By Lynette Fager
In 2000, the movie “Pay It Forward” hit theaters and caused a surge in the idea of repaying a kind deed with a kind deed for someone else. That idea of paying it forward is what inspired Jill Sample to raise money for Cancer Services of Northeast Indiana.
A year ago and a half ago, Jill was diagnosed with leiomyosarcoma, a rare cancer that affects smooth muscle cells. No stranger to struggles (almost 30 years ago Jill was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma), she underwent surgery to remove the cancer and today she is living a normal, healthy life. Recovery, however, wasn’t easy.
“I knew I would need a hospital bed at home after surgery,” said Jill. “A friend recommended I contact Cancer Services.”
She did and Cancer Services came to her home, set up the hospital bed and removed it when she no longer needed it.
“It was extremely helpful to my recovery,” said Jill.
Because of her experience with Cancer Services, Jill wanted to give back and on May 21, 2011, she rode in the Zoo-De-Mack, a 51-mile bike ride in Michigan. She campaigned for sponsors and raised funds and donated everything she earned—$1,500!—to Cancer Services. The five-hour ride was intense, but Jill says it was worth it!
“Cancer Services does a lot for the community and it did a lot for me, and I wanted to pay it back for the help it gave me,” said Jill.