Troy rallies around Troy University cancer victim

Published 11:00 pm Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Troy community is rallying around a 21-year-old Troy University student who has been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer.

“If ever there has been a need, truly, it is now,” said Kathy Gibson, secretary of Bush Memorial Baptist Church, Jamie Rhupel’s university church home.

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Rhupel is undergoing chemotherapy in her hometown of Dothan but without the assistance of health insurance. “Jamie’s dad was between jobs when she was diagnosed and she has no insurance,” Gibson said. “So, the need is great and it is real.

“Jamie is a wonderful young woman and she has been such a dedicated volunteer with our children’s activities. Her illness is beyond shocking. We are praying for her and doing what we can to help the family financially.”

Bush Memorial has sponsored several fundraisers for Jamie and her family, including a painting class, a bake sale and “Prayer for Jamie” bracelets.

“People are also making donations here at Bush to help the family with expenses,” Gibson said. “Alpha Gamma Delta Sorority at Troy University is also helping raise funds for the family.”

Alpha Gamma Delta has dedicated its current philanthropy to helping Rhupel.

Kristin Wells, who is spearheading the fundraiser, said the Alpha Gams usually have a Barbecue Bash to support juvenile diabetes.

“But, some of us were attending Bush Memorial this summer and heard about Jamie,” Wells said. “We decided that we wanted to donate the proceeds from this year’s Barbecue Bash to go to Jamie.”

Although Wells said she and most of her sorority sisters don’t know Rhupel personally, they have been deeply touched by her story.

“Having cancer is a terrible thing and not having insurance is a extra burden,” Wells said.

“Jamie is one of us (Trojan) and we want to do all we can to help her and her family.”

The Barbecue Bash to benefit Jamie Rhupel and her family will be Thursday, Aug. 30.

Country Barbecue is preparing the plates. Tickets are $8 and the plates include a barbecue sandwich, potato salad and baked beans.

“We’ll have a table set up at the welcome center at Bush Memorial on Sunday and also on Aug. 19 and 26 for people to buy tickets,” Wells said. “We hope that everyone will support this fundraiser for Jamie.”

Tickets will also be available at the Bush Memorial office during the week and at Boutwell Floor Covering. Alpha Gamma Delta sorority sisters are selling tickets.

Tickets are also available by calling 1-334-494-2809.