Iowa Flood Outreach


The other day we announced a collaboration with the American Cancer Society, Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Iowa Department of Health a program called High Ground for Cancer Patients. The following is the release with details.

The Iowa Consortium for Comprehensive Cancer Control announces

High Ground for Cancer Patients
a special initiative to help Iowa cancer patients impacted by the severe weather

A Collaboration of the American Cancer Society, Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center,
the Iowa Department of Health and the Lance Armstrong Foundation

DES MOINES, Iowa, June 23, 2008, In response to the devastating floods and tornadoes that have swept through Iowa, five organizations dedicated to fighting cancer have established High Ground for Cancer Patients’ special initiative to help cancer patients and their loved ones living in any officially declared federal disaster county in Iowa.

The Iowa Consortium for Comprehensive Cancer Control is working with the American Cancer Society, the Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center, the Iowa Department of Public Health and the Lance Armstrong Foundation to provide housing, transportation and medical assistance to cancer patients currently receiving treatment.

Having cancer is hard. But having to deal with the devastating and disruptive effects of these natural disasters on top of it is more than cancer patients and their families should be expected to handle alone,” said George Weiner, MD, Chair, Iowa Consortium for Comprehensive Cancer Control and Director of the Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Iowa.

These organizations expressed a great desire to support cancer patients who have experienced additional hardship inflicted by flood and tornado damage and immediately took action to provide the services they need now more than ever,” said Weiner.

This cancer relief initiative was established for cancer patients currently receiving treatment and living in Iowa counties that have been designated a federal disaster area. Assistance of up to $1000 is available and is intended to ease the burden of increased transportation, lodging, or other unexpected expenses due to severe storms and flooding.

For information or to learn more about the support available through this effort, call the American Cancer Society at 1-800-227-2345 or visit Cancer information specialists are available to answer calls 24 hours a day, seven days a week.


  1. Al Ortiz says:

    Michael Beatty: American spirit shines through tragedy

    Growing up on a farm in Iowa, the last thing I thought I would ever see is National Guard trucks traveling familiar roads, helicopters in the air, emergency vehicles in the baseball field parking lot where as a high school freshman we played a state championship and the downtown I cruised to meet girls now flooded.

    My trip home last week was not a typical vacation. We did not go to Disneyland or the beach to relax.

    Instead we experienced determination, support, concern for others, sadness and even despair. It made me appreciate even more how valuable our families are and truly appreciate how good we have it. I again understood the incredible fortitude and strength we have when called upon by tragedy.

    This starts with a storm-delay layover in Saint Louis with a continued flight to Omaha, Neb. I stayed in St. Louis rather than have my wife, Julie, drive from Sioux City, Iowa, to Omaha. The forecast was bad. It got worse.

    Ultimately the storms spawned tornados. One killed four Boy Scouts and injured scores. Their camp was just off the freeway Julie would have been on about the time it hit.

    Next morning as we drove by the campground, a billboard proclaimed ?¢?Ǩ?ìPrepare to Meet thy God.?¢?Ǩ¬ù Only two days before, 93 families sent sons to a character-building retreat not realizing what they would experience. Having a son and daughter, I thought: ?¢?Ǩ?ìWhat if that were us??¢?Ǩ¬ù

    That same night, after the news of the tragedy spread, 500 men and women from Nebraska and Iowa stood in line braving rain to give blood to the injured boys. Governors of Iowa and Nebraska stood side by side supporting the families. Sadness for the families was relieved only by pride in citizens who rallied behind these families.

    Driving to my mom?¢?Ǩ?Ñ¢s the next day was through flooding of biblical proportions from Omaha to Des Moines to Cedar Rapids. Radio tolled widespread road closings, thousands evacuated. I had flashbacks of living in Charleston, S.C., and our ?¢?Ǩ?ìSurvived Hugo?¢?Ǩ¬ù spirit.

    I recalled stories Maryland residents told about Isabel swamping our state in 2003.

    Cedar Rapids was the same in trauma and spirit. All of downtown was submerged. Hundreds of homes had water above roofs. The gentle Cedar River I fished and swam as a kid hit a record of 32 feet, 12 feet over previous records. It raged now, destroying property and closing businesses in a vast area. Yet I also saw determination and caring.

    Volunteers from all over Iowa and America stood side by side sandbagging and helping clean up the best they could. Cedar Rapids lost 75 percent of its drinking water. So residents of a nearby community conserved enough to send to their sister city.

    It proves how lucky we are, how that can change in a moment and how, as Americans, we must take pride in our collective character even as we mourn our loss.

    Life will go on for the families affected. All touched by the spirit of residents who stepped up to help those they did not even know will carry that spirit forward.

    This reinforced my faith in fellow Americans. When others need help, a multitude always steps up without question.

    Michael Beatty is publisher of The Baltimore Examiner. Reach him at

  2. dapharoah69 says:

    Its always good to hear about other states and what people are doing to support those with Cancer. I know reading everything in the past few months opened my eyes to reach out and do something about it.

  3. Lorrie Martin says:

    My son Zak was a recipient of the Higher Ground grant. you have no idea how important this money has been since we lost our home and all of our possessions in the flood in New Hartford, IA in June. He was in the hospital when the flood occurred and I have my purse and a cell phone and Zak had a hat and a book. We lost his medications and he is uninsured. He lost his job when he was diagnosed as he could no longer drive a forklift truck.
    We have had unbelievable extra expenses traveling back and forth to the Univ. of Iowa hospitals. I have lost pay and the price of gas has been a real hardship.
    Zak was to start school Oct. 1 at Kaplan University for nursing but this has been postponed as he needs surgery and also lost his nursing uniforms, computer for his classes, stethescope, etc.
    When Zak received his check he just looked at it and was amazed. He said, “I had no idea anyone cared.” The stress level has been incredible since we have been living in a basement and FEMA has no answers on when we may receive a trailer. Thank you again to anyone who contributed. This gift meant a lot to Zak.

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