Neediest Families Fund Drive: Recurring cancer keeps local dad from work
BY SHANNON MUCHMORE World Staff Writer
Sunday, December 23, 2012
12/23/12 at 8:28 AM
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The Sanders family thought it was over.
Curtis Sanders' cancer was declared in remission earlier this year, and they were shocked to learn last month that it was back.
"We were both really stunned," his wife, JoAnn, said.
Curtis Sanders, who has Hodgkin's lymphoma, has been a machine operator for about 15 years and is used to working lots of overtime to help the family get by. He is now undergoing chemotherapy and is not sure when he'll return to work.
In about six weeks, he will have a bone marrow transplant that will keep him away from work for a while.
JoAnn Sanders stays at home with their 6-year-old son, Thomas, who is autistic and is nonverbal. Outside of saying "momma," he does not communicate with words.
He attends special education classes and goes to a speech therapist at school. He enjoys going to school and playing outside when he can.
There is a small group of people who can care for Thomas when his mother isn't around, but she has to be there most of the time.
His parents try to explain to him what his father is going through, but they're not sure how much he understands.
The family has health insurance, but it doesn't cover all of Curtis Sanders' care. They also have to meet the deductible and pay co-pays for prescriptions.
They were already in the process of buying a house when they found out his cancer had returned. Now they fear losing it.
They're not sure how they're going to make house payments and pay utilities, especially with Curtis Sanders out of work so much.
"He doesn't like to miss work," JoAnn Sanders said. "He's a very dedicated worker."
In 2005, he was in a car wreck involving a drunk driver. He was severely injured and was lifeflighted to a Tulsa hospital, where he stayed for two weeks.
Now the family is trying to look on the bright side, despite the recent news, JoAnn Sanders said.
"We just didn't think it would be back," she said.
Donations to Neediest Families total $292,593
Donations to date to the Neediest Families fund drive total $292,593, which includes $25,768 from the Tulsa Tribune Foundation endowment.
Contributions from Tulsans: William and Mary Beckert, $4,000; Barbara C. Cuite, $1,500; Richard D. Teubner, $1,000; Diane and Steve Tuttle, $1,000; Zarrow Families Foundation, $1,000; Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation, $1,000; Richard and Louise Lewis, $850; Dick and Cheryl Wimbish, $500; Josephine G. Winter, $500; Sharon Robinson, $500; Curtis and Mary Wasson, $500; Ben Latham, $500; The Sam J. and Nona M. Rhoades Foundation, $421; Nancy C. Phillips, $400; Barbara and Kim Drew, $300; The Weisz Family, $300 in memory of Cecil Weisz; Len and Alma Williams, $300; James and Cindy Keith, $300; Stephen and Donna Cropper, $300; Fred and Loretta Raschen, $300; Constance and James Bryan, $300; Clay M. Murray, $300; Maureen J. Knudson, $250; Ann Cooper, $250; the Gentry Family Charitable Trust, $250; Gene and Virginia Howard, $250; David and Bridget Muller, $250; Steve and Liz Stidham, $250; Dr. Jerry Stinehart, $200; Linda Cott, $200; Floyd and Wanda Adams, $200; Gerene and Adam Adwon, $200; Malinda Collins, $200; William and Linda Epperson, $200; Mark and Shelley Spaeth, $200; Dorothy Fitch, $200; Mr. and Mrs. Ed Reid, $200; Judy and Paul Kantor, $200; Peggye Enlow, $200; William and Janie Kidd, $200; Thomas and Maureen Knudson, $200; David Roberson, $200; Kent and Laken Gooch, $150 in loving memory of Mr. and Mrs. John C. Updike; Howard Nix, $150; J.W. Blair, $150; Kathy and Steve Ramsay, $150; Steven Butterfield, $125; employees of the Accounting, Credit and Payroll departments of the Tulsa World, $107; Mary Frances Leming, $100 in honor of Kathy Horne; Sanford Pierce, $100; Norma Babione, $100; Earl A. Holly, $100; Dorothy Mullowney, $100; Marsha McElroy, $100; Martha and Jim Curtis, $100; Mike and Vicki Aneshansley, $100; Nancy McFarlin, $100; Joyce E. Robertson, $100; Charles Nobles, $100; M.H. Jack and Lorraine Williams, $100; Roger and Susan Bey, $100; Don and Carol Martin, $100; Mary Vaverka, $100; Charlene C. Smith, $100; Tracy and Brett Rehorn, $100 in honor of their children and grandchildren; Carol A. Welch, $100 in memory of Fred and Ruby Smith; Judy and Brian Freese, $100; James H. Small, $100; Lloyd E. Hobbs, $100; Larry Erbe, $100; Jack and Susan Steinmeyer, $100; Janice Green, $100; David Blatt and Patty Hipsher, $100; Margaret Vandever, $100; Board of Deacons, Southminster Presbyterian Church, $100; Dave and Nancy Smith, $100; Naomi Lundy, $100; David and Liz Berntson, $100; Paul and Anne Moore, $100; Marsha Robison, $100; Jim and Nancy Hicks, $100; Todd and Cheryl Waldeck, $100; Rick Callis, $100; James Deam, $100; Robert and Shirley Scott, $100; Rod and Denise Baker, $100; Andy Cepurniek, $75; Gretchen Hannefield, $50 in honor of Richard and Marty Laughlin; Rosalie Childs, $50; Phyllis Thienhardt, $50; Carole Borton, $50; Faye Fletcher, $50; James and Debby Moore, $50; Don Cook, $50; Janie Speark, $50; St. Monica Catholic Church Ladies Club, $50; Nancy Murphy, $50; John and JoAnn Krueger, $50; Jenny and J.R. Jefferson, $50; Joe Hooks, $50; Colleen and Michael Smith, $50; Dale and Pat Reynolds, $30; Julie Story, $25; Mary Lynn Milam, $25; Deb Millaway, $25; D. and R. Ponce de Leon, $25; Robert Averill, $25; Joyce Jackson, $25; John and Patricia Ferrell, $25; Lillie Chube, $25; Cheri and Jim Kingsbury, $25; Lyle Dusenberg, $25; Michael and Norma Cates, $25; M.C. Grona, $25; Earl Cox, $20; Joel Wohlgemuth, $5.
