Komen MD gives grants to help breast cancer patients with emergency services

BALTIMORE - Where's the beef? Not far from someone who needs it.

"I wouldn't have known what to do," said Patricia Gnacek, a breast cancer patient.

It's been a tough year for Gnacek. Last December, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. A lumpectomy and seven weeks of radiation followed.

"I went Monday for my first mammogram after the surgery and I had the best news ever, I am six months cancer free," Gnacek said.

Her health is top of the food chain, but right below, her ability to put a good meal on the table has slipped away. Until a few weeks ago when Meals on Wheels started making deliveries thanks to a $10,000 grant from Komen Maryland.

Their East Baltimore kitchen is busy, and now breast cancer patients will benefit.

"For our partnership with the Cancer Support Foundation, we're delivering frozen meals," said Stephanie Archer-Smith, Executive Director, Meals on Wheels of Central Maryland.

The Cancer Support Foundation also received a $10,000 Komen grant.

"Many times they get too sick and then end up losing their job or get fired. And in the State of Maryland, there's no unemployment and there's really no money coming in to help these families," said Cindy Carter, Executive Director, Cancer Support Foundation

Up to 4,000 meals are made at Meals on Wheels every day. With the Komen grant, over the next year, up to 200 breast cancer patients will benefit from the work done in the kitchen.  

"This year we got a donation from a family in memory of their mother. And that's bolstered our small grant program, so this year we were able to give away $55,000 total," said Brittany Fowler, Komen MD.

For Gnacek, a 68-year-old woman from Dundalk, her money has been spent on getting to the doctor and fighting to keep her power on following late payments. As for lunch and dinner, that's in the bag.

"Couldn't ask for a better Christmas present, made me feel like I was a millionaire with no money," she said. 

If you or someone you know may benefit from the grants, you can click here .

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