Foundation to hold food drive for Union Hospital
— A booth that will be set up in the Big Elk Mall near the Acme grocery store on Saturday and Sunday is all about paying it forward in memory of Samantha Ball.
Ball, an Elkton native, died Feb. 7 from lymphoma, a form of cancer. She was 23.
Samm’s Lymphoma Fight Foundation was started in her honor, and the organization will be collecting nonperishable food from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. both days for patients served by Union Hospital’s Cancer Center.
“When our family was going through this people were helping us,” said Shawn Anderson, Ball’s boyfriend.
Ball first became sick in November 2014. Since the symptoms mimicked the flu, doctors did not look deeper into her cough, headache and body aches. She was diagnosed with lymphoma on Jan. 28, 2015, and the disease spread quickly. By July, it was in the young woman’s brain.
But she kept fighting, said Amy
Ball, Samm’s sister, a member of the foundation and its event planner.
“She was a fighter, courageous, beautiful, hard working, smart, fun to be around,” Amy said.
Jennifer Hawkins said she will always remember Samm’s sarcasm. For Connie Forster, another board member, Samm’s bubbly personality lingers.
Samm and Shawn’s son Liam has turned 4 since his mother died. Shawn said the child is just now beginning to process the loss.
“He does frequently get upset,” Shawn said. “He’s starting to understand.”
“Liam was her life,” Amy said, adding Samm would approve of this food drive. “She would do anything for you.”
That included giving money to people she saw on street corners.
“She’d often get mad at me for not stopping,” Anderson recalled.
To keep her memory alive, the foundation is beginning with this hands-on help for the food bank.
“The Union Hospital Cancer Center did a lot for us when Samm was sick,” Anderson said, noting that hat help included food, counseling and gift cards for gasoline.
However, he indicates there is a larger goal.
“We want to become bigger than the (Food and Drug Administration),” he said. “We want to be so big that people can come to us.”
When insurance won’t cover a medication, or something gets denied or runs out, Samm’s Lymphoma Fight Foundation would step in, he said.
“We can give them the money,” Anderson said of the nonprofit’s vision.
While collecting food, the foundation will also have the hospital identify a family in cancer treatment to adopt for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Planning will also begin soon for the Second Annual Beef and Beer and Motorcycle Run to be held in April.
For more information on the foundation, or to volunteer contact them through the Samm’s Lymphoma Fight Foundation Facebook page or send an email to email@example.com
Samantha Ball died in February, leaving behind a close-knit family, which includes her son Liam, 4.