Community rallies to help dying woman 0
Gillian Patrick is in stage four of her cancer but can hardly afford to live with her Ontario Disability Support Program payments.
COLLINGWOOD — The story of a local woman dying of cancer and struggling to pay the bills has generated an outpouring of support.
Widower and cancer survivor Donna Holloway was so moved by the tale of Gillian Patrick offered to "be a shoulder to cry on" for the former hairstylist now in the final stages of battling cancer.
"The government is not there for you," Holloway told the E-B when she called, looking to get in contact with Patrick."There are those little things that crop up, and you can't do it (financially).
"You really lose your dignity," she said. "You wonder why this is happening, and you just get so embarrassed."
Patrick is on the Ontario Disability Support Program, and receives the maximum — $1,064 — plus a $200 top-up because she is terminally ill.
Of Patrick's ODSP payment, $474 is intended to go to shelter costs — but her rent is $895. Most of her medication is paid for under ODSP, but it doesn't take into account over-the-counter drugs that are needed to treat the side-effects from strong cancer medication.
Colleen Foster said she found Patrick's tale compelling, when she called the newspaper looking for a way to assist.
"It just touched me," she said.
Dorothy Warlow said she and her husband recently moved to the area, and have made it a habit to help where they can.
"We felt somebody in that stage of her life, she probably can't do much for herself, deserves a little help," said Warlow. "And (Patrick), knowing that people do care, would probably perk up her spirits."
Collingwood's Journey Community Church has stepped up to the plate to help co-ordinate assistance for Patrick. Anyone wishing to help out can call 705-445-9800.