Longview woman creates outreach organization to assist cancer patients
TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - An East Texas woman diagnosed with stage-four cancer is on a mission to help others who also are battling the disease.
She’s founded an outreach organization to help families with the expense and difficulties of the long road through treatment and recovery.
46-year-old Marisa Ward is an evangelist in Longview, but her journey has taken her somewhere she didn’t expect. It began with a 2021 visit to a doctor.
“I was diagnosed with stage-four colon cancer, almost a death sentence for me as well. Everything happened so fast. I was diagnosed; the next week I had to have a colonoscopy, and when they saw how bad it was, I immediately had to go into surgery,” Ward said.
At first, she felt the normal depressing response.
“I went through a year of chemo. There were times when I wanted to give up. I actually spoke to my doctor about ending chemo. I thought about suicide,” she said.
But, through her travels to treatments, she experienced the hardships that other cancer patients had to go through as well.
“I started having to travel to Houston every two weeks. I was told, ‘These are a list of hotels for M.D. Anderson.’ $89 a night plus tax, a $50 deposit, $7 parking fee...many patients that I have encountered, it was a different ball game for them. There was no way they could afford 2, 3 ,4, 5 nights of $89 plus $50 deposit,” Marisa said.
She founded the Crowned with Goodness outreach foundation, which assists cancer patients with finances, lodging, transportation to treatments and even special events for families.
“We’re delivering hope in the midst of devastation. I go to treatment with patients whether I know them or not. I want my work to speak for me while I’m here, and while I still have time to do so,” she said.
Ward will be hosting an event called “Pamper Me and Family Day” for cancer patients and their families on March 4 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Garfield Community Center in Gladewater.
It’s the last event she’ll host before going in for surgery.
Her organization can be reached at CWGoutreach@gmail.com.
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