Dubuque-based Avery Foundation prepares to expand services to five more counties

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DUBUQUE, Iowa (KCRG) -- A Dubuque-based non-profit is preparing to expand its services to the Cedar Rapids area.

The Avery Foundation helps cancer patients get to and from treatments. (Contributed, Avery Foundation)

The Avery Foundation helps cancer patients get to and from treatments. Ron Avery started the non-profit in 2017 in memory of his brother and sister.

He currently serves seven counties and is adding five more, including Linn, Jones, Buchanan, Black Hawk and Clinton. Avery says his ultimate goal is to help people all over Iowa.

Cancer survivor Steve Deutmeyer is thankful Avery was there for him when he was diagnosed with throat cancer in February 2019.

"You start seeing the bills come in, you're going like, 'wow, okay I have to deal with cancer first, and now I have to deal with bills.' So it was a blessing just to know okay, I've got some support there," Deutmeyer said.

He had to travel to Iowa City several times a week for surgeries. He's now cancer-free.

Avery says this work is so important because so many people are blindsided by the cost of having cancer when diagnosed. He says 50 percent of cancer patients will file for bankruptcy, and more than 80 percent will use up their life savings in just two years.

Avery is excited to help more people through this expansion.

He said, "we just want to be there. We want to help as many as we can. Don't feel like if you put an application in you're taking away from someone. We have enough to take care of everybody."

With the expansion, Avery is looking for volunteers. To learn more, visit the  Avery Foundation website.