(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) A St. Joseph family is asking for help paying their mom's cancer treatment bills.
Elizabeth Ballard is undergoing chemotherapy for lung cancer but the medical bills are piling up. Ballard's family is hosting a fundraiser to help her pay for her treatment.
After three months of radiation treatment for her small cell lung cancer, Ballard said she is trying to maintain a normal life. When she is well, Ballard continues to work at Alorica.
"The chemo makes me sick to where I can't work full time, and I'm still trying to do what I can," Ballard said.
Ballard’s daughter Shylo Dahle said her mother's diagnosis came as a shock to her, but the family has a history of cancer.
“We have a lot of cancer that runs in our family, and it’s something you never think you would hear about your own mother.” Dahle said. "We just lost my grandmother a little over a year ago."
Ballard has also lost her son to cancer. Her sister-in-law Claudine Donaldson said Ballard somehow finds a way to keep moving forward.
“There’s been hard times and she’s kept it upbeat most generally all the time," Donaldson said. "She’s still working hard and fighting for herself today."
Honey Engum met Ballard two years ago at work. She said Ballard's family is a great emotional support system but the financial stress is too much for them to bear.
"Medical bills aren't cheap these days," Engum said. "Surgeries are getting more and more expensive."
A fundraiser is not a new venture for the family. Ballard organized a benefit for her father and now it's nice to know that others are willing to do it for her.
"My dad passed away with lung cancer, so I actually did a benefit for him back then and so I really appreciate all the help coming my way now.”
The benefit will include a taco bar, silent auction, a raffle and live music from Old Souls and Kalani and the Midlanders.
Raffle tickets can be purchased at the event, or in advance by contacting Beth at 816-752-2097 or Claudine at 816-271-3252. Monetary donations can also be made on behalf of the Elizabeth Ballard Cancer Fund at BMO Harris Bank at 4305 Frederick Blvd.
The fundraiser will be held on Sunday, Jan. 13, from 12-6 pm at the Eagles Lodge. Tickets will be sold at the door for $6.