GoFundMe for Emporia cancer patient reaches goal within a week of launch

Published: Nov. 22, 2020 at 5:57 PM CST
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EMPORIA, Kan. (WIBW) - When Emporia chiropractor Bryan Douglas began experiencing back pain in July, his family did not expect the cause to be kidney cancer.

“There were no signs whatsoever that he was sick at all stuff made the pain go away that cancer shouldn’t it shouldn’t help,” Douglas’ wife, Lori said Sunday.

“So we were completely shocked devastated, he’s one that helps everybody and it was just never expected.”

Douglas, who is described as a healthy and active 47-year-old, was determined to continue his work as a chiropractor, but pain following the removal of his kidney in August put his plans on hold.

“The pain and the aches and the symptoms of cancer started kicking in and he started feeling worse and worse and it was at the point where it was not going to be possible for him to see patients and stay on his feet all day long,” Douglas’ sister, Kerri Thompson said.

“His idea was to work as long as he could he loves his patients, his patients love him and he takes pride in what he can do to help people.”

Soon, patients of Kerri, who is a dentist in town, wanted to find a way to help.

“People love them and I have mutual patients of his that have asked for him almost daily,” she said.

“Emporia’s not a real large town, so there is overlap of patients that have asked me numerous times ‘how can we help? what can we do? we want to do whatever we can to help’”.

Bryan and Lori were initially hesitant to receive help.

“It was very hard to accept help but a lot of people have reached out,” Douglas said.

“We like giving to people, it makes us feel good so I figured, why keep us from being the recipients of letting other people feel good about helping us?”

Thompson started a GoFundMe last Sunday so others could help with Bryan’s business and medical expenses.

The fundraiser is almost at its $20,000 goal within seven days of its launch.

The family said the generosity has more meaning since many people are dealing with the financial effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It is completely shocking and overwhelming and we’re so very, very blessed and like I say, I surrender myself and things start looking up,” Lori said.

“I am just very thankful they pushed and let us release the burden of worrying about it so I’m very thankful that they did that.”

“So many people are hurting right now and there’s a lot of job loss right now,” Thompson added.

“But it’s pretty amazing for this community to put some of that aside and to help a very beloved member of the community in need.”

Douglas said she is grateful for the community that she has loved her whole life.

“Thank you is not enough, there are no words meant to say,” she said.

“It has just filled our hearts so much and just helped us so very much but there really are no words thank you, thank you is not enough.”

Those interested in contributing can donate here.

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