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Linda’s Fund Established at MDH

LindaLinda’s Fund was created in October 2008 in memory of Linda (Ren) Bainter as an initiative of support for women, diagnosed with breast cancer, and their families. It was established at McDonough District Hospital through the generosity of Linda’s son Brad Bainter and his wife Amy Spelman, and is supported by family, friends, and fundraising events. Linda’s Fund offers financial support to women in west central Illinois who are using the services of McDonough District Hospital.

“We wanted to recognize the courage and encouragement my mother offered to other women with breast cancer and do so in a way which continues to provide support for others faced with this disease,” said Brad.

Linda (Ren) Bainter was first diagnosed with breast cancer during the summer of 1982. She had surgery that included a single mastectomy and removal of many lymph nodes that left her easily susceptible to illness. Her surgery was followed by heavy chemotherapy.

After surgery, Linda became active in supporting women with breast cancer. She was known for offering encouragement through personal visits, cards, notes, and prayers. She remained cancer free for 12 years, then she faced her second battle with breast cancer in the fall of 1994. She had her annual medical examination only two months earlier and was still cancer free at that time. There was every reason to believe this was only a minor setback, but within months, cancer moved to her liver. In April of 1995 she was told she had 12 months or less to live – a period in which Linda was able to spend much quality time with her family. On April 11, 1996, Linda passed away at the age of 57.

“I think my mom’s two greatest disappointments, when she found out she was not going to win this battle a second time, were that she was not going to get the opportunity to watch her grandchildren grow up and that she felt as though she was letting down other breast cancer survivors whom she had been encouraging for so many years,” said Brad. “I can’t change that she did not have the opportunity to watch her grandkids grow up, but by establishing this fund we can continue her work of encouraging other women with breast cancer, and our family can honor the courageous battle she waged against breast cancer for 14 years.”

Linda’s Fund provides support to MDH breast cancer patients and their families. Typically, this includes direct financial assistance to pay medical bills not covered by insurance, special adaptive clothing, and personal care products for patients.

For additional information, to apply for assistance, or to make a contribution to Linda’s Fund at McDonough District Hospital, please contact the MDH Foundation office at (309) 836-1757 or download a brochure which includes information that can be completed and mailed to the MDH Foundation.

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