Mariah Graham, a 911 dispatcher in Council Bluffs, Iowa and for the whole of Pottawatomie County, lost her husband earlier this year to cancer. That is a traumatic experience by anyone’s standards, however, even more tragic news quickly followed. Graham herself was diagnosed with cancer of the lungs that had spread into her bones. Fighting it will be a long and uphill battle, one that few people would have the strength to do after such a terrible personal loss.
Furthermore, her husband’s cancer was a huge financial burden, now followed almost immediately by her own costly treatment measures. Without a second thought, her community began working to find ways to support Graham in her time of need. In her time spent as a 911 dispatcher, the people of Pottawatomie county had all been touched by Graham’s kind and giving spirit.
A breakfast banquet was held at the Crescent Fire Department. Graham’s friends, coworkers, and even a few complete strangers, raised funds by selling pancakes and holding a silent auction. Graham was known in the community for never turning her back on her coworkers and always being willing to help out and answer questions, not to mention the lives she helped to save in her time as a dispatcher. Her reputation attracted a crowd.
Alongside the banquet, her co-workers made a t-shirt emblazoned with the phrase, “no one fights alone,” both to promote solidarity and to help raise further funds to aid Graham in her treatment process. Graham thanked everyone for their kindness, and told interviewers that the support from her coworkers had made a world of difference in her recovery. Having served the community for 20 years as a dispatcher, Graham’s investment and hard work is clearly appreciated. Her recovery will hopefully be hastened by the continued love and support of her friends and co-workers.