FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) - Two women are helping thousands of North Texas cancer patients navigate the difficult waters after a diagnosis.
"Our mission is to save lives and take care of cancer patients," said Careity Foundation CEO Lyn Walsh.
Those words sum up the mission of Lyn Walsh and Beverly Branch.
The pair have raised money for decades, but weren't happy with all of the administrative and overhead costs.
"We were funding other organizations, but our mission has always been direct patient care. And as much of the fund that we raised, we wanted to help people directly and not administrative staff," explained Walsh.
So, they established the Careity Foundation.
"We start out as a mammogram, diagnostic, biopsy. We move through the diagnosis and stay the journey with a patient," explained Beverly Branch, President of the Careity Foundation.
Last year, Careity supported 7,600 people in Tarrant, Johnson and Parker counties as they battled cancer.
It takes money, effort and time.
"We were just exhausted and thought, don't know how much longer we can do this. And then we saw a patient who needed our help and said, we can't stop. Because, where would they be without us," said Walsh.
They help to make sure patients have the care that's needed along with financial aid during the cancer journey. They do it with a western flair.
"Cowboys and cowgirls are darn tough, but they're tougher when they get together to fight cancer," explained Branch.
Careity teams up with the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders. Over the years they've added help including a nutritionist, social worker and chaplain.
Barry Russo, the CEO of The Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders, said the two groups are "focused primarily, and only, on the patients in our community."
Branch added, "We have people who are volunteers who help us. And everyone benefits because we all feel great about what we're able to do."
And as long as there is cancer, Careity's two leaders say they'll be there to provide help and hope when patients need it the most.
One of Careity's fundraisers is scheduled for Friday, Dec. 4.
It's a celebrity horse cutting competition that will take place at the Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum in Fort Worth.
For more information, click here.
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