Now that his cancer has relapsed, former student Lance Bechtel, 32, is reaching out to Central Oregon Community College for help.
Bechtel was originally diagnosed with stage 3B cancer in February 2010. He had to put his school on hold to undergo chemo therapy to fight the disease. After his first battle against cancer, Bechtel returned to COCC to get an associates degree in manufacturing. His plans were interrupted once again in November 2011, when his cancer returned.
“It was kind of horrible that just as he was getting ready to start his life, it came back,” said Lucas Bechtel, Lance Bechtel’s younger brother, also a COCC student.
This time around, chemotherapy isn’t enough to fight Lance Bechtel’s cancer, so he will need to under a stem cell transplant in addition to high dose chemo.
The costs of the procedures are covered by Bechtel’s Oregon Health Plan, but his family is struggling to meet other expenses that insurance doesn’t cover, such as travel costs and lodging.
Bechtel’s treatment will take place in Portland at the Oregon Health and Science University hospital; he is required to get lodging near the facility. Randa Bechtel, Lance Bechtel’s wife, estimated that they’ll need a total of $2000 to cover all of their travel and lodging expenses.
“We have the health care, so it’s really just the basics that we need,” said Bechtel. To raise the needed funds, the Bechtel’s have set up a bank account at Wells Fargo under the name “Lance Bechtel’s fight against cancer” to accept donations. Lucas Bechtel has also been handing out fliers to COCC students trying to raise awareness to his brother’s situation.
“Since I’m his younger brother and don’t have much money … this is the best thing I can do,” said Bechtel.
Lance Bechtel will be leaving for Portland on Feb. 1, and his family hopes to have sufficient funds by the middle of February.
“Even a dollar helps,” said Randa Bechtel. “and a lot of prayer.”