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Ladies of the Lake donate to cancer care

The Ladies of the Lake Cancer Support Group turned COVID social distancing into an art form with the help of Keith Papke, a photographer/videographer who owns the Raleigh-based business Original Mind Productions. Keith also has a home on Lake Gaston.

“A mutual friend introduced us to the ladies and in conversations they were telling me about their biggest fundraiser – the home tour – and the fact that they weren’t going to be able to hold it because of COVID,” Papke said. “Cancer has run through our family like almost every family and I looked at it as an opportunity to support the cause and give back.”

Sue Williams of the Ladies of the Lake said Keith donated his time and expertise to make a virtual home tour happen by photographing and videoing the homes for the 2020 tour. He also created the website for the tour.

“We just were devastated about not being able to hold our home tour, but Keith volunteered to do everything to make the virtual tour happen,” Williams said.

People can still visit the holiday homes online by going to LadiesoftheLake.info. People can also still donate to the cause on that site as well. The 2020 tour was the group’s 15th annual event, but the first one that was virtual.

According to Sue, the virtual tour was very successful, which led to the group making yet another sizeable donation to the CMH Foundation Cancer Care Fund.

The group presented a $5,000 check to Ken Kurz, director of marketing and development at CMH and Teresa Collins, director of the radiation and medical oncology department at CMH.

“The Ladies of the Lake Cancer Support Group has been a tremendous supporter of our Cancer Care Fund through the years,” Kurz said. “The ladies’ support has helped countless patients.”

“Even in the midst of a pandemic, these ladies amaze me with their dedication and diligence to provide assistance to our cancer patients,” Collins said. “They are a true inspiration and continue to positively impact the lives of others.  These ladies are angels and true heroes.”

According to Teresa, often during treatment, many patients may lose their insurance or face other financial issues like being unable to work, which makes nausea and pain medications very difficult to afford.

The Cancer Care Fund is designed to help offset the cost of these medications.

Anyone interested in donating to the VCU Health CMH Cancer Care Fund may call (434) 447-0857 or visit vcu-cmh.org.