Cynthia & Ernie Medical Support and Care

Ernest Blackwelder and Cynthia Voelkl from The Sandwich Life

People will forget what you said
People will forget what you did
But people will never forget how you made them feel
-Maya Angelou

Over the years, Cynthia and Ernie have supported friends, family, and artists/musicians by opening their hearts and their home. They have brought much joy and love into so many of our lives. Now they need our help to relieve the burden of mounting bills from numerous hospitalizations, cancer treatments, transportation, and copayment costs…with no end in sight. It's now time to help return the favor as they face some daunting medical issues, including Ernie’s stage 4 prostate cancer and recently diagnosed bladder cancer. At the same time, Cynthia deals with the effects of progressing spinal stenosis.

There is no doubt that if you have made the acquaintance of Cynthia & Ernie for any amount of time, you have felt their genuine warmth and understand that they indeed have never met a stranger. At the same time, working at Record Service and other record stores, selling antiques, and opened their home for their signature Sandwich Life House Concerts through the years. It is a rare and unique gift that this couple has shared with everyone they have encountered.

They started SLHC in 2008 when Ernie’s cancer first metastasized into his bones. They decided they needed to look for moments of joy, and live music and sharing the joy of music has always been their go-to. Over the years, they have created a community of friends and music lovers.

It's now been about 18 years since Ernie’s initial diagnosis of prostate cancer. While the road hasn’t been easy, there was some comfort in knowing that prostate cancer can be very slow to progress. Ernie has managed this disease impressively for many years. Still, those treatments came with the price of weakening his body and causing his recent diagnosis of more aggressive bladder cancer. In the meantime, Cynthia has discovered that advocating for Ernie–keeping track of appointments; dealing with insurance; trying to get doctors to collaborate; and accompanying him to long appointments, treatments, and testing–is a massive job in itself, all while she is trying to juggle her consulting work and health issues.

Ernie recently had a 12-day hospital stay and is now home and has once again resumed getting chemotherapy.

With your help, we can relieve some of the pressures they are feeling and show them how much we love and support them in their time of great need.

Cynthia & Ernie wanted to be sure to acknowledge all the kindness, support and generous gifts (both financial and in-kind) that they have already received. This support has allowed them to make it through to this point and they are genuinely appreciative.

In addition to this GoFundMe campaign, a musical benefit celebrating Cynthia’s 60th birthday and Ernie (for just being his fabulous self) will be held on Saturday, July 23, at Prairie Fruit Farms, featuring the music of Rod Picott, RB Morris and Bark (Tim Lee and Susan Bauer Lee). Details will be forthcoming, but that is also when we will wrap up this fundraising effort.

Thanks in advance for helping with this most worthwhile effort for our dear friends Cynthia and Ernie.

Cynthia & Ernie's Fundraising Team
(Teri McCarthy, Bob & Ann Rasmus, Heather Munson, Mary King, Carrie East, Renee Pollock and Michelle Gonzales)

  • Virginia Husting 
    • $50 
    • 3 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $50 
    • 3 mos
  • Steven Wagner 
    • $35 
    • 3 mos
  • Andrea Salvo 
    • $50 
    • 4 mos
  • Betsy Hendrick 
    • $50 
    • 4 mos
See all

Fundraising team (6)

Teri McCarthy 
Raised $2,710 from 21 donations
Urbana, IL
Cynthia Voelkl 
Mary King 
Team member
Raised $1,000 from 2 donations
Renee Pollock 
Team member
Raised $825 from 5 donations
Heather Munson 
Team member
Raised $450 from 5 donations
Michelle Gonzales 
Team member
Raised $230 from 4 donations

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