Cheryl Deschamps of Sagamore Style hair salon blow-dries a style for Rose Alonzo during a fundraiser held at Tina’s Hair Affair March 30 for Randy and Jackie Tyner of Lake George — who both are afflicted with Leukemia. Courtesy photo
Dozens of area residents got their hair cut and styled and their backs massaged March 30 to raise money for Randy and Jacqueline Tyner, who are both battling leukemia.
The fundraiser was held Sunday afternoon at Tina’s Hair Affair and Lake George Massage Therapy.
Hair Affair proprietor Tina Cacckello said the turnout was solid.
“It was such a great day, the fact that people turned out to help a couple they hadn’t even met,” she said. “It was very heartwarming.”
The event featured beauticians and a massage therapist who donated their time and talents to raise money to help defray the ongoing medical expenses of Randy and Jacqueline Tyner, a relatively young couple.
Cacckello said that Randy Tyner stopped in and thanked people who participated. Tyner is also facing his own health challenge: he’s afflicted with T-cell large granular lymphocytic leukemia, but he’s been focusing on providing care for Jacqueline, as well as raising awareness for other patients facing serious health issues.
Hours after the fundraiser, Tyner talked about the generosity he’s witnessed among not only his neighbors and friends, but friends-of-friends — and citizens without any prior connection to the Tyner family.
“People in the area have been so good to us — it’s really, really nice,” he said. “Their generosity says a lot about our community!”
Jacqueline is back home now after undergoing a stem-cell replacement operation in Boston, and Randy is providing care full-time. She has been unable to work, and Randy’s position as a teacher in the Glens Falls School District and the area BOCES was eliminated last year in budget cutbacks — although students described him as a dynamic, committed instructor. He taught Outdoor Education and Gifted and Talented courses.
Recently, Randy Tyner taught Composition courses at SUNY Adirondack, but had to quit to provide care for Jacqueline, he said.
“Jackie’s recovery is going to be a long haul,” he said, noting that her chemotherapy was wreaking havoc with her intestines. “The doctors are very pleased with the stem cell transplant — But she needs someone here all the time.”
Tyner continued his thoughts.
“It’s unfortunate I lost my job, but there’s no place I’d rather be than right here with her,” he said this week in a phone interview. “The generosity and kindness of people has been overwhelming.....just overwhelming,” he said. “We’re surrounded by so many people who are really caring and kind.”
The Tyner family has been facing substantial medical bills, and their health care insurance hasn’t paid for it all. In addition, the insurance is due to expire soon.
Without health insurance, one of the therapeutic drugs Jacqueline is taking is estimated to cost $12,000 per year, and another is expected to reach nearly $40,000 annually.
Jacqueline is a social worker at Jackson Heights Elementary School, and she also serves as a clinical social worker for Hudson Headquarters Health Network. She was diagnosed in August with chronic myelogenous leukemia.
Their story of their medical challenges and their courage has been detailed in postings on the “R&J Support Fund” Facebook page and a CaringBridge website page. People who wish to make contributions can send a check payable to “R&J Support Fund” to Glens Falls National Bank, 696 Upper Glen St., Queensbury NY 12804. Those seeking to verify the account may call the bank at 793-9656.