When you receive a life-altering diagnosis, it can be difficult to focus simply on getting better. Between medical bills, caring for your family, and continuing to make ends meet, the concerns are endless.

Wicklund Warriors is a Capital Region non-profit working to take the burden off people diagnosed with blood cancer.

Ten years ago, Deanna Wicklund was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia after an unexpected trip to the emergency room.

“I woke up and there was a doctor next to the bed and he said, ‘hey, my name is Dr. Adkins. I'm an oncologist here and we think you have leukemia.’ Just like totally point blank. Like, [I had] no idea whatsoever that I had anything severely wrong with me,” said Wicklund.

Wicklund spent months away from her family receiving treatment in Boston, ultimately needing a stem cell transplant. It’s painful for the recipient and an arduous process for the donor.

In the end, they found a match.

“I’m just in awe that people are that generous. And it always makes me a little overwhelmed,” said Wicklund.

Today, Deanna is paying that generosity forward. She created the non-profit Wicklund Warriors to provide financial help to people diagnosed with blood cancer.

Josh Covey is one of the latest Wicklund Warriors recipients. This spring, at just 30 years old, he was diagnosed with stage three Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

“I found out I have cancer in my stomach, in my lungs, and all in my neck … and that hit,” said Covey.

Covey is the head custodian at Mechanicville Elementary School. He does everything you can think of, with a smile on his face. But after starting chemotherapy in April, Covey has been forced to slow down. As the main provider for his young family, the list of questions on Covey’s mind is never-ending.

“Am I going to be fit enough to be able to come to work? How am I going to feed my family? How am I going to pay my bills?” he asked.

That’s where Wicklund Warriors comes in.

“Say it’s their rent, say it's their co-pay. They need new tires? We’ll pay the tire place,” said Wicklund. “You know, we'll do whatever it takes to make sure that they can get to where they need to be, so that they can seek the treatment they need.”

Wicklund Warriors’ annual fundraising event is a 5K run and walk. The ‘Bad Blood Run’ will be at Siena College on August 10. All of the money raised stays in the greater Capital Region and is used to provide relief to people like Covey.

Wicklund Warriors serves people in Albany, Columbia, Greene, Fulton, Montgomery, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Warren and Washington counties.

Although he has a difficult six months ahead of him, Covey is already thinking about what he can do to give back.

“Deanna is an amazing person … and I told her I want to try to give back any way that I possibly can to help the next person,” said Covey.