Ruskin residents David Rice and Alicia Hillman, who married last month, are receiving help from the Angel Foundation which connects local businesses and residents who can help with those in a time of need. Rice is one of 600 people in the county battling a rare kind of Non Hodgkins Lymphoma.

Ruskin resident David Rice has been battling a rare form of Non Hodgkins Lymphoma since 2014. After suffering through years of misdiagnosis and doctors visits, leaving him with excessive medical bills, Rice recently started receiving help from the Brandon-based Angel Foundation which matches those in need with local businesses able to help.

From providing funds for a hotel room when Rice has to travel for Gainesville for his weekly treatments to connecting him with someone to fix his vehicle, help with legal documents and cut his grass, the Foundation has been able to make a very challenging time in Rice’s life a little easier.

His wife, Alicia Hillman, describes Rice as the type of person who finds it hard to accept help, but explains that the aid the couple has received from the program has been a huge relief.

“David wants to be able to do the things that he has always done, but at the moment he just isn’t able to and as his caretaker and working full time, my plate is really full too,” said Hillman. “The Foundation has stepped in and helped in so many ways.”

Hillman especially appreciates the leg work the Foundation has done to help solve both everyday issues and challenges brought about by Rice’s illness.

“When we were first connected with them, someone offered to come and wash David’s car and even do his laundry,” said Hillman, a banker with Fifth Third’s Riverview branch. “I thought it was so amazing. I want to be able to do it all. I love him so much, but there is just so much right now that the help is invaluable.”

Founded in 2006 as an offshoot of what was then known as the Brandon Foundation, the Foundation Angel Program is funded by two large events each year, a charity golf classic in the spring and The Evening of Hope gala in November. Since its inception, the group has given back more than $2,000,000 in grants, goods and services to more than 550 families in the Brandon area. Angels, the group’s name for businesses, organizations and individuals who want to help, are always needed to continue the group’s mission.

For more information about the Foundation, visit www.brandonfoundation.org or call 689-6889.