PERRYTON, TX (KFDA) - The late Joyce Courson had a vision to create a support group for the hundreds of people in our area diagnosed with cancer. In 1988 she founded the Circle of Friends.
She was honored Friday at the Circle of Friends annual fundraiser in Perryton.
The group continues her legacy by providing patients with financial support for treatment, housing for longer stays and specialists contacts.
Between 1,000 and 1,200 people are diagnosed with cancer in the panhandle and 70% of those need extensive treatment.
Cary Gee is one of those people and he has been fighting an extremely rare type of cancer called salivary gland adenocarcinoma.
He said the partnership between the Circle of Friends and Harrington Cancer Center has allowed him to be treated since he was diagnosed last September.
"I did not have insurance," said Gee. "One of the scariest things for me from this diagnosis was the financial impact but through BSA, Harrington Cancer Center and the Circle of Friends, I've been given me the means to battle this ugly disease."
5 years ago the Harrington Cancer Center was planning to add a new wing to the current building, however when BSA changed ownership the project was halted.
Now the project is back on and has evolved from a wing to an entire new building.
The new building will be able to meet the growing demand for cancer treatment, however there are still many plans that need to be finalized.
"They are definitely still full steam ahead with the building," said Kelli Van Wagner the Director of the Harrington Cancer Center. "We are not ready to make an announcement, but we are working with architects and engineers to make sure the property will work for the needs of the area."