BLACKFOOT—In the past few years, Jamie Irwin of Blackfoot has humbly accepted the help of a giving community while she was battling a brain tumor. Irwin's daughter-in-law, Sarah Taylor, willingly spearheaded the community fundraisers to help cover her medical costs of over $30,000. Now, Irwin, who has made great strides in her own health, is stepping up to 'pay it forward' to Taylor, a mother of four, who was recently diagnosed with thyroid cancer.
Irwin said Taylor's symptoms started with fatigue and a lump on one side of her throat. At Taylor's initial visit, her doctor said he believed it was just a goiter. However, a lump developed on the other side of her throat, prompting more doctor visits where a biopsy was ordered.
"The lumps got to be as big as tennis balls; they were so big and swollen they were about ready to cut off her vocal cords," Irwin said.
A call from the doctor confirming that Taylor, just 25 years old, has thyroid cancer was understandably upsetting to Taylor and her family.
While her prognosis is good, Taylor is facing surgery and radiation treatments. The family does have insurance; however, it has been determined that they will have to pay about $7,000 out of pocket.
"It is my turn to pay it forward to my daughter-in-law. She is always the one that helps others and now she is the one who needs help," Irwin said.
She went on, "Sarah and her husband, Robby, stay very busy with their kids who are five, three and two-year old twins. Sarah works part-time and is going to school online. Robby is a long-haul driver and will have to take time off to be with his family with very little income coming in."
Irwin is planning two fundraisers for Taylor. The first will be a yard sale and a bake sale on June 1 from 7 a.m-2 p.m. at 608 S. Shilling in Blackfoot. A car wash is being planned on June 8 with more details to follow.
"Our community was very giving to me and it was appreciated. Now our family is in need, once again, of the community's support," Irwin said. "I want to thank everyone for their support of our family during this hard time."
Anyone who can help with donated items or cash donations can contact Irwin at 604-5247.