Families in Cancer Battle Welcome Group’s Household Task Assist

By Emily Longnecker

MONROVIA, IN - They’re in the fight of their lives, and they’re getting help from total strangers.

Hoosiers are showing up at homes to help sick people feel better, doing so in a unique way.

For Shelley Harwell, clean floors are a godsend.

She says that’s because the floor is where she spent some of her time these past 16 months in her fight against breast cancer.

“You are literally crawling to the bathroom,” said Harwell, describing part of her experience with chemotherapy and radiation and the aftereffects.

When you’re fighting a battle for your life, cleaning the floors (or anything else) takes a backseat to survival.

“You don’t want your toilets dirty, you don’t want your house dirty,” Harwell said.

“I knew I needed help. I knew my husband needed help, and my family,” she added.

That help came right to Harwell’s doorstep with a phone call to Cleaning for a Reason, a national non-profit based in Texas. They match women fighting cancer with local cleaning companies willing to clean a home once a month for free.

“They’ve just been a blessing to me all the way around,” said Harwell of Archer Cleaning Services.

“How can you remember to take your medicine or remember to go to your doctor appointments if you’re worried about dirt in the corner,” said Archer’s Misty Bowman.

For both the cleaning team and Harwell, the visits have become about much more than cleaning or cancer. “We’ve formed a bond,” said Harwell.

It’s a bond that’s not going away, even as Harwell learns her cancer is in remission.

“I greatly respect these women who put a battle on and are still able to smile when we greet them at the door,” said Bowman.

“Thank you for what you guys do,” Harwell told the crews who have cleaned her home for the past year.

“You’ll never know what it’s meant to me, never.”

Cleaning for a Reason partners with 18 cleaning companies across Indiana. Since 2006, when the non-profit first started, they’ve provided cleaning service for 14,000 cancer-fighting women across the country.

For full story, see http://www.wthr.com/story/23784982/2013/10/24/families-in-cancer-battle-welcome-household-task-assist