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Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette Logo Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette


Two Copy Central owners raise colon cancer awareness

(March 17, 2016) Gina Barnes was 37 years old when she was diagnosed with colon cancer. She battled the disease for almost two years before passing in 2014, and her parents want to help other families during Colon Cancer Awareness Month.
Linda and Michael Dearing, owners of Copy Central on Cathell Road in Ocean Pines, are collecting change, selling bracelets and raising funds for Gina’s Comfort Fund in March, at the store.
“If one person goes for a colonoscopy and it saves a life, it’s all worthwhile,” Linda Dearing said. “The fund was created to alleviate stress and financial barriers for individuals and families.”
The fund has provided food and gas cards, maid services, wigs and acupuncture treatments to community members diagnosed with colon cancer.
Barnes’ mother and brother created Gina’s Comfort Fund last March in her memory to help with stress and financial burdens after watching the astronomical cost of getting sick.
“They had good jobs, health insurance and I couldn’t imagine people who aren’t half as well off as they were,” Dearing said. “They were still struggling. I told Gina to not look at the bills and focus on getting better. It is such a hardship on people and many families have responsibilities on top of the disease and treatment.”
A colonoscopy can help prevent colorectal cancer and the disease is highly treatable when found early. People with family histories or notice changes in their body are urged to schedule a screening.
“Pay attention to changes in the bowel system, and I know talking about the butt is embarrassing,” Dearing said. “If one person reads this article and realizes they are having problems such as rectal bleeding and schedules a colonoscopy, that makes me happy and would make Gina happy too.”
When Barnes was ignoring colon cancer signs, she was juggling a husband, three children and a full-time job. She was physically active and officiated lacrosse games.
“She was so busy and passed off the signs,” Dearing said. “She put herself on the back burner. This is not an old person’s disease. Make sure to get screenings. Our goal is to relieve stress and save someone’s life. My daughter would love it.”
Community members and visitors can stop by Copy Central in Ocean Pines this month, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., to purchase two different styles of bracelets or drop off cash and checks for the Gina’s Comfort Fund. All donations are tax deductible.
For more information, call 410-208-2600.