Support for those battling cancer during COVID-19

Posted at 6:23 PM, Apr 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-18 15:42:43-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — A local organization is embracing the #BuffaloStrong spirit by kicking off a new campaign to help cancer patients during this pandemic.

“Right now everyone in the country, everyone in this area is experiencing what someone who has cancer experiences every day,” said Pastor Vincent Grooms of Buffalo, whose wife battled cancer.

Those battling cancer have to take extra steps to stay healthy. During a pandemic, it's even harder. It's something Cherrise Walker-Betts knows first hand.

“I was diagnosed with cancer in 2014. Remember that [people with cancer] are still getting surgeries, people still have to get chemotherapy and radiation, it’s very scary for people who have cancer,” said Walker-Betts.

She's the founder of Our Curls, Inc., an organization dedicated to helping people of color battle cancer by providing wigs and support. Something she was missing.

“I felt invisible, I felt hopeless and I was like it’s just better for me to leave here. We want to bring hope, because when you have hope it gives you the strength to fight,” said Walker-Betts.

She felt her community wasn't represented in the cancer community and made a change. She's now cancer free and the group has helped more than 1,000 people.

“Personally it helped to give me some strength and to know that I was not alone, having that kind of support,” said Hilary Grooms, a cancer survivor who received support from Our Curls, Inc.

Walker-Betts is continuing to give back with a new campaign called "I Matter" to support all cancer patients during the pandemic. She's helping to deliver groceries, pick up medications and whatever she can do to help out.

“We’re here to talk we’re here to hear your concerns, we’re here to give you referrals to community resources, we don’t want anyone to suffer in silence," said Walker-Betts.

She's also partnering with The Life Center Church on a campaign called "Bring it In". They're collecting donations to help feed nurses in Buffalo.

“So while they’re fighting coronavirus, let’s help them fight hunger,” said Pastor Grooms.

They need all the help they can get. To donate to the "I Matter" campaign, click here. To donate to the "Bring it In" campaign click here.

If you need support from the "I Matter" campaign, click here.

“This is a tough time for everyone, everyone is struggling, but every dollar, every 50 cents whatever it is helps toward one another just spreads kindness and it also breeds hope," said Walker-Betts.