Contributions from outside Tulsa: James D. and Linda K. Redding, Broken Arrow, $1,000; Betty and Dennis Niver, Broken Arrow, $1,000; Cheryl Barth, Sand Springs, $1,000; Dave and Janie DeVault, Jenks, $500; Sherry K. Jones, Broken Arrow, $500; Lloyd and Karen Isley, Broken Arrow, $300; Robert and Patricia Wilson, Bartlesville, $300; Guy Nelson, Jenks, $300; Judi Hamilton, Broken Arrow, $200; Lori Grof, Pawhuska, $200; John and Amy Polonchek, Stillwater, $200; Edwin and Helen Kennedy, Grove, $200; Gib's Auto Sales, Tahlequah, $150; Pat and Sharyl Blakey, Broken Arrow, $100 in memory of Joel Burkhart; Newlawn and Landscape, Broken Arrow, $100; Mark and Liz Poole, Sand Springs, $100; Kaaren Goldizen, Catoosa, $100; Mike and Cathey Duvall, Owasso, $100; Dan Tatterson, Broken Arrow, $100; Patrick Roberts, Owasso, $100; Mr. and Mrs. Robert Nabozny, Sapulpa, $100; Phillip and Betty Lutz, Owasso, $100; Jim and Yadira Upshaw, Cleveland, OK, $100; Gary and Reba Taylor, Glenpool, $100; Martha and Larry Willis, Owasso, $100 in memory of John and Ollie Dodd; Robert Vogt, Okmulgee, $100; Mary Sue Harrold, Collinsville, $100; Douglas and Elisabeth Harrington, Broken Arrow, $100; Mary and Gary Allen, Broken Arrow, $75; Judith and Robert Ellsworth, Independence, Kansas, $50; Edgar and Judy Benarrous, Broken Arrow, $50; Betty Chenault, Checotah, $50; Joe Wysocki, Broken Arrow, $50; Kandie Fairchild, Broken Arrow, $50; Michael and Nancy Dennis, Bartlesville, $50; John and Helen Miller, Pryor, $50; Jake and Pam Ervin, Owasso, $50; the Wells Family, Jenks, $50; Bob and Freda Keef, Broken Arrow, $50 in honor of Vernon and Julie Jones; Terry and Julie Koupe, Nowata, $50 in honor of Steve and Lynne Koupe; Jody and Shirley Cooper, Skiatook, $30; Sue Chandler, Broken Arrow, $25; LaVanche Hawkins, Arlington, Texas, $25; David and Cindy Scott, Sand Springs, $25; Ed Walker, Jenks, $25; Patricia Crutcher, Claremore, $25; Nancy and Blackie Gibson, Broken Arrow, $25; B.K. Brown, Sand Springs, $25; Tim Swanson, Collinsville, $10; Joseph Phillips, Broken Arrow, $10.
Anonymous donations: $130,629, including a $3,000 contribution in memory of Newtown, Conn. and the Sandy Hook Elementary victims; $1,000 in memory of Stephanie Anne McKay; $1,000 in memory of Matt Rowland; $1,000 in memory of Sibyl Louise Nixon; $500 in memory of Hulda Gelwick; $500 in memory of Virginia and Thomas Matson; $250 in honor of the Jeffrey Beyer Family and the Michael Beyer Family; $200 in memory of Rose Trickey Wolff and Ann Trickey Martin; $175 in memory of the children of Sandy Hook Elementary; $100 in memory of Gene C. Nichols; $100 in honor of Bob and Freda Keef.
About the Neediest Families Fund Drive
The Neediest Families Fund Drive was established in 1928 to provide assistance to families in need during the holidays and the coming year.
This year's goal is to raise $300,000 by Christmas Eve. Last year's goal was exceeded; $334,888 was raised.
Each Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday through the holiday season, the Tulsa World will spotlight families chosen by The Salvation Army to receive help through this year's fund.
None of the money raised is used for administrative costs.
Cash is not given directly to the families. They are given vouchers for specific needs.
To help families such as the one featured today, send a check or money order to the Neediest Families Fund Drive, in care of the Tulsa World, P.O. Box 1770, Tulsa, OK 74102.
Donations are tax-deductible, and donors can be anonymous.
Original Print Headline: Cancer keeps dad from working
Shannon Muchmore 918-581-8378
Joann and Curtis Sanders pose with their son, Thomas, 6, in Curtis' room at St. Francis Hospital in Tulsa JOHN CLANTON / Tulsa World