Pasadena woman Turned to Ted for help getting to radiation appointments

PASADENA, Texas (KTRK) -- Mary Bayles was visiting her daughter in Pasadena for her 86th birthday when she had to go to the emergency room. She said she had stomach issues for a while, but her family didn't know just how bad it was until they saw her in person.

After doctors' visits, Bayles was diagnosed with endometrial cancer and with her health declining, she left her home in the country to live with her daughter in Pasadena.

"I'm used to being up and cooking and ... doing a lot of things," Bayles told ABC13's Ted Oberg.

The family bought a hospital bed so Bayles would feel more comfortable at home. But because Bayles said she can't sit upright, she couldn't go to her appointments by car or public transportation.

Her daughter said the family paid for transportation to her first few radiation treatments at Methodist Hospital in downtown Houston.

"They'd come and get me off the bed and take me on a gurney," Bayles said.

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But, with each transport costing an estimated $500 a day going to radiation five days a week, as her doctor wanted, wasn't an option. With her credit cards maxed, Bayles' daughter said she considered taking out a loan on her house. The family just couldn't afford it, she said.

"The great news is that treatments for cancer are better than ever, but if you miss them, or if you can't complete them, we don't want anything to stand between the cancer patient and being able to complete treatment and have the most successful outcome that they can," said Letitia Thompson, vice president of Regional Cancer Control for the American Cancer Society's South Region.

After reaching out to various organizations for help, Bayles' daughter saw a Turn to Ted story on her Facebook feed and reached out.

We called the American Cancer Society, who immediately understood the unique care Bayles needed. Within days, they found a donor who would pay for all of her trips to the hospital for radiation.

"Normal transportation resources that we could have provided did not meet her needs and at the American Cancer Society we look at every cancer patient's needs as unique and we fill as many as we can," Thompson told us. "In her instance, needing that ambulance and needing to be able to have it five days a week throughout her treatment was just something that was going to be difficult for her family to take care of."

When we told her about the good news, Bayles said her daughter, "came in here crying and said we got help."

"We do know that there are cancer patients for whom just having the money to travel to treatment or stay in a hotel for treatment could keep them from making treatment on time or completing all their treatments," Thompson said. "We feel very honored that we were able to work in the Houston community and look at different donors and different organizations that we knew and were able to find somebody that was able to help us find the funds to help Mary and her family."

Bayles completed her radiation treatments in January and said it was successful. Now, she's working to build up her strength so she can get out of that hospital-style bed in her daughter's living room.

"I miss that more than anything," Bayles said.

More information about the services the American Cancer Society offers is available online.

Residents can donate to the organization's cause using this online form.

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