April through July 2022, Bill Bradley Services alongside Cancer Wellness Foundation of Central Alabama, launched their FuelTheFight campaign which funded gas and transportation vouchers for patients traveling back and forth to treatment.
What started as a small donation for each air conditioner purchased, quickly turned into a momentous fundraiser.
“We saw a huge need as gas prices rapidly increased, and quickly knew we had to do more,” said Will Imbusch, grandson of Bill Bradley and campaign spearhead.
He continued, “[F]or years I saw my mom, granddad, and uncle driving back and forth to cancer centers all over the country. After a while, it begins to take a toll. If we can alleviate just one burden these patients are facing, we’re going to do just that.”
If you followed the campaign, or know the Bradleys, you’ve heard their unfathomable story in the fight against cancer. Brenda Bradley lost her son, Brad, to pancreatic cancer in 2006, lost her husband, Bill, to Lymphoma in January 2009, and lost her daughter, Vickie, to Melanoma in April 2009. Brenda recently opened up publicly about this experience for the first time.
“After Brad died, I remember praying, God just leave me one of them. You know. I wasn’t even asking for both.” Brenda does not take pity at all, in fact, according to Imbusch, “she’s one of the most joyful people on this earth.”
He continued, “I felt our story could provide some glimpse of hope or spirit of fight for families currently in the heart of the cancer battle, and based on feedback, it’s done just that.” Brenda finished her interview with a word of encouragement to families going through cancer, “you keep fighting, you keep looking for something else, because there’s always hope.”
As funds continued to grow, so did momentum. Artist Alisa Beck was inspired to share her story of beating breast cancer.
“For those who receive a cancer diagnosis, I tell them to have a good cry, then get busy fighting. Cancer doesn’t have to be your life’s story. Remember your purpose,” said Alisa. She went on to donate a beautiful painting to the campaign titled “Carrying Hope.”
Alabama News Network and Bluewater Broadcasting joined the fight as media partners, which instantly increased the campaign’s reach. Many leaders in the community began to show vocal support including: Montgomery County commissioner and survivor Ronda Walker, voice of the Montgomery Biscuits, Rick Hendrick, and city councilman C.C. Calhoun. A video was later produced, with intent to inspire that featured former Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange, Montgomery County Probate Judge J.C. Love and PSC President Twinkle Cavanaugh.
“This is a cause that derives solely from my heart which is why we made it a 4 month campaign, and why I’ve spent every ounce of energy I have raising support,” said Will Imbusch. “It struck a nerve very close to home for a lot of people, and fueled a roar
The campaign held a wrap-up event on July 22, Vickie’s birthday. This event provided an opportunity to gather many boxes full of chemo comfort care items (pill bottles, thermometers, blankets, etc.), for the Cancer Wellness Foundation to distribute.
Imbusch said, “Many people from many different places came out to support. City councilman Charles Jinright spoke a few words of encouragement, and rising country star Cameron Dubois put on a phenomenal performance. Overall, I feel it was a tremendous success.” The silent auction at this event was able to raise $2,505 which put Fuel The Fight past its donation goal of $20,000.
“In a way, I was able to continue my family’s battle against cancer, by spreading the same spirit of fight that Bill, Vickie, and Brad all embodied. Our campaign is over, but I want to ask everyone to continue supporting the Cancer Wellness Foundation of Central Alabama. They have tremendous leadership in Board President, Jenniffer Pugh, and Executive Director, Carol Gunter, who truly care for the patients and make their lives a little bit easier everyday. I’d also like to ask anyone who has not seen Brenda Bradley’s story, to go to BillBradleyFuelTheFight.com and watch it – my hope is that it provides you with inspiration as well.”
Bill Bradley Services, in its 53rd year, continues to provide quality plumbing, heating, and air throughout the tri-county area. Follow them on Facebook and Instagram @BillBradleyServices for campaign recap, home tips, and announcements on their next endeavors.