Editor's Note: The United Way of the Upper Ohio Valley is currently conducting its 2012-13 Campaign, with a goal of $777,777. Examples of how United Way campaign dollars assist area residents are featured below.
"Mindy" had a career with a local manufacturing company. She earned a good living as the comptroller, and she enjoyed being able to afford a comprehensive medical insurance plan.
Dr. Dan Jones sets aside his stethoscope in exchange for a violin, guitar, harmonica and microphone Thursday at Wheeling Hospital, where the family physician performed Christmas songs for patients, visitors and staff. He was accompanied on keyboard by Dustin Kinsey, a hospital accountant. Both are members of the Deuces Wild Band and perform throughout the local area. Jones also has performed at Jamboree In The Hills, Jamboree USA and once shared a private music session with county music star Charlie Daniels.
But the day came when her company announced it had been purchased by another firm. The local office was being closed and the operations would be moved to another state out west. A few employees were offered positions at the new location - but not "Mindy." She was out of a job and her medical insurance.
It took several months of looking, but "Mindy" found a job as a filing clerk, where she made just above minimum wage.
There were no medical insurance plans offered that she could afford.
Then she found a lump in one breast.
A friend told "Mindy" about Wheeling Health Right. That afternoon, "Mindy" became a client. A physician's assistant ordered testing and the lump was found to be cancerous. After surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation treatments, "Mindy" is now cancer-free.
"I would not be alive today if it weren't for Health Right and my physician's assistant at the clinic," she said. "They truly saved my life."
Thanks in part to funds provided by the United Way of the Upper Ohio Valley, Wheeling Health Right is able to help thousands of patients like "Mindy."
The United Way of the Upper Ohio Valley helps 30 area agencies provide services for local residents of all ages. To make a donation or for information about organizing a workplace campaign, please contact the United Way at 51 11th St., Wheeling, WV 26003, or call 304-232-4625.