A little history about MCCSN

In January of 1992, approximately 20 people gathered at a local church to discuss the possibility of forming a cancer support group where cancer patients, survivors, and their family members could find support from other people that understood what they were going through. It was at this meeting they realized they had stumbled upon a real need. Cancer often means the loss of a pay check for a period of several weeks or months and while the income is not there the bills continue to come in. Many people, especially the young and the elderly are not able to deal with the extra financial strain. It was decided to officially form a non-profit support group under the name Multi- County Cancer Support Network----a long name that is so perfect for what this organization is about. The mission is simple to provide emotional, educational and financial support to cancer patients and survivors, their families and friends. We try to relieve the everyday crises of families touched by cancer in an eight county area which is Franklin, Moore, Lincoln, Grundy, Marion, Warren, Bedford and Coffee. Our office is located at 110B East Lauderdale Street here in Tullahoma. Our office hours are Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Our organization is governed by a board consisting of a president, vice-president, treasurer, secretary and 12 directors which meet monthly to review, approve and disburse funds to assist cancer patients who are currently undergoing treatments or have been placed under hospice care. Most of our officers and directors have been touched by cancer either themselves or a family member and they are really compassionate when it comes to cancer patients and their needs. We have two paid employees, Dottie Darnell, office manager who works three days per week and Kelly Duggan as office assistant who works one day per week or when Dottie is out of the office.

The organization and how we fulfill our mission
First: emotional support. Through the ordeal of dealing with doctor visits, the expenses, the unknown and the need for someone to talk to, we sponsor a quarterly support meeting-the first Thursday night in March, June, September and December. In March and June the meetings feature professionals who speak on topics of interest. It may be an inspirational talk from a fellow cancer survivor or a caregiver. Everyone needs a little fun in their life especially cancer patients and their families, therefore in September, we have a BBQ picnic and play bingo, and in December we have a Christmas potluck dinner and usually have Christmas music. These meetings are well attended and we have a great time. Everyone is invited to attend the support meetings in Tullahoma office. At these meetings there are other cancer survivors and their families who are more than willing to discuss with others their cancer, how they coped and what to expect from treatments.
Second: educational support. The organization offers a library of books, brochures and other resource material on topics related to coping with cancer. Our office manager is always willing to help in any way she can and refer you to other individuals or agencies which also might be willing to help.
Third: Financial support – Probably the most important of all. If you or someone in your family has had cancer you know that it can be a financial burden. Even with insurance it can be financially devastating. Not only is the patient out of work but a family member may need to take time off from work to go to doctor’s appointments or treatments or just needs to be at home. Two incomes could be lost in the family.

When we are contacted for financial assistance, Dottie or Kelly talks to each individual who visits or call the office, taking down information concerning their illness, treatments, and their financial situation. Confirmation from the treating doctor is obtained as to the diagnosis, treatment, how long, etc. All information is confidential. This information is then presented to the board each month for careful consideration on how we can best help. On average we consider 20-25 requests for financial assistance each month. Most times the best way we can help is to pay one or more utility bills. This in turn free up money that the family can use for other items. In addition, if the family needs food we give vouchers issued to Sav-A-Lot.

We also pay mileage to and from treatment centers while receiving treatment. The family can return for additional assistance as long as they are within 45 days of their last treatment or under the care of Hospice.

In the office we have wheelchairs, walkers, portable commodes, wigs, scarves, hats, bras and prosthesis free for cancer patients.

As you can see we provide a lot of services and that takes money. From January 1, 2014 until December 31, 2014 we expended approximately $107,933.00, helping 238 families in the eight counties we serve. Our biggest fund raiser is MCCSN’s Walk-A-Thon which is held in September in Winchester, and in 2014 we partnered with the Kate Walk held in Tullahoma. Also,a group in Lincoln County has a musical in March each year called the “Fabulous 50’s” for eight performances with approximately 800+ people attending each performance. Wish I could name all businesses and individuals who are so wonderful to support our organization Memorials are appreciated if you would like to make a donation to the organization when someone passes away. Acknowledgements are sent to families. Donations in honor of someone are also appreciated.

MCCSN has touched and will continue to touch a lot of people with cancer. The organization is truly a network of people volunteering time and energy to put together fundraisers, make phone calls, help with the preparation and mailing of the 1,650 plus monthly newsletters, and attending meetings to determine how the money will be best used. If anyone doesn’t receive our newsletter and would like to receive it, please call the office and give us your mailing address OR If anyone would like to receive it electronically, please let us know that also. The newsletter is also available on our website(www.mccsn.org). If you would like to volunteer some time or make a donation please call (931/393-4443 or go by our office at 110 East Lauderdale Street, Tullahoma.