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  • Alexis Padilla, Northeast Arkansas News

Hope Circle Looks To Help Patients and Families Dealing With Illness

During the week, Virlene Neal can be found at NEA Baptist’s Hope Circle volunteering.

She decided to get involved after her husband passed away from cancer back in 2009.

“Well I thought okay, I’ve been coming up here for two years no point in stopping now. It’s just what the good lord had for me at that time”

Hope Circle is part of the NEA Baptist Charitable Foundation. They offer free support for people with catastrophic illnesses, like cancer.

“You know cancer is more and more prominent and when people hear that diagnoses about cancer there is so many questions and just a lot of just confusion. So Hope Circle is there to be a listening ear and help people that are dealing with that diagnoses,” said Robbie Johnson, Executive Director of the NEA Baptist Charitable Foundation.

As a cancer survivor herself, Neal is able to give patients and their families support from firsthand experience.

“If you were sad and down and you were crying I would sit and cry with you. But they don’t need that they need some encouragement, some support and so I’ve been able to take it in that direction,” said Neal.

Hope Circle gives away free wigs, scarves, snacks during chemo treatments, and so much more.

This past Saturday, the Third Annual Hope Run was held to raise funds and awareness for Hope Circle.

“We’re just trying to bring some awareness and raise some money for hope circle. So we want people to come out and be aware of that and kind of participate. They might learn something new about the foundation that they didn’t know. it might inspire them to get involved or do something on their own as well,” said Brian Lewis, race director.

The hope run has raised nearly 20-thousand dollars in their first two years.


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