Lydia Project Helps Cancer Patients With CSRA Across The Country | Sunday clothes
For the many people who are diagnosed with cancer each year, there are difficult struggles to overcome that accompany each case.
The Lydia Project, or Lydia for short, was created to help overcome these barriers and provide various types of support to people across CSRA and in all regions of the country, including accommodation.
Locally, Lydia provides funds for rent, utilities, medical supplies and prescription assistance to cancer fighters who cannot afford these basic expenses while undergoing cancer treatment and who reside in Aiken and Edgefield counties, as well as Burke, Columbia, McDuffie and Richmond counties in Georgia.
Michele Canchola, Executive Director, said with pride that the organization has never stopped providing services or shutting down during the pandemic.
“A lot of agencies have had to close, change or pull out,” Canchola said. “We never closed a day, and we actually went up.”
“The cancer fighters needed us so we had to be here every day,” she continued.
Canchola said Lydia provided 600 transport trips in 2019, which transported patients to their appointments or treatments. In Aiken, Lydia transports to two practices: Aiken Oncology and Carolina Cancer Institute.
From early 2021 to Nov. 14, they provided 2,393 trips, which Canchola attributed to the pandemic.
During the same period, Lydia served 2,665 people in 11 states and provided 2,014 nights of lodging.
The lodging consists of an establishment of 10 rooms with 20 beds and a private bathroom for each room. Accommodation is also provided for children, but in an Airbnb or something similar.
For the women who come to the Lydia Project, there is a special ministry where the group provides “an aid tote with help items for women with female cancers.”
The Lydia Project is headquartered in Augusta, but the group has an impact on Aiken and Aiken County. Many volunteers from the Aiken area help the group, like the community of Cedar Creek for example.
A more specific example came in October, when Dixie Thunder ABATE, a nonprofit motorcycle advocacy group, organized a charity run to raise money for Project Lydia.
Sam Stewart, a member of the group, said the group raised $ 3,560 in one day, which was a new record for the group’s fundraising efforts.
“This is something that is very close and dear to our family because we have had quite a few limbs that we have lost to cancer,” said Renee Stewart, another member.
Charlene Crisp, owner of Aiken’s Whiskey Bent Bar & Grill, helped organize the event and said that many people around Aiken she contacted were “very generous in their donations.”
For help or get involved, visit thelydiaproject.org or dial 706-736-5467.
“We can all make an incredible difference for people who face the worst things,” Canchola said. “Cancer in a pandemic? Go on ; it’s just mind-boggling the effect on their (finances), their anxiety. “
Another form of outreach that Project Lydia does is by posting prayer requests to its the Facebook page. Canchola said a group of volunteers pray together for all requests every Thursday, but the requests are posted so “more people will pray for them.”
“Every day I ask to be an instrument of his work and he never disappoints,” Canchola said. “Through this ministry, I can do just that. It is the ministry of God. We are not a church but we are doing its work.”