KALISPELL – A few years ago, Roger Schultes of Kalispell went in for what seemed like a routine kidney stone check-up. It was there that doctors discovered two large masses, one of which is the most aggressive type of kidney cancer. Three months later, the cancer spread to Roger’s lung.
With no family in the immediate area, the Schultes and his wife, Jayla, were on their own. Jayla said the diagnosis was terrifying.
“It was shocking,” she said this week. “We walked out of there not really knowing what was going to happen. Knowing he maybe had a year, at the most, to live. So we were determined to find the ultimate treatment.”
The treatment took the family to Huntsman Cancer Institute in Salt Lake City. But between the food, lodging and plane tickets, the bills started adding up.
That’s where WINGS Regional Cancer Support Center stepped in to help cover the Schultes’ lodging, food and travel while Roger was in treatment.
Last year, WINGS helped 138 people with expenses for a total of $188,000.
WINGS is holding its 23rd annual Radiothon fundraiser at the Sportsman and Ski Haus in Kalispell. The fundraiser will be held Jan. 17 at 6 a.m. and ending Jan. 18 at 6 p.m.
In tears, Roger explained how much WINGS means to him and his family.
“I can’t thank WINGS enough, or the people in Northwest Montana,” he says. “They’ve really helped. Every time we get on an airplane it’s nice to know those expenses are being helped with.”
Thankfully, the treatments worked and Roger has been in remission for almost two years. Happy to have his health back, Roger is training for a half marathon this spring.
If you would like to donate to WINGS Regional Cancer Support, donations/pledges are accepted by phone (406-257-9464), in person or mailed to P.O. Box 7852 Kalispell MT 59904.
Story by Maren Siu, MTN News