Avery Foundation aims to ease sting of cancer - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Avery Foundation aims to ease sting of cancer

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Ron Avery knows all too well how much cancer can wreak havoc on a family.

He lost his sister, Julie, and brother, Jim, to cancer.  In addition, four others in his family of 10 have had to battle cancer.

Not only was it tough to see a family member suffer, and to lose them, but the process of treatment also took a big toll on his family.

"It was tough. I was a crunch on the family budget. Decisions had to be made. Dad could not go to Rochester, he stayed home, stayed working at John Deere. He couldn't take time off because we had to have money to pay for those trips back and forth to Rochester," Avery said of his situation when his sister was battling cancer more than 30 years ago.

So now he's started the Avery Foundation, in hopes of helping families deal with the costs that come along with battling cancer.

"The cost of cancer care continues to go up. They estimate by the year 2020, Americans will spend 156 billion dollars on cancer expenditures," Avery said.

They're selling shirts at all three Dubuque Hy-Vee locations to help raise money.  Once they've raised enough, they'll start accepting applications for grants.

"We want them to be able to continue the normal lifestyle and not have that burden of the stress of a budget. They already have the burden of cancer and the treatments and the chemo, if they're going through chemo. It's a very trying time, and if you can take some weight off their shoulders, it's huge," he said.

And with the foundation, Jim, who made a big impact on the Dubuque community with his art, and Julie, who made her impact on the community more than 30 years ago, will continue to impact lives in the area.

"It's just nice to know that his legacy is going to live on. We're going to try to make sure his legacy and Julie's legacy live on," he said.

Avery says they're focusing on raising money right now, but hope to start awarding grants sometime this fall.

If you're interested in helping, or finding out more about the foundation, visit https://averyfndtn.org/.

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