A Riddle woman with five kids who fought off cancer, was stunned when she found out she had received a $10,000 donation from the Josh Bidwell Foundation to help with the large expenses she incurred after going through cancer treatments.
Kittie Rogers, 37, is a single mother with kids ranging from age 5 to 19 years old. A year ago she started getting sick and hemorrhaging, doctors couldn’t figure out what the problem was.
“I kept getting weaker and weaker, and finally a friend (Scott Hampton) said you’re going to the doctor,” Rogers said.
Rogers went to the emergency room and a couple of days later after a lot of tests and scans, she found out she had cervical cancer. She was most worried that she wouldn’t be able to take care of her kids.
“I called my sister and said, ‘Hey, if I die you’ve got my kids,’ remember the deal, if you die, I’ve got your kids,’” Rogers said. “I had cancer surgery in Eugene and they took it (the cancer) all out. I can no longer have any more kids, I also don’t have anything to produce hormones, so most days my kids think I’m a little crazy. But I’m taking my medication and my cancer is gone.”
Robert Wheeler, president of the Josh Bidwell Foundation, said the foundation board inquires every Christmas about families who have someone going through cancer treatments and are going through a tough time, so they can offer some help. Rogers’ family definitely fell into that category.
“We chose her family as one of the families that needed help, so we basically bought Christmas for the family,” Wheeler said.
Rogers was asked to be the ambassador at the Bidwell Foundation dinner and auction fundraiser in April and a spur of the moment frenzy auction broke out.
“People stepped up and wanted to do a separate frenzy for her right there on the spot and we raised all that money ($10,000) right there,” Wheeler said.
Wheeler said Rogers can use the money for whatever she needs and with medical bills and household bills mounting and she had just lost her job because she wasn’t able to work, plus she has all those kids to take care of, it was much needed money.
“I’m grateful for everything, but the timing for everything was because of Christ, it was God,” Rogers said.
Rogers didn’t have power or water where she lives, and used some of the money to improve her driveway so the power company could drive on her property to hook up the power, so she now she has electrical service and water from her well. The community, she says, has been overwhelming.
“I was just blown away because I was out of work, I couldn’t work,” she said. “My friend Heather, one time took my bank card, and she drove to the bank and came back with a receipt and it had money in my account and she’s like ‘you’re not allowed to know who it’s from because it’s from God.’”
Rogers accepted the ceremonial check at the Community Cancer Center in Roseburg on Thursday, which was presented by Nick Crouch of Enterprise Car Rental, a longtime major sponsor of the Bidwell Foundation dinner and golf tournament.
Rogers got a FaceTime call from Josh Bidwell, who established the foundation during his career in the National Football League. The former Douglas High football star became an NFL all-star punter after going through life-threatening testicular cancer in 1999. Bidwell dedicated the all-volunteer foundation to helping the Community Cancer Center in Roseburg and those who are going through cancer treatments, plus youth sports organizations and college scholarships.
Now Rogers is trying to get back on track, looking for a new job and getting ready to send all the kids — Winter Woodruff, 19, Preston Rogers, 15, Kiya Speckman, 13, James Speckman, 8, and Zaccharias Speckman, 5 — off to school next week.