Local resident Ken Hamel has always been the type of man who loves to help his community and those in need. Unfortunately, Hamel is in need of his community’s help now.
Several years ago, Hamel came down with the rare lung disease, Interstitial Lung Disease. Afflicting less than 200,000 people, the disease gradually diminishes the lungs’ abilities to function. Hamel now requires oxygen 24 hours a day and struggles to walk across a room.
For many years, Hamel has been incredibly charitable, donating his free time to various church organizations. He is known for volunteering weekly with the Seafarers Mission in Boston, serving on the Board of the Emmanual Maria Foundation, which raises funds for poor children and widows in Romania, helping out at the Sonshine Soup Kitchen in Derry, and serving on the Board of Directors of the New Hampshire Graphic Arts Association. He also owns a business in town with his wife called Emily’s Embroidery, which gives back to the community by putting logos on clothing for youth sports teams.
All of this work may very well have been the source of his disease. He is said to live a healthy lifestyle and never smokes. Although no one knows the exact source of his disease, ILD is typically contracted by inhaling toxic materials, which he may have done during his mission trips to Romania.
Various forms of therapy have proven fruitless, and doctors told Hamel and his family that their only option was a double lung transplant. Thankfully, Hamel recently found a donor with the right size lungs. All of his other organs are in perfect condition, but financial trouble still exists.
Since he was forced to quit working due to his disease, the Hamel family is struggling financially and is currently seeking out $45,000 for medical bills via a campaign on youcaring.com. According to the description on Ken’s page, “You can change the life of an amazing man we call Ken, who has an incredible heart for missions and never looks for acclimation. Whatever the need, he has been there.” Ken has done a tremendous amount of work for all of Londonderry, so it would only be fair that the community pitch in now and return the favor to him and his family.
If you wish to donate to the family’s cause, please visit youcaring.com and search “Ken Hamel.”