Chances are, if everyone reading this thought for a moment, they could name a person in their life that has been diagnosed with cancer. It seems everyone has some knowledge or experience with the disease at some level. However, nobody can really know how hard a cancer battle can be until they are faced personally with the physical, emotional and financial tolls.
Fortunately, there is a nonprofit organization in Weiser called Angel Wings Network that, via a team of dedicated volunteers, works to help people throughout the Western Treasure Valley navigate the difficulties that accompany a cancer diagnosis.
When a new cancer patient contacts Angel Wings, they are welcomed with a handmade fleece blanket that has been lifted up in prayer in their name, a gift bag and a gas card. Many of the blankets are made by local 4-H clubs as part of their community service projects as well as church groups and numerous wonderful people who volunteer to make the blankets for the organization. In addition to the initial contact, Angel Wings assists cancer patients with treatment scheduling and travel.
In rural areas of Washington, Adams, Payette and Malheur counties, cancer patients sometimes must go to treatment centers that are 20 to 80 miles away. Some patients may not have a vehicle or money for fuel.
This is where Angel Wings also steps in, by helping with transportation to and from cancer treatments through their team or caring volunteers. Additionally, Angel Wings volunteers spend time in the infusion clinic at Saint Alphonsus Medical Center-Ontario each week as a big part of their patient outreach for the past five years.
Angel Wings Network functions strictly on the generosity of donors and through two annual fundraising efforts of Idaho Gives in May and the Walk Around the Park Run/Walk event held every year in September. According to Executive Director Mabel Dobbs, as of Sept. 1, Angels Wings has provided more fuel cards than the 206 given out in 2018. As of Sept. 15, the nonprofit has already given out 227 fuel cards.
The community can pitch in during the upcoming fall fundraiser for Angel Wings. On Sept. 28 will be this year’s annual 5k/1mile fun walk/run at Weiser City Park.