Fisher hopes to keep wife’s name alive

By: 
Monika Spaulding, Digital Editor
When someone dies, one of the family’s biggest fears is that people will forget their loved one’s name and who they were.
For Steve Fisher, that concern is what drove him to start a fund with the Washington County Community Foundation in his wife, Pat Fisher’s, name. The Patricia L. Fisher Fund was set up to help with transportation costs for cancer patients.
Pat lost her battle on March 14, 2017, after an almost two-year battle with lung cancer.
Although it’s been 10 months, the pain is fresh in the heart of her husband.
Steve said when people think of cancer and going to treatments, they don’t always consider the number of doctor appointments the patient has to go to. 
“That process is so expensive, even if you have good health insurance, it doesn’t cover that expense,” he said, adding that he was lucky his employer, St. Vincent Salem Hospital, let him off most of the time to take Pat. When he couldn’t, they had many good friends who helped. He specifically mentioned Beth Walden-Fisher and Becky Duncan.
“They have wonderful hearts, not just with Pat, with a lot of others in our community.”
He said most weeks, Pat had two or three trips to the hospital and doctors’ offices.
Steve said he wants to provide money to help with transportation so that cost is not such a burden on them.
He approached WCCF Director Judy Johnson in July about setting up the fund. The first goal was to raise $10,000, which he admits was overwhelming at first.
He said the response and donations they received speaks volumes as to the type of person Pat was.
Her employer, First Insurance Group, as well as Society Insurance Company, each donated $1,000 to the fund.
“We’ve had many community organizations make donations, including doctors at the hospital, churches and more,” he said. “We’ve raised between $15,000 and $16,000 so far.
“People have just been so generous!”
They completed the first goal in December.
The second goal was to come up with a means by which to administer the funds. Steve contacted the Salem Presbyterian Church because the congregation had become so dear to Pat’s heart and asked for their help. They agreed to help distribute the money.
Although the first draw from the account won’t happen until 2019, Steve said they raised extra money so they could start doing something immediately.
He purchased the first round of gas cards with money through the church’s account and is ready to start helping cancer patients. Anyone who is in need of financial help for transportation can contact the church and fill out a short application.
Steve said it is important to get the word out about the fund so people know and can take advantage of it.
“It doesn’t help to do it if people can’t get the money,” he said.
Steve said he will spend the rest of his days fighting this disease.
“I’ve lost most of the people in my life to cancer,” he said. “I’m going to do what I can to fight the disease. I want to keep fighting as long as we can.”
To contact the Salem Presbyterian Church to apply for transportation funds, call 812-883-5601.
“I plan to personally, as long as I live, be in the fund raising business,” said Steve. “It’s important to me to keep Pat’s name alive.”

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