Cancer patient and family pay it forward, help Hutchinson fire victims

HUTCHINSON, Kan. (KSNW) – Agencies across the State of Kansas are collecting donations for Reno County fire victims.

From shoes, clothes, toiletries, even Girl Scout cookies, people have dropped off a number of items at the Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Hutchinson.

“It’s a blessing to have any part of it,” said Katie Hamby. “It’s just that you know so many people don’t have a way financially so they are giving what they can to help.”

Hamby lives in Hutchinson. She has spear headed the donation drive at the church.

“It’s just a close-knit community and everybody is just so friendly and willing to help and be there for one another in a time of need and disaster,” Hamby said.

Hamby, a mother of four, said she knows that from first-hand experience.

“My son was diagnosed with leukemia about two years ago,” she said.

Hamby’s son Elijah was only 11-year-old when he was diagnosed with cancer.

“I asked my mom if it was OK to be scared, is the first thing I did,” said 13-year-old Elijah Hamby.

Elijah has been in and out of the hospital, sometimes weeks at a time. Hamby said she and her family have leaned on the Hutchinson community for support during Elijah’s cancer battle.

“They have done several different fundraisers for us, the community has really just out poured love to us,” Hamby said.

Hamby and Elijah said collecting donations for the fire victims is the least they can do, considering the support the community has given them in their time of need.

“It makes me feel good that as a community we can do it,” Elijah said.

Hamby said fire victims are free to pick up items at the Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Hutchinson. She said what doesn’t get picked up, will be sold. The profits will go to the Reno County Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster.