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If you have ever heard me talk about Cancer Services of Grant County (CSGC), then you have heard me say these three things: our programs evolve to meet the needs of the community, everything we do is 100% free, and we wouldn’t be able to do what we do without the support of our community. 2023 was a prime example of CSGC adapting to meet the needs of the community, while simultaneously dealing with a flood AND a truck driving through the reception area of our office.

It all started Christmas weekend of 2022 when a failed water line caused a flood in the office. Then in February, while we were still dealing with flood repairs, a gentleman drove his truck into our building causing significant damage. Our office was turned upside down and thrown into chaos. And on top of all of that, we had one of our busiest years ever here at CSGC!

In June of this year, Progressive Cancer Care (PCC) temporarily stopped treating patients for four months while updated radiation equipment was installed. This temporary closure meant all of their patients had to be sent to Muncie for radiation. We worked closely with the staff at PCC to ensure all of their patients were able to make it to their treatments. During this four-month period our gas assistance increased by 164% and the number of clients who needed help with rides increased by 291%. I am happy to say that we successfully assisted 100% of the people who came through our doors during this difficult period.

CSGC has been in Grant County since 1959 helping people in our community facing cancer. We help anyone who lives, works, or is treated in Grant County. We help with prescriptions, transportation, equipment, supplies, financial guidance, education, navigation, and more. And we provide all of these services 100% free of charge. We open our doors everyday to help those facing cancer. Our funding comes from fundraisers, grants, donations, memorials, and estates. And all of the money raised stays right here in Grant County to help local people with their cancer journey.

To say that it has been a difficult year would be a huge understatement; however, even in the face of all this adversity, we were still able to help so many people. You see, even though we were displaced for eight months and our lives were a little chaotic, we still had clients who needed us, and we showed up for them…every day. I am humbly and respectfully asking you to continue to rally around CSGC. Your tax-deductible donation helps us meet the ever-increasing needs of those facing cancer in Grant County.

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Chronicle Tribune Article - May 9, 2023

On Friday, May 5, Cancer Services of Grant County hosted its 24th annual Walk of Hope in downtown Marion.

Executive Director Rocky Whitehead said the event is the organization’s biggest fundraiser of the year, and he enjoys seeing the community at the event.

“It is one of the ways we raise funds to be able to do what we do and not charge a fee for our service,” Whitehead said. “Everything we do for clients that walk through our doors is 100 percent free.”

Whitehead said Cancer Services of Grant County has been in the area since 1959 and was created because Grant County has a high cancer rate.

“We were started by Grant County residents, and we’re here for Grant County residents,” he added. “A lot of people think we’re part of the American Cancer Society or Marion Health, but we’re not. We work closely with Marion Health, but we’re not part of it.”

Whitehead also said the organization provides services like transportation to appointments, prescriptions, and providing hospital supplies like beds, walkers or shower chairs. They also have wigs, hats or turbans for individuals who may have lost their hair during chemotherapy treatment.

Whitehead was pleased with the turnout of the community at the event this year, he said, but that’s the same way he feels every year.

“I’ve been here 10 years,” he said. “That is one of the best feelings, and it gives me goosebumps to see so many people come together for a cause like that and to show the folks who are facing cancer that they have a bigger support system than they thought.”

He also said he is proud of how willing the community is to come to an event like the Walk of Hope.

“This is a very giving community that we’re in,” he added. “Everyone is willing to step up and help.”

While the Walk of Hope is Cancer Services of Grant County’s largest fundraiser, the organization also has other events, like a golf scramble in August and a fun run in October.

For more information on Cancer Services of Grant County and its future events, visit the organization’s website.

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Chronicle-Tribune Article - March 15, 2023 Cancer Services of Grant County (CSGC) has had a rough start to the year but wants people to know it is still open and serving the community. Over the holidays during the extreme cold of Christmas weekend, like many people and organizations, burst pipes caused some damage. A neighbor’s pipes burst and leaked through the adjoining wall for the whole weekend, leading to a significant amount of water damage. Cancer Services of Grant County got to work, however, and ripped out flooring, cabinetry and other items damaged by water to begin the repairs.

Unfortunately, the water damage was just the beginning. At the beginning of February, a vehicle ran into the front of the building, causing extensive damage to the exterior and interior. Rocky Whitehead, Executive Director of CSGC, said thankfully, the person who sat at the desk by the window that was hit had just left the room, so nobody was injured.

The inspector said it was unsafe for anyone to work in the space, but since CSGC has two suites, it combined everything into the undamaged suite and has continued to operate during repairs. “It took us a couple weeks to move over here, to get kind of a new sense of normal,” Whitehead said. “There was a lot of ‘are you guys still open?’ So we’ve been trying to (say) ‘we’re still here, don’t mind our mess, we’re kind of shuffled around, but we’re still here helping folks.’”

The upheaval has made it difficult to plan for this year’s Walk of Hope. Walk of Hope is CSGC’s biggest fundraiser of the year and is on May 5 at 6:30 p.m. at 101 N. Washington St. in Marion at Riverside Community Federal Credit Union. Since CSGC has been focused on repairs while still meeting the needs of clients, it has not been able to promote or market the walk as much as usual.

“It’s absolutely affected our day-to-day operations and also our fundraising,” Whitehead said. “We’ve historically had anywhere from 3000 to 4000 people register for this event each year, so that’s one of our biggest fundraisers to be able to provide that help that we do to folks. So that’s really my biggest worry, is promoting the walk and making sure that doesn’t take a big hit.”

The number of people currently registered for the walk is a little behind the typical numbers CSGC sees at this point of the year, which Whitehead described as a red flag for him.

Registration for Walk of Hope 2023 is $5 and an additional fee of $15-18 includes a t-shirt. This year, the shirts for the walk say, “in this family, no one walks alone.”

Whitehead looks at Walk of Hope as a big support system for the cancer community in Grant County. “When people come in and they register with us, we consider them a part of our Cancer Services family for as long as they need us,” Whitehead said. “I’ve always wanted to see a huge group out there of folks to be able to show the people facing cancer in this community that they have a bigger support system of folks around them than what they originally anticipated.”

Those interested in showing support at Walk of Hope 2023 can register online at or in the office at 305 S Norton Ave. in Marion.

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