Jimmy Lucas was diagnosed July 29, 2012, two years before doctors recommend an annual colonoscopy. He was told the aches and pains he attributed to “getting older” were actually the result of a soda can-sized tumor. Lucas underwent 27 radical radiation and 54 chemotherapy treatments immediately. On Nov. 1, he had surgery to remove the tumor and is currently continuing a 6-month chemo regimen.
Lucas works for Coca-Cola but, due to his health treatments, has had to cut back on work hours. His wife, Jennifer, is an LVN with 1st Choice Home Health. He has two children: Tyler, who now lives in Dallas, and daughter Kylie, who lives at home with Jimmy and Jennifer. While the family has insurance, there’s still a lot that it doesn’t pay for, including the deductible which started anew Jan. 1. In addition to chemo, Lucas still faces another surgery to remove the colostomy bag.
To help the family, friends of the Lucases are holding a stew benefit Friday, March 22, behind Janeen’s Country Cottage at the corner of Davis and Bonner streets, beside Sulphur Springs Fire Department’s Central Fire Station on Bonner Street. Stew, cheese, crackers and dessert will be served for $7 a bowl until the food is gone. Tables and refreshments are available at the site for those who stop by. Deliveries can be arranged for orders of five or more bowls by contacting Karen Powers at 903-348-3549.
“In this time of struggle, we ask that you come together to help the Lucas family. The goal is to help minimize the medical bills, help with food, gas and anything else they need,” friends wrote in a press release promoting the upcoming benefit.
A webpage has also been set up for people who wish to contribue to help the family. Go online to http://www.gofundme.com/wegotthis; Lucas’ page is listed as Jimmy Lucas’ Fight to Beat Cancer. The site was established Feb. 6 and, as of the last posting March 4, 19 people had contributed $1,900 — 20 percent of the total amount needed. Funds can be posted with a message or even anonymously.
“Wow! Thanks everyone! Almost 20% there. I have had lots of questions about this site. It is real, it does work and it isn’t a scam. This money goes primarily to pay for chemo treatments, ileostomy supplies and general needs. ... It’s just an easier way to give without having to meet up with someone, use credit or debit card and for friends that live outside our community. Thanks again to those who have helped us. It is appreciated and will never be forgotten!” Lucas posted March 4 on gofundme.com.
“Please note that no amount is too small. One dollar can go a long way and for those who wish to donate anonymously, there is the option to do so,” the initial Feb. 6 post on gofundme.com stated.
Britney Bowen, a friend of the Lucas family, noted that most of the amount raised during the March 22 benefit “is to help with the deductible.”
Family and friends ask the community to “please keep the Lucas family and Jimmy in your thoughts and prayers and remember to visit your doctor regularly to ensure early detection.”
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