Hatteras Island Cancer Foundation helping island residents with their battle

JAM Media Solutions, OBX Today, Beach 104, Big 94.5 WCMS, 99.1 The Sound and Z92.3 are proud to increase awareness of breast cancer and assist groups raising funds for research, prevention, diagnosis, treatment and a cure.

We will be posting features every day here at OBX Today ranging from inspiring stories from those who have battled breast cancer, information on screening and prevention, to details about services and support organizations right here on the Outer Banks.

An all-volunteer organization, the Hatteras Island Cancer Foundation is dedicated to helping island residents with their battle against all types of cancer.

If you are a patient who needs help with expenses or know someone who does, the Hatteras Island Cancer Foundation is ready to help.

Patients must fill out an application form to receive a grant. The application and travel expense forms are available at Vidant Health Center in Avon and at Beach Pharmacy in Avon and Hatteras or download the application form here.

The forms can be returned to the foundation, Post Office Box 442, Hatteras, NC 27943 or to any board member.

All application information is reviewed by the board’s grant committee and is held in the strictest confidence.

The Hatteras Island Cancer Foundation was founded in December, 2000, by Laney Howell.

Laney, who was born and grew up in Scotland Neck, NC, moved to Hatteras village in 1996. Shortly after she arrived here, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. After surgery in early 1997, she went through 4 1/2 years of chemotherapy, radiation, and stem cell replacement therapy.

During her treatment, her new friends on Hatteras pitched in to bring her meals, clean her house, care for her family, and drive her to medical appointments in Elizabeth City and Norfolk. She was amazed and awed by the manner in which folks on the island rallied around her — a newcomer. She decided she had to do something to repay her new friends in her new home, and she settled upon the idea of a foundation that would help cancer patients on the island.

In November, 2000, Laney called some friends together, and she explained her vision for the Hatteras Island Cancer Foundation. By early 2001, the all-volunteer group had a board, officers, by-laws, and was ready to start raising money.

The goal of the foundation was simple — to help island cancer patients pay their medical bills and prescription drug bills that are not covered by insurance and help them pay travel expenses for treatment.

The Hatteras Island Cancer Foundation’s first fundraiser was a dance in March, 2001, featuring the Embers band. It was a huge success. Shortly after that triumphant beginning of the organization, Laney had a recurrence of her cancer. She died on July 5, 2001, surrounded by her family and friends. She was 48 years old.

Laney’s spirit and vision has been carried on throughout the years and hundreds of Island residents and their families have benefited from their neighbors’ generosity and thoughtfulness. Just as Laney was thankful for her neighbors and friends for helping her through such a difficult time, so too are today’s HICF grantees for the assistance we have been able to extend, only possible from our community’s support.

The foundation has a number of events and fundraisers scheduled for October.

All month long, the Drink Pink fundraiser is where Hatteras Island restaurants, coffee shops and even grocery stores come up with a pink colored drink in an effort to promote Breast Cancer Awareness month. Proceeds or a portion of the proceeds are then donated to the Hatteras Island Cancer Foundation. By supporting local businesses you are also helping a neighbor battling cancer.

Drink Pink was started in October 2014 by Jomi Price at Ketch 55 and has grown every year since with more and more restaurants and businesses getting involved. The drinks come in all different varieties; alcoholic, non-alcoholic, caffeinated, decaffeinated, and even cupcakes. Watch the HICF Facebook page for participating locations. Also, be sure to post your photos on social media and don’t forget to tag #HICFDrinkPink

For more info about the Hatteras Island Cancer Foundation, visit https://hicf.org/

About Sam Walker 1415 Articles
Sam Walker is news director for OBXToday.com, Beach 104, 99.1 The Sound, Big 94.5 WCMS and Z 92.3. Reach him at swalker3@jammediallc.com