Weatherford Democrat

May 7, 2014

A helping hand

Friends rally around city employee with lung cancer


Weatherford Democrat

By BRIAN SMITH

Coy Nelson has a lot of friends within the City of Weatherford, having been a utility department employee for the last 18 years.

Those same friends are getting together to help Nelson, who has had a recurrence of his Stage 4 lung cancer, with a spaghetti dinner benefit Friday, May 16, at the Harberger Hill Community Center, 701 Narrow St., in Weatherford. Doors to the event open at 4 p.m. with the donation-only dinner being served at 5:30 p.m.

Nelson’s wife of 46 years, Wanda, said Coy was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer in May 2011 and underwent “three or four” rounds of chemotherapy and two rounds of radiation at the time. He also had parts of his lung removed last August.

Doctors at the time thought they had gotten all the cancer, but Nelson began having back trouble in November 2013. A trip to the doctor confirmed the cancer has returned to his back and another dose of radiation hasn’t helped as the cancer continues growing. 

He has begun suffering from laryngitis, which limits his conversation and speaking skills. Still, through it all, Wanda says her husband hasn’t missed a day of work except for treatment. 

“If anything, the job has kept him going through all of this,” Wanda said. “He’s had a real positive outlook since day one. He gets a little tired now, but he’s still going.”

Utility department spokesperson Beverley Laxson said Nelson’s coworkers have talked about trying to help him in some way since he was diagnosed, but every time they talked about it, he would get better. They had spoken with Wanda on possibly sending the couple on vacation somewhere when the most recent flareup happened and were told that wasn’t necessary.

Coworkers have found another way to assist, donating what Laxson said has been “thousands of hours” in sick time so Nelson would not lose his benefits.

“Some of the guys have given up the equivalent of 200 hours of sick time to help him, which has been great,” Laxson said.

For those who can’t make it to the event, there is another way to help the Nelsons. Chili’s in Weatherford is sponsoring a benefit for Coy Wednesday, May 14, where 10 percent of the proceeds throughout the day, be it food or alcohol, will be mailed to Coy directly for those that mention his name saying they want to help.

Along with the dinner, a silent auction and raffle will be held. Laxson said a gas smoker, flat screen TV, purses and several gift certificates will be available to the highest bidder. Raffle tickets will also be sold for smaller items every 15 minutes ,and the winner can pick what they want, Laxson said.

Anyone with items to donate to the silent auction can contact Laxson at 817-598-4261.