Philadelphia Inquirer: Homeless and cancer-ridden, woman fights to stay alive in Chester County
by Alfred Lubrano, Updated: October 7, 2019
The breast cancer has spread, colonizing Maureen Wall’s body with soulless precision.
It’s bred havoc and poverty in the lives of Wall, 60, and her husband, Don, 59.
The pair are homeless. Currently, she sleeps in a bed at Chester County Hospital, while Don sleeps in the chair next to her. Medicaid covers hospital costs. They survive on $350 a month in food stamps, and whatever cash and gas money for Don’s father’s old car, a 2005 Nissan Altima, that friends, Chester County churches, and charitable strangers can give.
Now part of a little-known population of nomadic homeless people in Chester County….While Maureen has suffered through three years of chemotherapy, radiation, and other treatments, Don — who once earned $53,000 a year selling parts for BMWs — has been laid off twice, and now devotes his time to caring for his wife and looking for a part-time job.
The couple have applied for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for Maureen, but have been denied by the federal government three times…..Doctors have said Maureen might live a year or less, as cancer has ravaged one breast and lodged in the other. The disease has further metastasized to her lungs and her liver.
“This is a sad case, a sad case,” said Jan Leaf, executive director of the Lord’s Pantry of Downingtown food bank,
I read this yesterday and it resonated with me. Because this could happen to anyone. These are people who have had a devastating run of bad luck. I don’t know them but as a cancer survivor who has at times thought she would lose her mind over medical bills since getting breast cancer eight years ago it falls into the category of: I. Just. Can’t. Even.
This story has in truth resonated with many in the area where I live. I encourage all of you to read this article in its entirety.
It’s freaking #breastcancerawarenessmonth so I am paying it forward for #Pinktober and writing about this in the hopes that somebody will see this that can really step in and help these people get housing and comfort for this couple.
Some ladies locally have started a go fund me:
Husband and wife battling homelessness and cancer
I read Maureen’s story in the Philadelphia Inquirer. I was brought to tears. I picked up the phone, called the hospital and they connected me to Maureen. While talking to her I cried. We cried. I can’t imagine how they are feeling. I watched what Cancer did to my father when I was a child and I can’t think what that would have been like had he been homeless. This shouldn’t be happening. They need love and a village.
Their story has touched the lives of many people and the word is still spreading that Maureen and Don need all of our help to fight Maureen’s cancer and break the cycle of homelessness. ~ Adrienne B
I know people are very leery of fundraising efforts like this because so many people are afraid they’re not legitimate. If you have a question you can call Chester County Hospital. You can call the reporter from the Philadelphia Inquirer (Alfred Lubrano. email@example.com 215-854-4969.)
Personally I gave a targeted donation to the Lord’s Pantry in Downingtown, PA before the Go Fund Me was established.
This #Pinktober, consider forgoing the purchase of faux pink crap. Helping these people would be a real testament of paying it forward and doing something positive in the face of breast cancer.