Eastern Iowa Communities Rally Around Recovering Mother

By Mark Carlson, Iowa City Bureau Chief

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By Aaron Hepker

JOHNSON COUNTY, Iowa - The communities of Swisher and Shueyville are rallying behind a single mother overcoming Leukemia, facing a massive financial burden.

In February Shawnee Petersen, a single mother of three, was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia. Since the diagnoses her medical bills have hit around $1 million.

“Insurance is wonderful, but there are co-pays and so much more,” Petersen said. “Plus I have a family to take care of.”

It’s not completely clear what all insurance will cover, but Petersen said she still has to work out payment plans for individual medical expenses that will span for years.

Petersen’s friends and family have now organized a benefit to try and help handle the costs not covered by insurance.

“Even though if what we do this Saturday doesn't make the slightest dent, we're still trying, she deserves everything and more,” said Heather Warren, a friend of Petersen’s.

A circulating flier gives the following information about the event:

“Please join us Saturday November 9, 2013 at the Swisher American Legion 2 PM-? For a wonderful cause. Shawnee Petersen, single mother of 3, was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia this February. All donations collected go directly to Shawnee as a means of helping her to care for her children and to assist with the massive medical expenses she has incurred.”

“Donations can be made at any Wells Fargo Bank under the “Shawnee Petersen” account.

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