Volunteers are still the lifeblood of community

Throughout this week, we have published letters to the editor in this space detailing support for Mercy Medical Center's linear accelerator campaign.

In those letters, readers have shared personal stories about the impact cancer has had on their lives and on the lives of those they love. Those letters show that at the same time a patient is dealing with the fear and anxiety of a diagnosis and the need to map out and complete a treatment program, his or her day-to-day life, with a job and family responsibilities, continues. Taking time out for treatments is one thing; facing the possibility of a long drive multiple times a week for treatments takes it to a much more burdensome level.

The letters have explained how Mercy's linear accelerator, a radiation therapy machine, is in need of being replaced. It was purchased at the time the Radiation Oncology Center was built, in 2004, at Mercy Medical Center – Clinton's North Campus in a joint effort with the University of Iowa Health System.

That is where Mercy's capital campaign comes in. Launched in early 2017, the campaign's goal has been to raise $2 million. Currently, about $315,000 is needed to reach that goal.

Why is it important?

A new accelerator not only will replace the current one; Radiation Oncology staff say the new technology will offer greater precision delivered in less time. Additionally, the new machine will provide the opportunity to treat more cancers, specifically those in the neck and head, after staff members receive additional education and training.

The stories we have shared on this page over the past few days show the great need to continue providing these treatments locally.

Donations to the campaign are tax deductible in accordance to tax law and can be sent to Mercy Healthcare Foundation, 1410 N. Fourth St., Clinton. For more information, visit www.mercyclinton.com/linear-accelerator-campaign or contact the Foundation at 244-3535.

A community mailing will be sent during August and will help to raise the amount needed to reach the $2 million goal. Please take a look at it and weigh the benefits of what this purchase will continue to mean to current and future cancer patients and their families.

Thousands of treatments are provided every year at Mercy’s Radiation Oncology Center to patients who live in this region. Knowing that cancer patients undergo radiation therapy every day for one to eight weeks shows just how important it is to continue providing those treatments here.

Our hope is that our readers also will see that need and help the campaign in its final stretch.