For Bob and Laurie Bruce, what could have been one of the most difficult experiences of their lives was instead improved by the kindness and generosity of friends and family — and total strangers.
Laurie was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in November of 2017. This news was bad enough, but it quickly became apparent the couple wouldn’t be able to cover all of the costs related to her treatment.
Necessities like travel and accommodations were simply outside of their limited budget.
Fundraising began with friends at the Army Navy & Airforce Veterans Club with donations and raffles, but things really changed when they took their cause to GoFundMe, which was featured in a Jan. 19, 2018, KTW story.
“That was totally awesome,” Laurie said. “We came close to $6,000.”
The donations covered all of their expenses.
“Any less would have been tough,” said husband Bob, “Any more would have been surplus.”
Thanks to the fundraising efforts, they were able to purchase an affordable van for the trips to and from Vancouver.
Their landlord offered them free rent for a month-and-a-half.
“When Bob told me that, I just sat there and cried,” Laurie said.
With their costs covered, the couple headed for the coast in February for Laurie’s surgery.
According to the Bruces, it couldn’t have gone better.
“I had the surgery Feb, 28. I was home two days after,” Laurie said. “And I was in no pain, no nothing, I was just amazed.”
Tests following Laurie’s surgery have shown no further cancer and she was able to avoid radiation and chemotherapy.
“The risk wasn’t high enough to warrant treatment,” Bob noted.
With the medical emergency behind them, Bob and Laurie left Kamloops for Chase in September after learning the owner of their downtown rental intended to sell the home.
“Chase was a smart decision,” Bob said. “Very nice little town.”
And, he added, they are getting a lot more for their money there.
Meanwhile, Laurie’s sleep apnea is being treated with a nearly new CPAP machine, thanks again to a donor.
“It had just been cleaned and everything,” she said.
With Laurie on the mend in her new home, the two look back on the past year as a challenging one, but also one improved by the generosity of those around them.
“I thank God every day that everything went as well as it did,” Laurie said.