Rising gas prices means a fight for survival - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Rising gas prices means a fight for survival

By Jena Johnson - bio | email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) – In less than a week, the price of gas has jumped more than 12 cents a gallon. No one knows when the increasing prices will settle.

For many of us, the price at the pump is really just a pain in our pocketbook, but for some East Texans, filling up really could mean life or death.

Corey Stokes is just 25-years-old and is battling Lymphoma.

"Shocked," said Stokes. "Being so young it's hard to believe."

Before the shock could wear off, Corey's treatments began.

"He put me on a four chemo treatment plan and after four, they did a PET scan, and that had showed it spread to two other areas. But, the chemo was doing what it was supposed to, so he added four more and then after I finished up me chemo, I started radiation every day," Corey says.

Corey now spends his lunch breaks at The ETMC Cancer Institute. Corey drives roughly 100 miles a day so he can continue working while undergoing radiation.

"I think one month I spent about $1100 in fuel," he said.

Stokes works in an oil field in Henderson County. He says he's missed about three weeks of work so far.

"I'm not able to work nearly as much as I was, so my paychecks have got cut—I'd say probably down a third of what they used to be."

In Corey's case, the rising gas prices impact far deeper than his wallet. Now, he's questioning how he's going to get treatment.

"I've got monthly payments like everybody else, and spending $25 a day right now on fuel, and what they're saying, it's going to up to like $5, $5.50 a gallon. And since I drive a diesel, there's no telling what diesel is going to be."

If it comes down to his truck or treatments, Corey says the truck would go.

"I've thought about buying a little small car, and just using that. That way, I might save or spend the same amount as I do now, whenever it gets high, you know."

Considering Corey's situation, he's in good spirits, just living life to its fullest—day by day.

"I just try to not let it affect me. I just keep living my normal life and doing normal things, and don't get out of a routine," Corey explains.

A routine now threatened by something else, that Corey has no way to control.

The ETMC Cancer Institute Remembrance Fund and American Cancer Society can help cancer patients with fuel expenses, but the funds are limited because they rely solely on donations.

If you are interested in helping, you can contact either group.

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