Sells’ family raising funds for father’s bout with cancer

Published 9:33 am Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Photo Contributed     Amy Waddell is working hard to establish a GoFundMe account for her father Jim, pictured.

Photo Contributed
Amy Waddell is working hard to establish a GoFundMe account for her father Jim, pictured.

Carter County native Amy Waddell is looking to rally the troops locally in the effort to help her stepfather with medical costs.
Waddell’s stepfather, Jim Sells, is currently battling stage 4 prostate cancer and has accrued large increments of bills in the process.
“The cost that goes into cancer treatment is insane,” Waddell said. “Last month, on July 8, he lost his oldest daughter. She and her husband were camping and a tree fell on them up at Watauga Lake during a storm. It just isn’t meant for a parent to bury a child. I fear between the cancer, the death of my sister and the financial toxicity of cancer treatment, it is going to be too much for him and my mom. He wants to fight and is fighting.”
Waddell has helped establish a gofundme account online — — in hopes of raising funds. The account is still within its infancy, having been created last Wednesday.
“I’ve seen the success it can have,” Waddell said about using a crowd sourcing campaign. “I have six children so it gets hard for me sometimes to go out and go door to door.”
Sells serves as the Senior Project Manager at Precipitator Services Group in Elizabethton and works out of town for months at a time, Waddell said.
“He puts in insane hours when he is out in the field working,” she said. “Kim (his wife) is a private duty caregiver and puts her heart and soul into whomever she is caring for. On a personal level, I could not be more proud of each one of them and the way they have carried themselves through this process.
“Less than four months ago, everything was normal,” she continued. “I was sitting right there with them when the doctor first gave them the news of prostate cancer. Jim’s response was ‘how soon can we start?’ … never an ounce of fear or discouragement for himself. All he wanted to do from the first moment he heard the diagnosis was to fight back.”
According to Waddell, the family has spent approximately $9,500 in their fight, including scans, surgeries, copays, anesthesiologists and medicines. The regular monthly medications have run over $650, she added, and said that every three weeks Jim and Kim both head to Georgia for treatments and are paying “out-of-pocket” for accommodations.
“The financial toxicity of cancer care is beginning to take its toll on Jim,” Amy said, adding that Kim has missed a sizeable amount of time from work to care for her husband.
Having someone like Jim in her life has been a blessing, Amy said.
“He was my father since I was 10 years old,” she added. “He has always been there for me. I can call him my father because of the way he raised me. Even today, at the age of 36, I could call him up and he’d be right here. He’s a man of action and such a tender-hearted person.”

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox