Cancer support charity started by young widow spreads nationwide

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — With any major illness, it’s the patient that receives the attention, the support, and the care. And rightfully so. But, there’s often another person in the shadows right by their side: the caregiver.

Cocktails and Chemo was started as a simple blog, a place where Amanda and Joe Clark could share their experiences following a colon cancer diagnosis when Joe was just 28 years old.

“He got diagnosed right before our wedding,” said Amanda. “Canceled our honeymoon, went straight into chemotherapy, then had about a year off, got blessed with a baby, find out we’re pregnant and a week later found out his cancer is back.”

On the blog, Joe would write posts from his perspective as a patient. Amanda would follow with perspectives from a caregiver.

“The more we would write, people would share our content and we started connecting with all these different families,” said Amanda.

Unfortunately, as the blog’s popularity spread, so did Joe’s cancer.

“Before he died, he looked at me and said ‘Amanda, this is something. Cocktails and Chemo is something. I don’t know what it is, but there’s something here,'” said Amanda.

Following Joe’s death in 2014, Amanda decided to turn her grief into action – transforming the blog into a resource for caregivers. She asked for nominations and set a goal of sending one care package a month. Nominations poured in, one month turned to three, which turned into packing parties where hundreds of care packages were being made and sent out.

“There’s just not a lot of support out there for caregivers,” said Amanda. “When you’re in that role, you’re focused 100 percent on your family, on your loved one, so sending care packages to people…sometimes, it’s just the little things.”

Cocktails and Chemo’s latest undertaking is anything but little. The organization is now raising money to provide grants to families in need. During the treatment process, finding money to pay for things like childcare can become overwhelming. Because of Cocktails and Chemo, families in need are now receiving a much-needed lifeline.

If you would like to help support Cocktails and Chemo, the organization is always in need of monetary donations and volunteers. For more information, click here.

The organization is also currently selling tickets to their 2019 fundraiser, a comedy event featuring stand-up comedian Brent Terhune. To purchase tickets, click here.


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