Cancer-stricken couple get help from friends
CONCORD — Lying alone in his hospital room Thursday, Jeff Price wasn’t concerned with a pending CT scan to check for remaining pieces of his recently removed softball-size tumor.
He tried not to think about his wife, Jennifer, who convinced doctors to let her skip a week of chemotherapy for her own rare bone cancer.
Instead, Jeff focused on the entourage of visitors, friends and family that trooped through the second-floor surgery center at Carolinas Medical Center-NorthEast in the two days after his surgery.
“I’ve been blessed,” Price said of the supporters. “I’m overwhelmed, really I am.”
Among his supporters are Tim Ervin and Richard Peeler, who work at Faith Farm and Equipment Sales.
Both have known Price for years, in construction and in Rockwell area churches, and wanted to help.
The business is hosting a fundraiser today and Saturday.
“We saw the opportunity to help them out and called and got permission from Jeff,” Peeler said. “They’re just the type of people that would be the first ones there for you.”
Proceeds from the benefit are going to offset the Prices’ medical bills. Neither have insurance.
A former teacher at South Rowan High, Price left to go into construction in the early ’90s.
But the 2006 recession hit workers like him the hardest.
“It’s hard to pay your premiums when you have to pay your bills,” he said.
So the Prices dropped health insurance a few years later.
Last Thanksgiving, Price said he began feeling discomfort in his midsection.
The pain left his mind days later when Jennifer, a secretary at Lyerly Evangelical Church where they attend, was diagnosed with a Ewing sarcoma tumor in her foot. Price said the tumor is a rare form of cancer.
As they worked through weekly chemotherapy sessions, Jeff Price began to feel worse.
He finally convinced himself to go to the doctor last week.
“I was meaning to go to the doctor,” he said, “but with work and all this, you had to put it off.”
On Friday, he was diagnosed with stage three colon cancer.
He said he hasn’t dwelled on the unbelievably unfortunate odds. The Prices’ two children, a 15- and 20-year-old, have also handled it well, he said.
“They’re strong,” Price said. “The kids are strong.”
Two days removed from his surgery, he seemed upbeat.
“It’s not about me,” he said. “It’s not about my wife. It’s about praising God.”
Price said he and his wife typically shy away from publicity, but he couldn’t bring himself to decline his friends’ benefit.
“If God told you to do that,” he recalled telling his friends, “then I don’t want to rob you of a blessing.”
The fundraiser will be at Faith Farm & Equipment Sales, 585 W. Ritchie Road. It starts at 8 a.m. today and will end at 3 p.m. Saturday.
Hot dogs and hamburgers will be sold and a Toro self-propelled mower, a Husqvarna push mower and a Kawasaki trimmer are expected to be raffled off.
For more information, call the business at 704-431-4566.
Contact reporter Nathan Hardin at 704-797-4246.