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Financial aid sought for terminal cancer patient

April 7, 2011

Local cancer patient Sandee Dohnel Moore and her buddy, Livingston. Her friends are asking the community to help make the last days of her life more comfortable by donating what it can to help pay for rent and other essentials. Photo submitted

Local cancer patient Sandra “Sandee” Dohnel Moore never needed help before, her friends explained, and it was even harder for her to ask for it. So her friends are doing it for her.
Moore has terminal breast cancer and her doctors have told her she only has a short time to live. To make matters worse, her friends said, Moore is having trouble paying the bills, let alone setting anything aside – as grim as it sounds – for inevitable funeral costs she doesn’t want to burden loved ones with.
“She also made the most difficult decisions of her life recently,” friend Kate Roberts said, “That was to let go of having her then 13-year-old son Justin who had lived with her. He was to go live with his father.”
Roberts explained Moore became too sick to be able to care for her teenaged son, but he remains a big part of Moore’s life.
According to Roberts, Moore’s friends are seeking help with paying Moore’s rent, utilities and other essentials. There is also the reality, Roberts explained, that financial assistance will be needed for funeral costs, too.
Moore began her battle with breast cancer in 2006 and has not been able to work full-time since then. The fight with the disease has taken its toll on her and she was told one year ago that, at best, she had 18 months to live. Unfortunately, the latest report from her doctor is that she’s right on course, said Roberts.
There was a time when Moore didn’t need any help, Roberts said. She used to punch cows and was a small business owner.
Moore’s a cowgirl and a former packer at Rock Creek Pack Station. “Cowboys and cowgirls like to do things on their own,” Roberts said. It was Moore’s love of and background with horses that inspired her to come to Bishop in 1992 from the Bay Area. She held several jobs working with horses locally.
She also pursued her love of food. During her time in Bishop she became the regional sales director of Pampered Chef and also started a lunch business at the high school called Let’s Do Lunch Street Cafe. Moore also ran a hot dog stand in downtown Bishop.
A year after her doctor gave her 18 months to live. With mounting medical bills and declining health, Moore reluctantly made a phone call to the American Cancer Society and the ACS, in return got in touch with the Eastern Sierra Breast Cancer Alliance.
The ESBCA is the local advocacy group that assists patients, male and female, with any sort of cancer. The group’s primary goal is to provide monetary, and when needed, emotional support and information to patients in need. The ESBCA helps patients having to drive to Reno, for example, with gas money and lodging, or help with doctor’s appointments, or assistance via the staff’s knowledge and experience with cancer. Most of the ESBCA volunteers are nurses or have a health care background.
“With help from ESBCA and friends, it was quickly discussed and agreed that Sandee needed more financial help with just six months to live,” Roberts said.
Friends of Moore and the ESBCA are asking the community to donate whatever they can to help this “brave and courageous woman.” Donations can be given at the Eastern Sierra Community Bank for the benefit of Sandra D. Moore.
For further information on how to help, contact Kate Roberts at (760) 873-5111 or Sherie Puls at (760) 873-3640.

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