The Roundup -

Light Someone's Life This Holiday Season


In September of 2015 Patricia Knoepke was diagnosed with endometrial cancer, and was facing immediate surgery. There is no convenient time for a medical emergency, and for Pat, it meant being temporarily unavailable to care for so many people who depended on her. Pat is a caretaker to her mother, Isabel, who lives with her and her husband, and runs a daycare that her mom began in 1976.

Melissa Boyer with the Foundation for Community Care saw Pat's Facebook message about her need for cancer treatment, and knew that help was available.

"She had taken care of my kids and many other kids in this community. Pat and Isabel don't run a daycare because it makes them millionaires; they do it because it's a service to this community and they love nurturing tiny people. We wanted to help," Melissa explained.

Pat received money from the Medical Emergency Fund which helped pay for hotel, travel, and medical expenses. She underwent surgery in October of 2015 at the Billings Clinic, pushing it back just far enough to take care of her grandkids while her daughter was out of town. Her daycare was closed for two months during her recovery, and just a few months later she had gallbladder surgery.

"It was a hard recovery because I had the two surgeries so close together," Pat remembers. "That's hard to come back from, but these families depend on us and we have to be there for them. Some families don't have any other childcare options."

Fortunately, endometrial cancer is almost always 100% curable with surgery, and Pat has since been cancer-free. She hasn't had to undergo chemotherapy or radiation, but to be on the safe side she will be screened every three months for the next two years, and every six months for three years after that.

"At first I told Melissa that I didn't need the help, but she talked me into it and I'm glad I applied," Pat said. "I would definitely recommend the Medical Emergency Fund to anyone who needs it. All they need to do is contact the Foundation and they will help you with the rest. I'm thankful for all of their help."

The Light a Life campaign is currently underway, taking donations for the Medical Emergency Fund. For more information, or to donate, contact the Foundation for Community Care at 406-488-2273, or visit them online at, or in the office at 221 2nd St NW in Sidney.


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