People rally to help Union County family keep home
After dedicating his life to serving others, former Matthews police sergeant Barry “Dale” Price Jr. and his family need help to stay in their Union County home as doctors help him battle a rare and deadly form of cancer.
In addition to the medical bills for procedures and drugs to fight the cancer and the pain, keeping on lights and paying the mortgage has become a strain on a family used to helping others who are having hard times. “We helped others with bills, medical issues and any other monetary things we could because this is what we believed God wanted from us,” Price wrote in his blog.
“I heard about the Price family’s situation through my daughter who is a cheerleader at Porter Ridge High School,” Paige Welch, a Lake Park businesswoman, said. Welch used her hospitality and restaurant industry connections to arrange a fundraiser Wednesday, June 22, at the Bonfire Bar and Grill, 6751 Old Monroe Road in Indian Trail, with 10 percent of food and drink sales going to the family.
The plight of the Price family began getting noticed on a larger scale through a wave of support generated by Welch’s daughter, son and a family friend in Florida through social media. In less than a week the family’s blog page received more than 1,400 unique visitors from around the country and as far away as Germany. Welch says anyone who wants to stay up-to-date on the Price family, or contribute directly, can do so through a PayPal account set up on their blog (www.sheepletalk.com/barry-dale-price-jr-fundraiser.html) or mail checks made out to “Barry Dale Price, Jr.” to 6300 Frost Court, Indian Trail, N.C. 28079.
First cancer, then the economy
Dale Price retired early from the Matthews Police Department in 2006 to fight the Dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans in his body. After major surgery on his back, the cancer returned in another area. According to the National Institute of Health’s Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center, while DFSP has a high rate of recurrence, it only has up to a 1 percent chance of spreading to other organs. For this reason, surgery is the most common treatment. But after 10 tumors, the disease has taken a more serious route in Price’s body, causing damage to his muscle tissues as well as his spine. Doctors put him on radiation treatment because the disease doesn’t respond well to chemotherapy.
The Price family’s financial troubles worsened when the economy soured and Trish Price lost her corporate job in accounting. She was out of work for 10 months, but eventually found a job as an assistant manager at a fast food company with a significantly smaller paycheck. “… we are just thankful she was able to find work,“ Price said.
The Prices eventually had to claim bankruptcy to try to keep their home while struggling with the reduced income. They exhausted their resources, including retirement money, social security, life insurance and 401k. Even their wedding rings and other valuables went to pay bills.
“We are in God’s hands…”
Price’s pain requires strong medicine to manage it, but the pain in his heart from the impact on Trish and the children hurts the most. “I hate that I am putting my whole family through this,” he wrote on his blog.
Price says his children are concerned. His daughter, a third grader, doesn’t understand completely but worries for her dad. Initially in his fight, Price was able to help coach her soccer team, but no longer. Their son does know the seriousness of the situation and is taking it hard. Price says he hurts that he can’t do as much with his son as he used to.
Trish struggles under the pressure of Dale’s medical troubles and being the sole breadwinner. “I am so afraid of the future,” she said, “but know that we are in God’s hands and I have to let him remain in control of our lives and destiny.”