September 22, 2015 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

Fighting cancer is tough enough on its own. Add to that the rigors of daily life and the experience can be beyond overwhelming.

Imagine having cancer while needing to clean up after youngsters.

“I was 34 years old with two small children, ages 2 and 5, when I was first diagnosed,” says Amber Blohm. “I needed to concentrate on keeping myself healthy and spending as much time with my children as possible.”

She had neither the time nor the energy for cleaning, but she also did not have money to pay a professional service.

Blohm happened upon an ad in which a cleaning company offered free cleaning services to women with cancer. In short order, the staff of Pink Shoe Cleaning Crew became her new best friends. “They really were a tremendous help through our family’s most challenging months,” she says.

Started in 2010, Pink Shoe Cleaning Crew is a small residential and commercial cleaning business. Last year, the company partnered with the nationally recognized nonprofit Cleaning for a Reason, an organization partnering with maid services across the United States and Canada to offer free, professional house cleanings to improve the lives of women undergoing treatment for all types of cancers.

Women can connect with Cleaning for a Reason easily through the company’s website or their doctor’s office. A woman needing services will be matched with a local cleaning company, such as Pink Shoe, who will then reach out to the requestor.

Allison Helligso, owner of Pink Shoe Cleaning Crew, says her experience with the national organization has been rewarding and deeply emotional.

Her company offers four monthly cleanings through the partnership. “These are women who were busy living their normal lives when they were hit with an illness that robbed their health, energy, and time from them,” she says. “While we can’t make them feel any better, we can, in a small way, help them through their journey by helping them make their home the clean and healthy place it needs to be.

“These women have so much gratitude and appreciation for the service we provide that it feels humbling and is such a pleasure to be able to help them in this way,” Helligso explains.

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