COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - As we look ahead to Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, a national nonprofit which has been working to help women battling breast cancer by cleaning up their houses for free is now expanding its services.
Cleaning for a Reason has already helped tens of thousands of breast cancer patients, and now even more people will have access to this service.
That includes dozens of cancer patients in the Midlands who have benefited from Cleaning for a Reason. The program is able to operate across the country through more than 1,200 cleaning partners.
Here’s how it works – the service is only offered to people currently battling cancer and undergoing treatment. They can apply themselves, or a family or friend can reach out on their behalf. The nonprofit then reaches out to a local cleaning partner.
One Midlands partner is Deserved Comfort House Cleaning located in Cayce.
Lisa McKnight, of West Columbia, is a breast cancer survivor who says Cleaning for a Reason was a big help to her at a time when she needed it most.
“I think as a woman, we just have this superwoman mentality," McKnight said. “We have to make sure the house is clean in addition to everything else, but for about three or four days after chemo, it knocks you for a loop. You can’t move off the couch. Pretty much, everybody has to wait on you.”
Ashley Boyd is a field manager with Deserved Comfort House Cleaning.
“Knowing that she’s going through that -- I don’t know what I would do and how I would carry on my household -- so, knowing that I’m helping someone out and coming in and helping them to make their home feel complete and how it was, it just brings me joy," Boyd said.
It was just in the last few months that Cleaning for a Reason expanded its services to now include everyone battling cancer – not just women, but men and children, too.
Organizers say undergoing cancer treatment can be an overwhelming process that affects the entire family. Cleaning for a Reason aims to help ease that burden by offering free home cleanings.
McKnight explains that because chemotherapy would take up most of her energy, this would make it difficult to keep the house clean for visitors wanting to stop by and show support.
“We scheduled it so they would come in while I was at chemo," McKnight explained. "I would leave with just mess everywhere and come home and my house smells like clean – it smelled so good and everything was so nice. And I could just sit on the couch, enjoy the company that stopped by and I didn’t have to worry about anything else.”
Deserved Comfort House Cleaning has been in business for 33 years and has partnered with Cleaning for a Reason since 2014.
The owner, Marlo Kanipe, says she, too, is a breast cancer survivor and immediately understood the benefit of offering a service like this.
She also says her company would often get requests from family members of men or children living with cancer. She says it’s a process the whole family goes through, and so she’s happy that Cleaning for a Reason will help to make at least one small part of that process just a bit easier.
“Cleaning for a Reason has opened up its doors to be inclusive of families with cancer – not just women with cancer – families with cancer, whether it be children or a man or whatever and it’s any kind of cancer," Kanipe said. "We should involve everybody because cancer affects us all.”
Cleaning for a Reason has helped more than 35,000 cancer patients since launching in 2006 and done more than $11 million worth of free home cleaning. To sign up for services, visit cleaningforareason.org.