Rosanne's journey continues through assistance fund
by Paula Levy

published: February 8, 2006

COUNTY - Today, February 8, marks the one-year anniversary of the death of Rosanne Himmelman.

The young woman died from cancer after waging a public battle with the disease through a series of articles in this newspaper called "Rosanne's Journey."

As a result of Ms Himmelman's death, her mother, Maxine Himmelman, launched a fund that bears her daughter's name. Its primary purpose is to help cancer patients cope financially.

The Rosanne Himmelman Cancer Patient Assistance Fund through the Health Services Foundation of the South Shore distributes funds to cancer patients in need of financial assistance.

"Rosanne didn't worry about herself at all. She worried about other people," said Mrs. Himmelman, noting it was Rosanne's idea to establish a fund to help her fellow cancer patients.

Mrs. Himmelman finds comfort in working towards Rosanne's goal and keeping her dream alive.

     One year after the death of her daughter, Maxine Himmelman is continuing to raise money to help cancer patients. The Rosanne Himmelman Cancer Patient Assistance Fund helps cancer patients cope with their financial needs during their illness.

"When you lose someone you love, it's all bad. But when you help someone else in a similar situation, it helps you cope," she said about the people the committee has assisted.

Mrs. Himmelman said almost 10 cases came forward from Lunenburg and Queens counties last year seeking financial assistance.

"Most of them fell short with things they needed concerning their disease," said Mrs. Himmelman. She said whether it was financial assistance for travel for medical appointments or funds that were needed to help families make ends meet, the committee met the demand with those who came forward.

"A couple of them needed money to keep their household running," she said. "I'm not saying that the money we gave performed miracles, but it helped in a small way."

Mrs. Himmelman said the fact that people came forward is more than likely just the tip of the iceberg in Lunenburg and Queens counties. She said the committee has not been advertising its existence and those who were helped found out about the fund through word of mouth.

"The first year we were trying to raise money so that when people came, we could help them," said Mrs. Himmelman. She hopes this year, as more people discover the fund, they will either reach out for a helping hand or help keep the fund going.

A great portion of the fund came from bequests. As well, a small fundraising activity and presentations by committee members also brought in donations.

For more information, call 543-9746.

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