By Catherine Pritchard
Staff writer @ fayobserver.com
Donna Sanderson’s house needed a serious cleaning, but she did not have the energy to do it herself or the money to pay someone else.
She was battling breast cancer, and the chemotherapy that she hoped would save her life had sapped her energy.
Then she learned about Maid 2 Shine. The Raeford-based cleaning company participates in Cleaning for a Reason, a national program whose members provide free house cleaning to women undergoing treatment for cancer.
“It was a great relief,” said Diane Billiau, Sanderson’s mother. “The cleaning service spent from 8 that morning to after 5 o’clock that day cleaning every room in the house that she wanted. They really cleaned things.”
Maid 2 Shine will provide Sanderson with three more free cleaning visits.
“It was so helpful,” said Billiau, who has moved in with her daughter to help her.
Melody Samuel, Maid 2 Shine’s owner, said that is the aim of the program. She said she wishes more cancer patients would take advantage of it. Maid 2 Shine started participating in Cleaning for a Reason in 2011 but has had only four women in cancer treatment apply for free house cleanings in that time.
“Not a lot of people know about us,” she said.
Samuel joined the program because she had seen family members suffer with cancer. Some, including her great-grandmother, died from breast cancer.
Last year, she was diagnosed herself with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and underwent several months of chemotherapy.
She came to understand first-hand the fear and the struggles of the women she wanted to help.
“I moved back in with my mom,” she said. “They had to take care of me. I actually don’t remember a month of my life, I was on so much medication.”
She said she has been in remission since January and has regained her strength.
She is hopeful about the future.
“I feel like they’ve gotten it taken care of,” she said.
And she is eager to help others.
“I’m definitely now a lot more passionate about it because I know how it feels to go through chemotherapy,” she said.
Cleaning for a Reason says it partners with professional residential maid services that are insured and/or bonded and that perform background checks on their employees.