A Crosby family and their friends have organized a fund-raiser this summer in memory and honor of their mother and friend, Erin Broadhead, who at 50 years old lost her fight with colon cancer this past December.
Erin’s Wish, a weekend full of activities and entertainment, will be held in Ironton on the last days of July to raise funds for Cuyuna Regional Medical Center’s Courage Cabinet, which financially supports cancer patients.
On Saturday, July 30, events will take place at the Town Tavern in Ironton. Beginning at 11 a.m., a variety of food and a dunk tank will be available. A bag tournament with prizes for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places begins at 3 p.m. and a meat raffle will take place at 6:30 p.m. A live concert with the band Yesterdaze will begin at 8 p.m. and the winners of a cash raffle drawing will be announced later. Sunday, July 31, the fun begins with a pancake breakfast from 8 to 11 a.m. at the Ironton American Legion. A motorcycle run will also start there at 10 a.m.
Broadhead’s last wish was to give back to the Courage Cabinet and for others to be able to benefit from her loss. Her son Reid Peterson is organizing Erin’s Wish together with his brothers Fletcher and Mason and numerous friends. They plan to promote the event with a float in Crosby’s Fourth of July parade.
“This fund-raiser will be way more than she ever imagined,” said Peterson. “Actually seeing the impact the Courage Cabinet had on her was huge; this was really important to her, and it was important for her to pay it forward.”
Peterson hopes Erin’s Wish will become an annual memorial fund-raiser for the Courage Cabinet. He said not many people know that the Courage Cabinet is available to help patients not only with their medical bills but for whatever they need help with at the time.
His mother was a recipient of Courage Cabinet funds when she urgently needed support. “Yes, it’s financial help but it is also so much more,” Peterson stated. “You can’t imagine what someone with cancer goes through when they can’t afford to live a normal life. The Courage Cabinet support was a huge help to Mom, it just helped her feel more normal.”
CRMC’s Courage Cabinet makes cancer patient’s journey a little easier by providing financial assistance to help meet basic needs and allow them to focus on healing. The funds are used to provide things like travel assistance, nutrition supplements, medications, compression garments, and more to those in the fight of their lives.
Family Nurse Practitioner Tara Charboneau, CRMC’s Director of Oncology Services, says the Cancer Center’s patient volume has increased by over 50 percent in the past year and with that many more patients there definitely is more of a need for support.
She described how recently a patient with a limited income received funds, and it was immensely helpful for her to obtain groceries and pay for gas. Charboneau said without the support, the patient wouldn’t have been able to travel to CRMC for treatment and wouldn’t have enough food.
“The Courage Cabinet is a huge relief for patients,” Charboneau said. “The fact that we provide the gas cards and funds helps profoundly. Patients aren’t worrying about how they can afford treatment or get their medicine filled for nausea. The support takes that worry off them and helps them concentrate more on their cancer care.”
The amount of funds distributed to cancer patients at CRMC has increased every year. Last year, a total of $33,000 was awarded and through May this year, $20,000 has been distributed. With the soaring price of gas, the amount of gas cards needed is expected to increase substantially.
The Courage Cabinet’s vision is that all who face cancer can do so with dignity, confidence, and serenity. In addition to Erin’s Wish, Courage Cabinet funds are raised through CRMC’s annual Kaleidoscope event and the generosity of local donors. Every dollar donated remains in the community and goes to local families. For more information about the fund or to make a donation, visit https://cuyunamed.org/news-events/kaleidoscope-support-courage-cabinet