By John Coleman
Seven years ago when I met Koko (Kommah McDowell) she was a survivor of a recently diagnosed rare form of breast cancer. So rare was this form of cancer that her doctor originally misdiagnosed her condition. She changed her doctor and hospital, underwent serious surgery and chemotherapy and went through a long period of recovery. Young, very bright, and outgoing, she was unable to do things she usually could do for herself. She asked for help but found few agencies capable to offer the help she needed. She then asked people in her family, friends, and church, and they responded. They organized to take her back and forth to treatments, grocery shop, cook, clean and to complete planning for her upcoming wedding.
Through this trial, McDowell realized there was a need. In addition to rebuilding her health, she spent the next two years planning and preparing to provide the kind of organization and service program she desperately looked for.
In 2008, McDowell opened the Kommah Seray Inflammatory Breast Cancer Foundation (KSIBCF) in Covina partnering with the highly regarded City of Hope National Medical Center. KSIBCF operates a full calendar of programs and frequently is contacted by individuals and organizations offering fund-raising events and sponsorships. With the current climate of budget cuts, KSIBCF continues to accept clients who meet qualifying (medical) criteria and report their lists of "top three unmet needs" for a grant of up to $500.00 for a period of three months. These grants might cover grocery costs, utility bills, co-payments, in-home health services, and other needed services. The KSIBCF Survivor Assistance Service provides prosthetics like lymphadema sleeves or mastectomy bras and help for the tastes, smells, food avoidance and other side effects of chemotherapy. The Foundation recently held its open house at its new location 536 South Second St., Covina, Ca 91723. For more information on the foundation, contact 626.966.2900 or e-mail: Kommahfirstname.lastname@example.org.
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