Campbell Ford Lincoln presents $10,000 check to Berrien County Cancer Services

Published 12:00 pm Wednesday, December 15, 2021

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NILES — A local car dealership was able to give an area nonprofit the perfect holiday gift.

Campbell Ford Lincoln presented the Berrien County Cancer Services with a $10,000 check for the nonprofit Tuesday morning.

Campbell Ford Lincoln business development manager Katelyn Robbins invited BCCS President and CEO Nancy Church and Director of Development Tyanna Essig to the dealership to receive the check.

“We are so blessed to be able to serve the community at the Berrien County Cancer Services,” Essig said. “It is through donations like this that we can actually give the care that we can.”

Throughout the month of October, Campbell Ford Lincoln pledged to donate $100 for every vehicle sold. The dealership sold more than 90 cars and with the help of donations from local businesses and community members was able to reach its $10,000 goal.

“What they do is just so great,” Robbins said. “They help people with all sorts of cancer, not just breast cancer. They have a loan closet where they can loan out medical equipment that might not be covered by insurance. They’ve got some good stuff on their website. I’m super happy that we hit $10,000. I would have been happy with even $5,000.

This is the second year the dealership has raised funds for the organization. Last year, Campbell Ford Lincoln raised $12,360.

Founded in 1948 by Niles nurse Olive Colcord, BCCS is an oncology nursing service that provides care for cancer patients in the comfort of their own homes free of cost. The organization also offers patients medical equipment and supplies, including nutritional supplements, wound management supplies, incontinence products, wigs, turbans and special products for area cancer patients.

In addition, BCCS also hosts support groups for education and emotional support as well as an art program for children and families impacted by cancer.

“The group of patients that we see is currently going through treatment but they’re not eligible for a nurse to come into the home,” Church said. “They have huge needs. They have treatment for months, sometimes years, and yet our health care system does not support them at all in the home and so that’s where we come in.”

Essig said that after doing some grant writing recently, the nonprofit conducted a nationwide search for free nursing services and found none. She added that the BCCS’s South County nurses are the organization’s busiest.

“To get an oncology-trained nurse to come into your home and help take care of you to keep you from having to go to the doctor so much is important,” she said. “Especially during COVID. It’s a crazy time right now, a lot of people don’t want to leave the house or physically can’t.”

Like Colcord, both Church and Essig have deep Niles connections. Essig’s grandparents built Skate-A-Rama in Niles, and she is a former president of the Niles Chamber of Commerce, while Church was a Niles nurse for 18 years.

The duo aims to continue serving South County cancer patients with utmost care.

“We’ve almost been around 75 years and I feel like we’re one of the best-kept secrets,” Essig said. “We want to spread the word and let people know what we do and make sure that we can help more people. Cancer isn’t going away; it’s the second leading cause of death in Michigan and we just want to make sure that we’re here to help as stuff like this really helps.”