OKEECHOBEE - Our Village Okeechobee is seeking donations to help a local family.
Billy Joe Rawls is a resident of Okeechobee. He has been married to his wife Crystal for 15 years. They have a 12-year-old daughter named Paisly. Billy Joe began experiencing stomach pain in January. After seeing his physician and having tests done, it was determined that he had esophageal cancer that has spread to his liver and several lymph nodes. Billy Joe was referred to Moffitt Cancer Center to discuss his options.
On March 3, Billy Joe and Crystal met with an oncologist that specializes in gastric cancer. The doctor reviewed his tests and said that the cancer is in stage 4. This type of cancer is treatable but not curable. Because of the advanced spread of the tumors, surgery is not an option. The doctor stated that without treatment this form of cancer has a life expectancy of 4 to 6 months. The only option at this time is chemotherapy.
Billy Joe is being evaluated at the Moffitt Cancer Center next week to see if he qualifies for a clinical trial that could possibly extend his life. Billy Joe has health insurance that should cover most of his medical expenses, but he will need to travel to Moffitt several times each month for treatments and further testing. This leads to gas and lodging expenses that will quickly add up.
The Rawls family has a strong faith in God and they believe a miracle is possible. While prayers are most certainly needed, we need you to reach deep and help this family out. Hotels, gas and food add up, especially with Billy Joe not being able to work, and his wife having to miss work to care for him.
Your tax deductible donation can be mailed or brought to Our Village at 205 NE Second St. You can also take it right to CenterState Bank and ask them to put it in our account (earmark it to the Rawls family). Our Village will also accept gift cards for gas, food, hotels, etc. too.