Local woman takes cancer fundraising to a higher level

Fear Nothing 2015 Board of Directors 
(Front, L-R) Lori Worman, Eric Kabler, Jodi Waymoth
(Back, L-R) Joedy Hightower, Emily Boyajian, Jill Beck, Holly Lynch, Jamie Waldhoff

Under the leadership of Jodi Waymoth, a group of local volunteers have been quietly going about their business of raising funds to ease the suffering of cancer patients and their families for the past nine years.

Waymoth was diagnosed with stage-3 colon cancer in 2006, at age thirty. Nearly two years later, she would face yet another cancer diagnoses, this time in the form of stage-2 breast cancer. With their children just ages one and three at the time of her first diagnoses, Jodi and husband Jeff learned first hand what a devastating impact a cancer diagnosis means for a busy family.

Upon that initial diagnosis, the Effingham community immediately rallied around the young family, providing meals and organizing fundraisers to ease their burden and help defray medical expenses. Jodi was fortunate enough to have reliable medical insurance, and while she used some of those funds to purchase things like wigs and scarves, the Waymoth family quickly decided to donate a portion back to the cancer community through the American Cancer Society.

Upon completion of her treatments, Waymoth knew without a doubt that her mission in life was crystal clear. Thus a continuous fundraising effort was born. Early efforts included the sale of “Fear Nothing” bracelets and “Fear Nothing” t-shirts, and the theme has stuck. Over the course of the years, “Fear Nothing” shirt sales would skyrocket into the thousands, with 100% of proceeds going to families enduring cancer, as well as various cancer fighting organizations.

In 2013, Waymoth’s hosted the first ever Kentucky Derby fundraiser for cancer research at Tuscan Hills Winery in Effingham. Effingham’s first annual Kentucky Derby for a Cure was a tremendous success, and Fear Nothing has raised over $100,000 for cancer research through this event alone in 2013 and 2014. Overall, Waymoth estimates that Fear Nothing has raised and distributed roughly $200,000 for cancer patients and research since it’s inception in 2006.

Recently, Jodi served as a volunteer with the Effingham County Community Foundation and learned how a partnership with the organization could enhance the credibility and impact of the Fear Nothing effort. By partnering with the Community Foundation, Fear Nothing forgoes the cost of establishing and maintaining an independent non-profit structure.

The Fear Nothing Endowment Fund and operating fund will be held by the Southeastern Illinois Community Foundation, a regional community foundation that provides professional fund management and investment expertise to donors and community funds in the area. “Like a personal savings account, a permanent endowment fund designated for a specific purpose can provide a reliable source of additional income each year. This permanent pool of assets generates income as it grows over time”, says Joedy Hightower, President/CEO of the Southeastern Illinois Community Foundation.

The Community Foundation provides all day-to-day record keeping, gift acknowledgement, disbursements, and investment of assets, while fundraising and grant making decisions will be recommended by a local volunteer advisory board. The Fear Nothing Cancer Support and Research Advisory Board members include: Jodi Waymoth, Eric Kalber, Holly Lynch, Lori Worman, Jill Beck, Jamie Waldhoff and Emily Boyajian.

The advisory board members understand the need for cancer support in our community because of the number of families who are impacted by the disease. Because of this, the board intends to direct fifty percent of their annual fundraising proceeds to local patients enduring treatment. They also want to help advance treatments by funding private cancer research programs and/or trials. Board members will work closely with area doctors and medical professionals to determine which research programs will be awarded with funds.

The Fear Nothing Advisory Board will be hosting the annual Kentucky Derby For a Cure fundraiser on Saturday, May 2, 2015 at Tuscan Hills Winery in Effingham. For more information about the Fear Nothing Cancer Support & Research Fund visit www.enrichingourcommunity.org or contact Jodi Waymoth at 217) 649-1419.

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