Nonprofit group formed to assist cancer patients, their families
by Kristal Dixon
kdixon@cherokeetribune.com
December 05, 2010 12:00 AM | 2502 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The impact of fighting cancer on a family hits too close to home for Mark Porch and Chris Anthony.

Porch, 49, of BridgeMill, is a cancer survivor, and Anthony, 42, of Towne Lake, lost his father to lung cancer in 2001.

Knowing a cancer diagnosis and subsequent care not only can emotionally break a family, but also send them into a financial tizzy, the men combined their knowledge and passion for helping others to form the GiveBack Foundation.

The nonprofit organization raises money for families who have children fighting cancer.

Also, during the Christmas season, the organization adopts a family for its Kids with Cancer Christmas initiative, which provides the families with Christmas presents for their children and other assistance.

"We help people all year long as long as the funds hold out," Porch said, adding the organization typically helps families with bills, costs associated with treatments, food and car and mortgage payments.

The partnership between Porch and Anthony informally began 10 years ago when they both began raising money for cancer causes including the Lance Armstrong Foundation, Team RachelsHope, Georgia Ovarian Cancer Alliance and Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

They officially formed the foundation in 2007 and shifted their focus to helping children with cancer.

"It's not an individual disease," Porch said, adding he realized how lucky he was to have survived his battle.

Shortly after moving to Canton in 2004, Porch was diagnosed with colorectal cancer. He said his only symptom was small amounts of blood in his stool.

He didn't think about it happened the first time, but after three months, it showed up again. He went in for a physical, and doctors confirmed he had cancer.

"To be honest, I was angry," he said, adding he told his doctor he didn't "have time for cancer."

Porch underwent chemotherapy and radiation to shrink the tumor so doctors could remove it. However, after his treatments doctors did another scan and found the tumor had disappeared.

He and his wife, Kellie, have a son Tyler, 14, and a daughter Hannah, 7. He is a project scheduler for Baseline Consultants, an information technology and business consulting firm.

Anthony said his father was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2001 and lost his battle 10 months later. During that time, Anthony said his father was "really tired of being sick" and the toll of the illness wore heavily on his mother.

"It was tough," said Anthony, who works as a bartender at Bogey's Neighborhood Grill in Towne Lake.

Their dedication to raising money for families has drawn in Kamma Ballinger of Smyrna.

Ms. Ballinger attended a GiveBack fundraiser in 2008 for her cousin, Kara Christian, who was diagnosed with cancer and since has recovered.

She said she was impressed with the dedication of Porch and Anthony and decided to join the foundation.

"I saw the community and family come together, and I was hooked," she said.

Both men said they hope the community will support the foundation to make sure families fighting cancer have everything they need.

With that support, Porch added, the families will be in a better position to fight the cancer.

"I truly believe that we can change their lives," he said of the families helped.
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