Last May, Debra Raye, a Texas native who moved to Indiana with her daughter in 2018, went in for a uterine biopsy. Two and a half weeks later the family received a heartbreaking phone call that said Raye has terminal uterine cancer.
Kara Kochell, Raye’s daughter, immediately went into action. While calling insurance companies and caring for her mother was already a full-time job, Kochell managed to find time to go back to college last year too. She went for a nursing degree to become a palliative care nurse, or a nurse who works with terminally ill patients, to better understand and help her mom’s situation.
Now, with the help of Debbie Wright, a friend from Crosspoint Fellowship, the family is having a fundraiser Sunday at Cost Cutters to raise money to help with medical bills and other expenses.
Kochell has been told by Medicare that there is not much insurance can do for her mom because she is terminal.
“They think, ‘why help, she’s going to die,’” Raye said through tears.
On top of taking care of her mom, Kochell has faced her own health struggles. She currently has four nodules on her thyroid that are going to have to be removed. She goes to the doctor Tuesday to discuss treatment options. Kochell tries not to focus on her health issues, though, to ensure she can take care of her mom.
Raye starts another round of radiation on Tuesday and will go through transvaginal revisions after that. However, because it is a terminal diagnosis, radiation is only taking away the pain.
Yet through it all, the family has kept their religion at the forefront.
“Doctors say that is not going to cure it, but I also know what my Jesus says, so I don’t put a lot of stock in what doctors and what reports say. I know what science says, but I’ve also seen miracles happen. So we pray for a miracle,” Kochell said.
And then about a month ago Wright, a hairdresser at Cost Cutters, woke up in the middle of the night with an idea to help the family. The next morning Wright pitched the idea of a fundraiser to her regional manager who almost immediately approved the event.
Wright, who had her own battle with cancer seven years ago, beating ovarian cancer, understood how difficult it was for their family and knew they needed support.
“I know what type of people they are because we’ve done events for our church together, and they are at every one. They help so much and I knew we needed to help them,” Wright said. “And God has provided all of this, it’s just crazy how it’s fallen into place.”
The family is very excited for the event and wanted to express thanks to Cost Cutters and Cross Point Fellowship. Kochell agreed with Wright saying this fundraiser couldn’t have happened if it weren’t for their faith.
“When you keep Jesus at the center of it, there’s nothing you can’t do,” Kochell said.
The fundraiser will be 1-6 p.m. Sunday at Cost Cutters, 1843 S. U.S. 231. There will be haircuts by donations, face painting, a lemonade stand, a baked goods and fresh produce sale and raffle baskets. Mayor Todd Barton and Debra Raye will be there to help pull tickets for the raffle.
To purchase tickets for the raffle, stop by Cost Cutters or call Debbie Wright at 765-362-9843.