Community rallies behind pastor battling illness

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MIDDLESBORO, Ky. (WVLT) - One community is stepping up to help their longtime pastor who's battling a life-threatening disease.

Three years ago, Reverend Bill Poor was diagnosed with MDS, also known as pre-leukemia.

It's not cancer, but his body is not producing blood cells. He has to undergo treatment every three weeks, which keeps him alive.

"My main goal in life is to keep going. Like the Apostle Paul, I don't want to be a castaway," said Poore.

Though he's losing strength, and can't go to church as much as he'd like, Poore still spends most Sundays leading the services at Bennetts Fork Baptist Church in Middlesboro, KY.

"And when I can get up, I can't stand now, but when I can get up and sit down in the chair, I can speak for about 45 minutes, nobody knows what it means to me," said Poore.

"Be very hard to put into words what Bill means to this church," said Brittany Martin.

Martin and many other members see what their pastor is going through, not only the treatments, but the growing pile of bills.

Poore has Medicare, but supplemental insurance is too expensive, and now his family is thousands of dollars in debt.

That's why Martin is organizing an auction to help raise money for the family, and donations are still needed.

"Toys, children's clothes, books, anything that you would sell in a yard sale," said Martin. "It blesses me everyday just to know that I'm helping someone else, and especially someone like Bill whose helped so many other people along his life's journey."

Poore says God his helping him through this difficult journey.

"He's given me enough strength through the blood transfusions to let me keep going," said Poore.

Miller says they're looking for people to donate electronics, jewelry, even prom dresses and gift certificates.

The auction is April 6 at the Middlesboro Community Center.

If you're interested in helping, you can contact Martin at 606-246-0280, or go to the Facebook page that we have posted a link to.

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