Grants Pass woman collects cans, bottles to pay for cancer treatment

Jill Hamm has a goal of collecting 217,000 cans and bottles through her "Jill's Cans for Cancer Bills" fundraiser. All of the revenue will go directly towards paying off her medical debt. (Jill Hamm)

A Grants Pass woman has come up with a creative solution to ease the expense of medical bills after she was diagnosed with cancer.

She started a fundraiser called "Jill's Cans for Cancer Bills," a program where she picks up recyclable cans and bottles from anyone willing to donate.

For every can or bottle turned in, she can redeem ten cents at the bottle drop.

"We need to collect 217,000 cans to pay off the majority of my medical bills. That's a lot of cans, by the way!" said Hamm. "But so many people I know, they don't want to bother with it.

Jill Hamm was diagnosed with bladder cancer in Dec. of 2012. As part of her recovery, she's had a surgery each year since the diagnosis.

Even with insurance coverage, the cost for the surgeries and continuing treatment has racked up medical bills to the tune of $21,700.

"That's a large chunk of money, so if we can chisel that down ten cents at a time, it's a worthy cause," said Hamm. "My family is very appreciative of the help."

She says the debt is impacting her credit so negatively, her and her husband have been unable to find a mortgage lender.

While collecting so many cans is daunting, Hamm says she's hoping to make a difference one dime at a time.

If you have bottles and/or cans you would like to donate, call Jill Hamm at (541) 660-4435. You can also contact her via Facebook.

Hamm also has a jewelry business to help pay her medical expenses. Visit the website to learn more.

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