to prepare a fair amount of the baked goods and other foods herself.

There will also be live entertainment from a local band and DJ.

Additionally, Amylynn Nuckles, a breast cancer survivor who heard about the event through social media, offered to bring her pink motorcycle, painted in honor of breast cancer awareness, to the event for photos.

Hicks currently has a new insurance policy, but the coverage will not begin until the start of the new year, so she is left to handle the remaining medical bills.

However, in the midst of her trials, she appreciates her community’s support.

“There is love coming from lots of different sources, and we are thankful,” she said.