Gamecock fans bring hope to family

This Christmas season, members of GamecockAnthem.com have joined together to help make Christmas a little brighter for a Lexington County couple who have fallen on hard times. After the couple's need for a wood burning stove was made known, the Gamecock fans rallied to give them an unforgettable Christmas. Keep reading to learn the whole heartwarming story.

Dennis and Rosalyn Branham have weathered many a storm in their 37 years of marriage, but were struggling just to keep warm this winter without money to pay for heating their mobile home in rural Lexington County. The Branhams have struggled to make ends meet since he had to quit his job as a cab driver because of cataracts on his eyes. The surgery to remove the cataracts costs $6000.00, an impossible sum for the couple without health insurance.

Rosalyn has a severe case of COPD, and had dropped down to 78 pounds earlier this year as she fought the life-threatening condition. She qualified for Medicaid in April, but Dennis was turned down for it when he applied, so the couple has to get by on her monthly disability check of $674.

Former GamecockAnthem publisher Doug Jolley has known the couple for 18 years, and when he dropped in on them a couple weeks ago, the inside of their home was uncomfortably cold. They told him of their desire to get a wood burning stove to heat their home, and he in turn made the GamecockAnthem community aware of the need.

Members responded immediately to help, and enough money was raised to purchase a quality wood burning stove that not only would meet the couple's need, but would also meet safety standards for installation in a mobile home like theirs.

Rosalyn had a hard time eating and keeping food down because of her health condition, but discovered that she was able to keep down Boost high-protein supplement drinks. The Branhams had asked for help from Medicaid to pay for the supplements, but were turned down.

Jolley's purpose in dropping by to see the couple was to bring Rosalyn a case of Boost. When a member of GamecockAnthem who is a pharmacist heard of the need, he promptly donated a case of Boost, and then set to work to have the long term care division of his pharmacy see if they could help in getting her qualified via Medicaid to have the Boost supplements paid for and shipped directly to their home.

One member of the website has a spouse who works for a local department store, and has volunteered to provide blankets and new bedding for the couple.

An additional need was for an install kit for the wood burning stove, and another member who worked for a local business that carried the kits enabled it to be purchased at a discount, using his employee discount at the store. Another member who is a professional handyman has volunteered to properly install the stove and the kit in their home next week without charge.

Help is needed to move the stove to the Branhams home next week, and members are encouraged to contact Doug Jolley if they can help for an hour or so.

There is still a financial need of $300.00 to help pay for the installation kit. Donations can be sent via PayPal to dougjolley@earthlink.net, or you can send an email to that address requesting a physical address to send a donation. Any funds received above the needed amount will be given to the Branham's as a gift.

The Branhams say they have been overwhelmed by the love and support shown to them this Christmas, and send their heartfelt thanks to all the folks who helped. Their story is a good example of what giving at Christmas time is all about.

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