Johnson County
Cancer Foundation, LLC

Local group provides financial help for cancer patients 
Warrensburg – Cancer is a costly illness that can quickly deplete an individual’s or family’s resources, even with insurance coverage. The Johnson County Cancer Foundation steps up to help with out-of-pocket and uncovered expenses through direct monetary contributions that patients and families can use to pay any costs – including insurance deductibles and other medical expenses, rent, utilities, food or transportation to treatment. The organization, founded in 2006 by Bob Cochran, is a 501c3 corporation that provides financial support to cancer patients who reside in Johnson County. Board member Mark Reynolds said Cochran sponsored a golf tournament for about 20 years with proceeds going to the American Cancer Society. But Cochran found area residents received little direct benefit from the fundraiser and organized the local group “to keep our own money in our own county,” Reynolds said. Cochran asked people to join foundation through the years they have, Reynolds said. “Our goal is to keep the money in the county and provide cash for individuals and families struggling with cancer – with no strings attached,” board member Jan Jones said. Board member Linda Schnakenberg said the society has a different goal. “The American Cancer Society is a wonderful group for research, but we wanted to give people a little help who are often lost in the shuffle,” she said. Board member Stephanie Elkins said the board consists of “a good mix of people who have had cancer or have had contact with people who have cancer.” Reynolds said the group has no overhead, and 100 percent of the money raised goes to cancer patients in Johnson County. The group has helped 262 families and distributed more than $357,000 to needy cancer patients since inception. The organization receives no state or federal funding. Volunteers hold three fundraisers each year – two golf tournaments and a 5K run/walk – and receives donations from the community and from memorials for deceased patients. Reynolds said more than 100 local businesses donate “and everybody who pays to get in a tournament or buys a sign.” The golf tournaments raise about $26,000 each year, and the walk/run averages about $10,000 per year. Funds come also from community events: a Pink Tea in Holden, the Knob Noster Fair, a benefit held at Schnakenberg’s Checker Tavern the past three years, the Big Pink Educational Opportunities at the University of Central Missouri, the Chamber of Commerce Give Back Program, Missouri American Water Co. and Johnson County Ambulance District. The board receives referrals through family members, hospices and other sources, including cancer patients. The board meets monthly to review requests for assistance and allocate funds to approved recipients. To apply for assistance: Write a letter to the Johnson County Cancer Foundation, P.O. Box 169, Warrensburg, MO 64093, and include address and phone number. The letter must contain the type of cancer and date of diagnosis; the name of the patient’s doctor; the needs, such as to pay bills.