North Alabama Red Cross director battling stage 4 lung cancer and self-quarantining

Updated: Apr. 20, 2020 at 6:42 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Doctors have a warning for people who have a compromised immune system, making them more vulnerable to the coronavirus.

During the past five years Khris Anderson, the executive director of the Red Cross of North Alabama has been treated for stage four lung cancer.

A portion of her lung has also been removed. During the current coronavirus pandemic, it’s been anything but business as usual.

WAFF talked with Khris Anderson and she says she only leaves her house once a month and that’s to go to the doctor for treatment.

“We are not visiting family, so I miss my mama, I miss my sisters, my niece is my and my family. We are really taking this very serious and limiting our exposure to other people and I don’t get in the car,” said Khris Anderson.

Anderson spends all of her time inside holding meetings. She even talks with her doctors the same way we interviewed her; using an iPad. Once a month she has to leave the safety of her home and go to Georgia for cancer treatment and meet with doctors.

“Anybody can catch this. Anybody can get COVID-19, but not everybody is going to have the same outcome and people like me with lung cancer and with pre-existing conditions can have a negative impact,” said Anderson.

WAFF interviewed Anderson’s doctor, Patricia Rich a medical oncologist at Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) Atlanta, using social media. Rich says some people are more vulnerable and we all need to do our best obeying CDC guidelines.

“People that have diabetes and heart disease and people who have their immune system compromised and that include patients that have cancer. They are more vulnerable to the COVID-19,” said Rich.

Despite being in isolation, there are dozens of volunteers with the Red Cross offering help and here to help during the next crisis.

Leaders of the Red Cross of North Alabama say they are still holding a lot of meetings they’re just done online.

When it comes to donating blood you’re still able to right here behind me at their center located on Airport Road in Huntsville.

If there’s a need the Red Cross is here to help.