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Cleaning company lends a hand to those with cancer

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By Alix Mattingly

 

Household chores like dusting, vacuuming and scrubbing the bathtub are hard to fit into a busy schedule. Add a serious illness, like cancer, to the mix and those chores become an afterthought.

One local cleaning company is offering a helping hand to cancer patients.

HeavenlyScent Cleaning, LLC has teamed up with Cleaning For A Reason to provide free house cleaning services to women battling cancer. Cleaning For A Reason is a non-profit company that pairs cancer patients with local cleaning services to provide four free cleanings for women undergoing cancer treatment.

“You can imagine when you’re not feeling well, those day-to-day tasks become very burdensome,” HeavenlyScent owner Karen Leaton said.

That was the case for Tina Frey. In May 2011 Frey, then a Pewee Valley resident, was diagnosed with stage two breast cancer at 32. With two sons under the age of three, Frey reached out for help.

“I immediately did some research to see what kind of help I’d be eligible for,” Frey said. “I worked full time, had a good job and good insurance so I didn’t need financial assistance, but I need help with the little things, like keeping my house up.”

Frey’s closest family members lived 800 miles away at the time, so help with day-to-day activities like cleaning became a big help, she said. Frey is now cancer free and lives in Wisconsin. She volunteers at a company that gathers resources for women with breast and ovarian cancer and said she often recommends Cleaning For A Reason.

“It was awesome to work with a local, trustworthy company that felt the need to be so involved in such a wonderful, charitable thing” Frey said.

As a former oncology nurse, Leaton has been familiar with the needs of cancer patients for years. She left her job approximately eight years ago to have more time with her children. One day, Leaton was having a conversation with a neighbor when they revealed to Leaton they were having trouble getting around their house, Leaton said. She then voluntarily cleaned her neighbor’s house and was praised for it, causing Leaton to consider cleaning as a job.

“I never intended or dreamed of being a business owner,” Leaton said. “I just cleaned her house the way I would clean my own.”

Leaton started HeavenlyScent Cleaning, LLC, named after her company’s signature fragrance, in August 2005. Her business has grown into a staff of seven and an office in Buckner, she said. Leaton attributes her domestic skills to her mother who “taught her the old-fashioned way of cleaning a house,” she said.

HeavenlyScent has provided cleaning services to more than 30 cancer patients since teaming up with Cleaning For A Reason. Leaton said that companies like Oreck and Proctor and Gamble have pitched in to provide cleaning supplies. Oreck sent Leaton an unsolicited free vacuum for her participation in the progam. Leaton has also been reaching out to area oncologists to add her service to their patient services list.

“It’s really becoming a collaborative thing in the industry,” Leaton said.

HeavenlyScent can be given a maximum of two clients via Cleaning For A Reason at a time to provide four cleanings. However, Leaton said that her company provides cleanings at cost after the initial four cleanings. She said that in the past community members have collected money to cover additional cleanings for clients.

“It can make a positive influence in a negative time,” Leaton said.

Applications and guidelines for the program can be found on Cleaning For A Reason’s website, www.cleaningforareason.org.

Email us about this story at amattingly@oldhamera.com.