Parents of teenagers with cancer take out loans to pay for gas

An Indiana couple has been forced to take out high-interest loans to pay for gas to drive their daughter with cancer to treatment.

Keith and Analiza Vincent were devastated when their 15-year-old daughter Jinger was diagnosed with bone cancer last year and quickly arranged chemotherapy and surgeries to beat the disease.

However, because the family lives in rural Indiana, the nearest treatment facilities are more than an hour’s drive away. For the past 12 months, Keith and Analiza – who also have two other children – have been transporting Jinger to their appointments every other day.

Last year, the family spent about $100 a week on the trips. Now, due to the rising cost of gas, they pay more than $200 a week to get Jinger to her life-saving treatments.

In a heartbreaking interview, Keith and Analiza recounted CBS News that they cannot afford the price increase and have taken out loans to cover the costs.

Jinger Vincent (front left) is pictured with her family. The teenager was diagnosed with bone cancer last year and has undergone chemotherapy and surgery.
CBS News

“At the end of the day I’m like, ‘Wait a minute, we don’t have money for gas.’ So I end up going [for] the instant cash. This is our best friend right now,” Analiza said.

Jinger also spoke to CBS News and said she noticed that the rise in gas prices was taking its toll on her parents.

“You have to watch them [say],,We have to pay this bill. We’ll have to pay for that.” And I’m downstairs, hearing all this. It just seems so stressful and I feel bad for her,” the teen told the network.

The Vincent family is shown in a recent photograph.  The family lives in rural Indiana and travels long distances to get Jinger's hospital treatment.
The Vincent family is shown in a recent photograph. The family lives in rural Indiana and travels long distances to get Jinger’s hospital treatment.
CBS News

To save themselves the long and expensive journeys, the family stays in a Ronald McDonald house in northern Indiana.

The charity told CBS News that there are many other families in the same boat as the Vincents who have had additional demand for their services since gas prices have skyrocketed.

Jinger – who was once a gym student – recently underwent lung surgery and is still receiving chemotherapy.

Keith can be seen at the pump.  He says his family now spends over $200 a week on gas.
Keith can be seen at the pump. He says his family now spends over $200 a week on gas.
CBS News

Dad Keith admitted it was “tough” to see his daughter “wasting away in bed,” but says he’s willing to do anything to help her get well.

“People have certain arguments, everyday exams, rents, food, but you kind of figure it out,” he said. “[But] If you get cancer, that stuff fades.”

“We’re not worried [that], even though we can’t afford certain things,” added mother Analiza. “The big picture is her.”

Jinger - a former gym student - is undergoing chemotherapy.  Her parents are praying that she makes a full recovery.
Jinger – a former gym student – is undergoing chemotherapy. Her parents are praying that she makes a full recovery.
CBS News
Analiza and Keith say they will do whatever it takes - including taking out high-interest loans - to ensure Jinger is dealt with.
Analiza and Keith say they will do whatever it takes – including taking out high-interest loans – to ensure Jinger is dealt with.
CBS News

Since the family story aired on CBS Saturday night, a GoFundMe an account was set up in their honor.

The site raised a whopping $72,000, which blew the Vincent family away from the generosity of strangers.

Several viewers left messages alongside their donations, including one: “I saw your story on CBS and it broke my heart. The least I can do is pay for some gas. God bless you. Stay strong Jinger we are all praying for you and fighting with you.”

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