Community rallies behind mother battling cancer for third time

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A remarkable fundraising effort is underway in north-suburban Grayslake.  “Help Save Yvonne” is the rallying cry behind the push to help two-time cancer survivor, Yvonne Block, now that the disease is back again.

“When you’re diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer, you are automatically designated a 3 or 4,” explains Yvonne Block.  “Which basically means you need help right away.”

Block is facing her illness with grace and courage, maintaining an exercise regimen and special diet, juicing organic vegetables and fruit to keep her immune system strong.  The Grayslake mother of three is also seeing her doctor, who’s prescribed medicines to fight the cancer.  But the fact is the disease has now spread to her bones and lymph nodes.  And time is critical.

“The plan is to seek alternative treatment where doctors in other parts of the country are helping cancer patients,” Block says.  Her 49-year-old husband, Marc, says it’s time for drastic measures.

“When it hits for the 3rd time in five years, you want to reach outside the box,” he says.  “To do something stronger.  Do something different.”

But having battled breast cancer twice before, the Grayslake family is financially tapped out – their limited health insurance not covering experimental treatments.

So neighbors like Randy Cashmore are galvanizing the community, raising money and organizing a fundraiser to be held in the next few weeks, so the Blocks won’t have to sell their house to pay their medical bills.

“It’s traumatic to a family,” Cashmore says.  “Especially a middle class family who might not qualify for certain things.  it’s awful.”

For years, Marc Block donated a portion of his profits from his small house-painting business.  “Painting for Cancer” is the name of his modest contracting business.  But ironically, Block  is unable to help his own wife, with the family’s financial resources depleted.

Community fundraisers have set up a special website.  For more information, log on to

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