Real Cowley County Stories
In 2010, a 35-year-old mother of two young children, ages 1 and 4, is diagnosed with terminal breast cancer. She has medical insurance, but the costs mount for many reasons: • Travel to treatments • Babysitting • High heating bill to keep mom warm • Home medical equipment • Hospital co-pays • Eating out • Burial. The family holds a poker run to defray some of the thousands of dollars in bills. “People don't realize that all these little things add up,” the woman's sister says.
Another local family without health insurance is forced to use credit cards in 2001 to pay for the mother's chemotherapy treatment for breast cancer. Several years later, in 2009, the husband is diagnosed with leukemia. Mom quits work to care for him; the family loses their house. Medical bills and credit problems continue to weigh on the family. “The financial repercussions go on and on,” the mother says.
Six months before she died, Shannon wrote the following for a column in the Arkansas City Traveler and Winfield Courier as a part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
“… Having breast cancer has taught me to enjoy the days more, even when you're tired. Cancer has not robbed me of my joy. If anything,
I smile more.
For me, I think ‘why should I give up my personality because of a disease?’ No, not today, not ever. I'm going to continue to be me through it all ... at the end of the day faith, family, friends and community heal a life. Thank you all.”
The Shannon Seaton Memorial Fund continues to provide grants to help ease the financial burden on families in Cowley County fighting this deadly disease, and fulfills Shannon's legacy of providing kindness and comfort to her neighbors and community.
The most recent grant in memory of Shannon was awarded today.