A Generous Gift May Benefit Those Traveling For Cancer Care

After the loss of both of his parents to cancer, Jay Williams and his wife Rhona gave the Sidney Health Center Cancer Center a very helpful gift.

For 11 years, people from all across eastern Montana have been coming to Sidney Health Center's Cancer Care Center for cancer treatment. The center has offered TomoTherapy Hi-Art radiation from the start, making the cancer center the first of its kind in Montana and currently the only one within 200 miles. Typical health insurance policies do not cover the costs of lodging, meals, and gas that comes with traveling for treatment. According to Cancer Care Center Director, Beth Mindt, while chemotherapy patients may have days or even weeks between treatments, patients needing radiation often need it every day to be effective. For patients they have had that have come from out of the area, travel costs can quickly add up and, if their treatment should start or continue into winter the harsh Montana weather would add to their difficulty. A few people, businesses, and organizations have noticed the problem and longed to help with this for traveling patients.

With the sad passing of two of Sidney's long-term residents, a very generous donation has been made to Sidney Health Center to help remedy a part of that problem. James and Janice Williams moved to Sidney in 1969 with their six-year-old son, Jay. Jay grew up in Sidney watching his parents enjoy sports like tennis, volleyball, and golf. His mother also liked to bake and do crafts for different organizations to help with fundraising. Jay graduated and moved away to attend college and start his own family. His parents retired and moved into a condominium on the golf course. In 2007, James Williams lost his four-year battle with cancer and, in 2021, Janice succumbed to it as well. Jay's father had not had the benefit of there being a cancer center in Sidney, however, Jay felt that his mother received the highest quality of care at Sidney's Cancer Care Center. Because of her care, upon receiving his parent's condominium, Jay Williams and his wife, Rhona, donated it to the Sidney Health Center to be used as temporary lodging for cancer treatment patients from out of town.

By the spring of 2022, the Williams Place was ready for its first occupant. The two-story condominium is fully furnished with essential furniture, some foodstuffs, even boasting its own washer, dryer, and dishwasher. It has two bedrooms, one and a separate half bathroom, and a one-car garage. Occupants are allowed to have one caregiver stay with them, but, unfortunately, only Certified Service Animals are allowed. The condominium is not handicap accessible so patients wishing to stay there must be able to climb stairs. A plaque with the William's story and a guest book resides in the residence in thanks and recognition of the gift given to the health center.


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