Brother hopes to save sister’s life from cancer

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 6, 2011

When Glinda Elmore Beasley found out she needed a stem cell transplant to survive, every member of her family was tested to find a match.

When it was all said and done there were two – her sister, Barbara Bradley, and her brother, County Commissioner Harold Elmore.

And just like her family met the challenge of finding a stem cell match, the family is now asking the community to help Beasley meet the burden of covering medical and transportation costs.

Beasley’s sister and Elmore’s wife, Ferrolyn, said Friday she and her husband will travel next week to Houston for the harvesting procedure.

“Glinda has a complicated cancer with a huge name,” Elmore said. “Basically, it’s a pre-leukemia, which would turn into acute leukemia if we didn’t do what we’re going.”

Elmore said Beasley was diagnosed about three months ago and underwent chemotherapy in Opp, but soon decided to do a more aggressive treatment – a stem cell transplant at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

“At first they said she wasn’t a candidate for the transplant because of her age – she’s 64,” Elmore said. “Then they checked her system and found out that she had no other health issues than the cancer and changed their mind. Every Elmore was tested to see if they were a match. There’s a lot of Elmores, so that helped. We came up with two.”

Elmore said she and her husband will leave Tuesday for the procedure. Beasley and other family members have already arrived in Houston. Beasley must stay there three months after the procedure.

“Insurance is not sufficient to cover expenses for the procedure and the extended stay in Houston,” she said. “So, sisters – Barbara Bradley and Gloria Cannon – have set up a fund at Wells Fargo in Andalusia and Florala for donations.”

Elmore said Beasley beat cancer once, “and she’ll do it again.”

“She had breast cancer about 10 years ago. She beat it, and she’ll beat this, too,” she said. Elmore said doctors and family are optimistic about the procedure.

“But (Beasley) said it is very expensive to stay out there,” she said. “We’ve worked out the arrangements for her and her caregiver to stay, but she does need help.”

To contribute, donations are being accepted at Wells Fargo, and checks should be made payable to the “donation account for Glinda Beasley.”

Harold and Ferrolyn Elmore are expected to return here next weekend once he is released from the hospital.