By Cecily Markland
In any case, a cancer diagnosis is a major challenge. Yet, for people who have resistant types of cancer or complications, for those who have tried traditional methods with little results or for those who are under-insured, getting needed help can be particularly disheartening—if not impossible.
Margaret Manning, of the Southern Estates Ward, Kimball Stake, understands how frustrating and it can be; and, with her husband, Larry, is trying to help through the nonprofit organization they founded, called Setting Them Free.
On her birthday in March 2009, Margaret got the devastating news that she had mantle cell lymphoma, one of the rarest of non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas.
“With this particular kind of cancer, no one’s really been cured,” Margaret says. “I was told that if I did the strongest chemo and bone marrow transplants two times, I would live maybe three years. If I did nothing, I would die within a year.”
Through fervent prayer and seeking the spirit, Margaret says she received a powerful answer.
“I asked if I could be healed, and I felt like He granted that to me,” she says. “I believed I would be healed, so I next prayed to know what to do.”
“God is our number one physician,” she adds.
When she received an answer, it was to seek treatment at the Burzynski Clinic, an acclaimed alternative health provider. She made an appointment, but had no idea where she would come up with the money.
Just before the appointment, “I had five days to come up with $20,000,” she said, “and that was just the beginning.”
She and Larry quickly became schooled in the various treatment options, as well as in fundraising. While it took a year and a half, Margaret’s cancer has been in remission for nearly three years; and, now, as another answer to prayer, her efforts have turned to the needs of others.
“We prayed and our answer was to ‘pay it forward.’”
In January 2011, the Mannings started Setting Them Free. As stated on their website, the mission of the nonprofit organization is “to help under-insured cancer and critically ill patients obtain the health treatment of their choice through local and online fundraising campaigns.”
“We feel our mission in life is supposed to be to help other people,” Margaret said.
From their website, they help others raise money, teach them how to hold eBay auctions, explain how to do fundraisers and provide additional support, including telling peoples’ stories and collecting donations in their behalf. They recently held a benefit talent event at Rockin’ R Ranch in Mesa, and the money that was raised was used to help cancer patients who are registered through their site.
Margaret says, in addition to the gratitude she feels for her own healing and her desire to help many deserving patients, she has other personal reasons for wanting to continue the work of Setting Them Free.
“I have a brother who died of a brain tumor,” she explains, “and my brother, Richard [Thomas from Gilbert], is also fighting cancer. He is a father of eight children and they just got sealed in the temple and he just wants to live.”
She hopes Setting Them Free can help him.
“He’s tried everything else. Now we are trying to raise money to get him back there to the clinic I went to,” she says.
Margaret emphasizes the need to include the Lord in treatment decisions.
“He will always direct our paths if we go to Him,” she says.
To learn more about Setting Them Free, read stories posted there and learn how to donate or to apply for help, visit www.settingthemfree.org.