ST. ALBANS — Those in need received a game-changing donation last week.
On Nov. 19, the Jim Bashaw Cancer and Catastrophic Illness Fund presented a check to Northwestern Medical Center. The money will be distributed by the hospital to individuals currently experiencing a catastrophic illness or cancer treatment.
On Sept. 26, the fund held its annual Run for Jim, raising $6,621. Northwestern Medical Center matched the amount one-to-one to help bring it up to its pre-COVID amount.
Denise Smith, fund committee chair, explained that much of the money will help cancer patients with travel expenses related to radiation treatment.
“Gas costs can add up when you are traveling from remote parts of Franklin County,” she said in a statement on social media. “We are so honored to be able to provide resources to families during their greatest time of need.”
Grants are given in the amount of $500 to individuals. The committee approves between six and 12 per month.
“This really means so much to the community and the people we serve,” Smith stated.
Jim Bashaw was a beloved member of the St. Albans community, working as a teacher, vocational guidance counselor and basketball coach for 19 years at Bellows Free Academy in St. Albans. His wife Shair started the fund in his honor after he died of brain cancer in 2000.
“It's touching when you see that devotion because of Jimmy's legacy to help others,” Shari told the Messenger in September. “I just love to see everybody taking part and having fun.”