McMinn County community rallies behind cancer patient - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

McMinn County community rallies behind cancer patient

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MCMINN COUNTY, TN (WRCB) -- A McMinn County man is battling terminal cancer, and now he's losing his insurance. That has friends thinking of creative ways to help pay for his treatment.

57-year-old Ron Mcallister was diagnosed with stage four colon and liver cancer last year. He says he was discharged from work and lost his health insurance coverage.

His wife says they've been struggling to get by on his disability checks, and now they say his Tenncare is being dropped.

That's where the goodwill of friends comes in, starting a "Help Us Help Ron" campaign.

Connie Mcallister says it was a total shock when her husband Ron was diagnosed with terminal cancer last year. "He's my life and I don't know what I'd do without him," she said.

Now after several months of chemotherapy, she says he's being dropped from Tenncare. The reasons? She says they told him because he's on disability, doesn't have any small children or live in a nursing home, that he's not eligible. He will get Medicare, but not until he's been diagnosed for two years.

"People work all their lives and pay social security and taxes and then when they really need the help, we can't get it," Connie says.

They're selling off any luxuries, like their truck, but know they still won't be able to afford his treatment.

That has longtime friend Jason Brown stepping in, at the cost of his favorite toy. "I found out he was losing his medical insurance, so the first thing I thought of to try to help him any at all was to try to raffle the bike off," Brown explained.

Starting today, he's selling $10 raffle tickets for his motorcycle, hoping to raise thousands for Ron.

 "Me and Ron just sat here last night and cried our eyes out because we've got such wonderful friends," Connie says.

Ron's sister has reached out to Senators, Congressmen, even President Obama. She says Governor Haslam even contacted the Medicare Commissioner for her, but they still got the same answer.

"We're at a dead end," explains Ron's sister Vickie Couturier. "There is nothing for him because he doesn't fall into the categories."

But Jason says where there's a will, there's a way. "It's just getting friends, family and the community together and doing what needs to be done to help your fellow people."

Brown says he's already received several hundred responses to his raffle on Facebook, and even got a call from a car club in Atlanta sending a donation.

He's also hosting a car wash in Athens on May 12, the same day that he'll draw the raffle winner.

To purchase tickets, contact Jason brown at (423) 506-0403 or Laura Brown at (423) 351-9478 or (423) 5069-6122.

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