Wichita non-profit helps cancer patients in unique way

Dorothy Landrum was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005. Landrum is just one cancer patient assisted by the Wichita Cancer Foundation. Photo Courtesy Dorothy Landrum

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – It’s another day of training for 17-year-old Philip Landrum, a South High track star who holds the state record in the 100-meter.  His mother, Dorothy, is his biggest cheerleader.

“Go Phil! Go, go, go, go!” she yells, cheering him on from the bleachers as he sprints the WSU track.

The high school senior says he doesn’t mind the heat because his mom inspires him.  She’s not a runner, but a fighter.

“I was diagnosed in 2005 with Stage 2 breast cancer,” said Dorothy Landrum.  “I had, I believe, four tumors.”

She beat the cancer, only to have it come back last fall even worse– Stage 4 and inoperable.  Yet she’s optimistic.

“There’s no way I can lose this. Whether I’m here or in heaven, it will never beat me, and there’s no way to lose,” said Landrum, with a smile. “The only way to lose is if you don’t put up a fight, and if you don’t show up.”

“It takes a real special person to go through it twice and never give up,” said Philip.

Especially when the medical bills can wipe out a family’s savings.

“I don’t know how anyone affords this.  I’ve heard of people having to mortgage their houses, not being able to send their kids to college,” said Landrum.

That’s where the Wichita Cancer Foundation comes in, helping patients who are caught in a vicious cycle.

“Once they find out they have cancer, they lose their job,” said Steve Peterson, Chairman of WCF. “Now they’re at risk of losing their cancer coverage, their ability to pay their premiums and their ability to receive coverage.”

By making the monthly insurance payments for local patients who qualify, the Wichita Cancer Foundation ensures their lifesaving treatment will continue.

“So to have that help to where all you have to worry about is your kids and getting better… that’s huge,” said Landrum.

The Wichita Cancer Foundation was founded just over two years ago. Patients who live in Sedgwick County or get their treatment here are eligible for the financial help.

So far, donations have allowed WCF to help 79 patients through $280,000 worth of insurance payments.

To apply for help or to donate to WCF, click here.