She has tended to the needs of the elderly with care and compassion.
May Segree’s friends say it’s time to repay her kindness.
The hardworking nurse at Cross Shores Care Center, recently diagnosed with Stage 3 ovarian cancer, is now facing traveling to Tallahassee for the next 18 weeks to receive chemotherapy in order to continue the fight for her life.
And since she lacks health insurance, the challenge is even greater.
“She has dedicated her life to helping others, from hospitals to long term care facilities, and being on the frontline caring for COVID-19 patients,” said her colleague Vikki House, who is organizing fundraising efforts on behalf of her friend from Wewahitchka.
“Now she herself is in need of any assistance possible from anyone able to provide,” she said.
House said at first, Segree’s biopsies came back negative, but after doctors drained several liters of fluid from her abdomen, cancer cells were discovered that called for immediate treatment.
“They were everywhere in her abdomen,” she said.
Segree, who has two grown children, underwent a total hysterectomy, and then was slated to receive chemotherapy in Tallahassee.
But without health insurance, those treatment options are in jeopardy.
“Without insurance, they won’t even schedule chemo until they get a positive response,” said House.
She said friends are helping Segree in her effort to qualify for Medicaid or disability, or to obtain health insurance in the health care marketplace, but nothing is certain.
But with looming car and auto insurance payments, getting to Capital Regional for six treatments, one every three weeks, could prove difficult.
“This could be life and death without insurance,” House said. “If she doesn’t get started soon.”
She said her friend has stood out among her peers at Cross Shores, particularly since she has tackled the challenge of working in a closed behavioral unit, and with tending to patients with COVID-19.
“They love her,” said House. “She’s very soft spoken, she’s very tender hearted, never argumentative. She stays even.”
Even after she was racked with discomfort, Segree would tend to her pains and “when she was done she was back to her jovial happy self. She’s really good at what she does.”
The licensed practical nurse worked throughout the pandemic, but never came down with the coronavirus. “Me and her, we were one of six staff that did not get COVID,” said House.
She said an account has been started at Centennial Bank, (Acct. # 503839664) and plans are to host a barbecue chicken benefit in the near future.
“Money collected will be put toward continuing on with chemotherapy and travel expenses involved as she is unable to work at this time.,” House said. “We ask that anyone give anything they can spare to this selfless nurse who has dedicated so many years of her life providing care to those in need, and who in recent times has sacrificed her own safety to provide care to patients during this pandemic.
“Cancer has a way of choosing the best among us, but it is our hope that by providing her with monetary support, she will have the chance to continue treatment to beat this devastating disease,” House said.
To help, contact Vikki House at [email protected] or call her at (850) 814-2931
This article originally appeared on The Star: A nurse who needs healing