Mary Davis, diagnosed with throat cancer in October 2013 and tongue cancer in March, needed more help around her house than her husband could provide.
The Rankin County woman’s vocal chords were removed and the partial removal of her tongue has affected her ability to whisper and speak.
Jerry Davis had to take a leave of absence from work to help care for his petite wife.
“I sweep and get it all cleaned up, and the first thing she does is gets the broom. And I’m trying to convince her I swept,” said 56-year-old Jerry Davis.
A reference from the American Cancer Society directed the couple to Cleaning for a Reason. The Texas-based nonprofit helps women battling cancer by providing free house cleanings, and local partner Foster’s Cleaning Service lightens the load.
Cleaning for a Reason was founded in 2006 and has helped women with cancer receive more than $3.7 million worth of free house cleanings. Approximately 1,000 maid services in the United States and Canada partner with the foundation.
Mississippi has three maid services providing free cleaning in the Jackson metro — Foster’s Cleaning Service, LLC in Brandon, Wilgins Professional Cleaning Company, LLC in Byram and Magic Maids of MS in Madison.
“I had a cousin who passed a couple years ago from colorectal cancer, and I started looking for a service and came across Cleaning for a Reason,” said co-owner Celisa Frith, co-owner of Foster’s Cleaning Service. “Mary is my only client with cancer, but there are so many women who don’t know about it.”
Maids clean Mary’s home once a month according to her treatment schedule. One or two maids take a couple hours cleaning the two-story, three-bedroom home, one less chore Mary and Jerry Davis have to worry about.
“The basket of problems (Mary’s) carrying has become a little lighter; there’s less stress,” Jerry Davis said. “With this kind of help, in the long run, she’ll be able to see the benefits pay off.”
After two years in business specializing in commercial offices and apartment communities, Wilgin’s Professional Cleaning Services wanted to be part of Cleaning for a Reason’s mission.
“We give an hour of our time offering four complimentary cleanings once a month, whatever the customer likes, as if they’re paying,” said marketing manager Gina Watson, who works with husband and owner William Watson.
Flora Posey of Terry learned about the Byram business from a counselor at St. Dominic’s Hospital and became their first client three months ago through Cleaning for a Reason. Posey, 75, survived breast cancer and gets additional cleaning help from a nurse who cares for her paralyzed husband.
Posey said Wilgin’s Professional Cleaning Services is a godsend.
“They go out of their way to accommodate me and they’re very thorough,” Posey said. “I asked them if they can clean my ceiling fans and they said yes. I get by very well and I’ve been blessed that I have them.”
Barbara Jacoby is an award winning blogger that has contributed her writings to multiple online publications that have touched readers worldwide.