Online cancer campaignPublished 8:03pm Thursday, July 25, 2013
When the diagnosis is cancer, the last thing on a patient’s mind is how to pay for surgery, reconstruction, chemotherapy. But when you have no health insurance, it’s an overriding concern.
That’s why Sara Peed has stepped in to help raise funds for her mother’s mastectomy on Aug. 2. Gayle Griekspoor, who many would recognize as the voice behind Century Answering Service, was diagnosed with breast cancer last Thursday. Griekspoor is owner of the small business, and has no health insurance, so to offset medical costs, Peed has created an account on the website Giveforward.com to raise money for Greikspoor’s care.
“I’d seen GiveForward done for a few people who have passed away from cancer,” Peed said. “I figured ‘Why not?’ It would help.”
As an Army wife, Peed became well-versed in keeping up with friends all over the world via the Internet, so it was a natural fit to go online to raise funds for her mother. She described a simple process that allowed her to get Griekspoor’s Give Forward account up and running — a process that, after a month, ends with a check from the web business to Griekspoor. Seven percent is taken out of the total funds raised and donated to the American Cancer Society.
While Peed was required to set a fundraising goal on the website, she said the $50,000 she chose for the goal does not represent an actual goal, because every little bit will help.
“Her biopsy alone was $6,800,” Peed said. “We have no clue what, in the end, it’s going to cost her.”
According to her daughter, Griekspoor is currently looking at costs associated with a mastectomy, dye injection to gauge whether the cancer has spread, another mammogram, a full-body MRI and, perhaps, chemotherapy.
“Fifty thousand is the number I put up there and I’m hoping that’s enough to cover the surgery and get her a new breast,” Peed said. “As long as she’s healthy she couldn’t care less about having a new boob, but as a younger woman, I wanted to be able to do that for her.”
Griekspoor is a native of Beaufort County who grew up in Acre Station, one of eleven children. It was when her family moved home from Las Vegas, where her husband was transferred by Hackney VT, that she took over the answering service her grandmother started in the 1970s. Over the years, local doctors’ offices, janitorial services and other businesses have relied on Griekspoor’s message-taking 24 hours a day, seven days a week, Peed said.
Regardless of whether a person can donate to the GiveForward campaign, the website serves as its own messaging service for those who would like to leave an encouraging word, according to Peed.
“My main reason (for doing this) is, I think the struggle of cancer should be enough,” Peed said. “I don’t think she should have to struggle with how much it’s going to cost her to get better.”
To donate to Gayle Griekspoor’s breast cancer fund, visit www.giveforward.com and search for her name in the provided area. The fundraiser ends on Aug. 17.