FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — A Fort Wayne hospice care business is recognizing a foundation for their work in getting cancer patients to their appointments during the pandemic.
The Pat Dyer Memorial Fund was born out countless hours of cancer treatment for Bud Dyer and his family, first for his wife Pat and their daughter Jenee, and eventually for Bud himself.
“I’ve sat for hours in a chemo chair and over hearing people, it’s costing them so much they meant living in Angola or Warsaw or someplace and, and pretty soon you run out of money on that, and that was our mission, to take care of those.”
Bud said his wife asked him to do whatever he could to help families struggling and he has done just that with the Pat Dyer Memorial Fund. They supply gas cards to families to help them pay for travel to and from cancer treatments. This has become increasingly difficult for some families who took a financial hit during the pandemic.
“As we know, going to appointments treatments doctor appointments, it’s just really hard for people, especially with the COVID pandemic financially,” said Amanda Craig, an account liaison for Heartland.
Craig was familiar with the memorial fund through previous jobs and her own medical history. When Heartland was looking for organizations to donate to, she felt that the Pat Dyer fund would be a great contender. The fund was ultimately chosen because their work helps both caregivers and cancer patients.
“We have the privilege of taking care of a lot of patients that have a diagnosis of cancer so it’s kind of something near and dear to our hearts as well, so we’re really grateful that they offer this service and kind of provide a little financial relief for those individuals,” said Christy Naylor, manager of business development for Heartland.
Heartland’s donation is appreciated after a year without being able to hold traditional fundraisers. The fund has also increased usability for the online donation portion of their website, as well as work to increase awareness of the fund through marketing. However, they have also been able to raise funds through the impact Bud has left on people in the community over the years.
“As far as our organization goes and fundraising, we weren’t able to host our largest fundraiser,” said Maggie Bakle, marketing and communications for the memorial fund. “This year, we were able to not really see a decrease in our fundraising because of his efforts of reaching out to his friends and letting them know that they’re still in need.”
As Bud adds, it is not just his friends that have stepped up to help.
“My wife taught school second grade for about 35 years in Fort Wayne,” said Bud. “I get notes from past students, giving us a donation to the cause, because as Mrs. Dyer there have grown up and they have children of their own, and they have illnesses of their own. They do it because of Mrs. Dyer.”