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Chapin community rallies around man with brain cancer

Barry Baker lives in Little Mountain. He has been out of work due to his medical condition and therefore doesn't have insurance.

LITTLE MOUNTAIN, S.C. — Barry Baker, a man living in Little Mountain, just north of Chapin, has had a rough past few weeks.

He and his family learned that his brain cancer is back after seven years. Barry has a new tumor that's back and bigger.  

"We immediately went and applied for social security disability, went to apply for Medicaid. We called the hospital. The neurologist is Dr. Lozanne, and they are amazing. That's who actually removed his first tumor. He did suggest that we have an advocate with them and she said call the hospital, they have a financial assistance program that would be able to help with that kind of stuff, to get us on a payment plan. I did call them and when I did the application over the phone with them the hospital did let me know pretty much right away that the main question that would make them denied was the fact that their house was worth too much," Samantha Cox, Barry Baker's daughter said.

The social security was denied as well, and they are waiting on their Medicaid application, but they tell News 19 they're worried it might be the same response. 

Barry's daughter Samantha and her husband moved into her parent's house to cut costs.

"I suggested to my dad that me and my mom, one of us could go back to work, but unfortunately because it's a preexisting condition, even if one of us went back to work we wouldn't be able to get insurance to cover him," Cox said. 

Cox and her mother's job has been scheduling all of Barry's hospital visits and neurology appointments. They've been filling out all these financial assistance applications and have been searching for other options, like Christian Care.

Now, the Chapin community is stepping up to bat, or rather to cornhole. 

Local business owner, Nikki Meetze is hosting a big tournament this weekend to cover Barry's medical expenses, that could top more than $35,000.

"The whole community has really stepped up and said hey, how can I help, what can I do, what can I give," Meetze, Tipsy Toad Tavern owner said.

Credit: Nikki Meetze

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Samantha and her family tell News 19 they're shocked by the amount of generosity and support Little Mountain and Chapin are showing. 

"She's called me multiple times throughout the week along with most of the people in this community, who've called and asked if we're okay. I could never ever express how much it means that they've all decided to put their time and effort and money into this for him or for me," Cox said.

The fundraiser will be hosted at 1155 Holy Trinity Church Road in Little Mountain on Sunday at 12:00 p.m.

For more information about the tournament, click here.

Barry's brain surgery will be within the next few weeks. 

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