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'Cleaning for a Reason' Helps Cancer Patients

10-06-2015
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Cancer patients often experience extreme exhaustion from their treatment. This fatigue is especially difficult for women responsible for running a home.

Thanks to an organization called Cleaning for a Reason, these cancer patients are getting the help they need -- free of charge.

Stacey Schwinghammer is a women who faced this ordeal. After learning she had ovarian cancer, she was determined -- like many moms who received a similar diagnosis -- to put on a brave face for her children.

"Whatever energy I had, I needed to use to keep their lives normal and consistent with routines they were normally used to," she told CBN News. "And then when they went to school, back in bed I went, and just didn't move until it was time when they got home."

Cancer treatment, especially chemotherapy, drains your energy, sometimes for weeks on end. Many women don't even have the strength to clean their homes.

Now they're getting the help they need: free maid service, once a month, for four months.

Debbie Sardone came up with the idea years ago when she was running "Buckets and Bows," a Dallas cleaning service, and a woman called for an estimate.

"I gave her a quote over the phone and she said, 'Oh, I really can't afford that right now. I'm going through chemotherapy and radiation and I'm not working. So maybe when I'm better I can call you.' And she hung up the phone. And I realized I missed an opportunity," she recalled.

The caller didn't leave her name or phone number, but that very day Sardone decided the next time any woman battling cancer called, she would clean her home at no charge.

"So I did it as a company policy for many, many years," she explained. "And then fast forward to years later, I turned that company policy into a non-profit. And now we have maid services all over the country that are donating free housecleaning to women dealing with cancer."

Since founding Cleaning for a Reason in 2006, more than a thousand cleaning services in all 50 states have come onboard. One of them is Debi Bascue's Rag Mops.

"You know, a lot of times patients don't want family to clean their home," Bascue told CBN News. "They don't want to have their best friend clean their home. And having a stranger sometimes do that is a little easier."

So far, 15,000 cancer patients nationwide have benefited from the gift of free housekeeping.

Schwinghammer said for her, it removed an enormous burden at a time when she needed it most.

"My whole world changed, just knowing I could count on them," she recalled.

Cancer patients themselves, or their family or friends, can apply for them by logging onto the Cleaning for a Reason website.

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