Nova Scotia

Cape Bretoner donates $4K to cancer fund, gets $4K from fund 5 years later

When most people donate to a charity, they don't expect to be a recipient of their own act of kindness, but that's exactly what happened to Jill Taylor of Sydney, N.S.

'What goes around comes around,' says breast cancer survivor Jill Taylor

Jill Taylor is planning to make another donation to the Cape Breton Regional Hospital's Cancer Patient Care Fund. (Norma Jean MacPhee/CBC)

When most people donate to a charity, they don't expect to be a recipient of their own act of kindness, but that's exactly what happened to Jill Taylor of Sydney, N.S. 

In 2012, she and her then-partner raised $4,000 for the Cancer Patient Care Fund at the Cape Breton Regional Hospital.

Diagnosed with breast cancer a year and a half ago, the 39-year-old substitute teacher was in need of some financial assistance herself. 

With time lost from work and the need to travel for treatment, Taylor received just over $4,000 from the very fund she donated to.

"To have it come full circle five years later and be in the position myself, I guess they say, 'What goes around comes around,'" said Taylor. "It really means a lot."

Cancer's side effects aren't just physical

Tom McNeil is the medical social worker at the Cape Breton Cancer Centre.

He said the financial stress with cancer is a potent reality.

"It's not obviously the mental, emotional, or spiritual aspect of cancer, but there is an economic expense to having cancer," McNeil said.

Cancer is 'the perfect storm'

The Cancer Patient Care Fund started in 2005. It helps patients with any financial costs related to having cancer, from prescriptions to travel to the cost of home heating oil. 

"The perfect storm is created with cancer," said McNeil. "Your income drops because most people can't work while going through cancer treatment, and your expenses go up."

Jill Taylor enjoys some down time with her dogs Ty, Capo and Solace. (Norma Jean MacPhee/CBC)

The money for the fund comes entirely from the community. And Taylor intends to help boost it again for those who might need it in the future.

More donations planned

Her current partner is a goldsmith and he plans to donate several pieces of high-end jewelry for the silent auction at the hospital's annual fundraiser, The Festival of the Greens. 

Taylor also plans to keep telling her story in the hopes it will urge others to donate. 

"I'm just so grateful to everyone who has given recently," she said. "Because if it wasn't for some of the substantial donations of late, I know that my case probably wouldn't have been considered. I'm very grateful."

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