By Don Chaddock, InsideCDCR editor
While Correctional Officer Jeffrey “Big Mo” Moreland battled cancer for more than a year, he and his family received help and support from coworkers and the community. These acts of kindness touched Moreland who said he wanted to return the favor to others in need.
Unfortunately, Moreland didn’t get the opportunity. He succumbed to brain cancer on Nov. 16, 2012.
To fulfill the dying wishes of his brother, North Kern State Prison personnel specialist Mike Moreland established the Jeffrey Moreland Cancer Foundation.
The late Officer Jeffrey Moreland served at the California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison in Corcoran (CSATF/SP), beginning Oct. 17, 1998. He worked there until his passing.
“In October of 2011, my brother was diagnosed with brain cancer,” Mike Moreland recalled. “Over the next 13 months he battled through four brain surgeries, numerous hospital stays, radiation therapy and physical therapy.”
The kindness of fellow employees touched Jeffrey Moreland deeply, according to Mike Moreland.
“My brother and our family were blessed with acts of kindness throughout my brother’s fight. His fellow officers and coworkers donated enough time to his Catastrophic Time Bank to cover his entire 13-month battle,” he said. “When my brother needed more assistance and I took time off, they donated time to me as well to assure I had a full pay check.”
But the kindness didn’t end with time bank contributions.
“We were given money, offered places to stay and provided with meals. Jeff was touched by all of the kindness and generosity and even while being very ill, was determined to give back,” he recalled. “I remember him saying, ‘I can’t wait to do this for someone.’ Sadly Jeff passed away before having the chance.”
After grieving the loss of their family member, Mike and his wife decided to take action.
“In April of 2013, my wife and I started The Jeffrey Moreland Cancer Foundation. Our foundation is a 501(c) nonprofit organization dedicated to helping Kern County families fight cancer. The money we raise through our fundraising and events goes directly back to local families,” he said.
According to Moreland, how the families choose to use the money is up to them.
“The money donated can be used as the families’ wish. It can be used to pay bills, for transportation or travels expenses, such as hotels or gas, and can even be used for a family vacation to make some lasting memories,” he said. “The point is, every fight with cancer is different and we provide local families assistance during their time of need, with the freedom to use it as they need it.”
The fallen officer’s brother believes this foundation is a way to help the entire community.
“Our foundation was created to help local families fight against cancer, to help others the way my brother and our family were helped, and to fulfill my brother’s wishes to give back. In our first year, we were able to help two local families and we are hosting our next event on Nov. 15,” he said. “Through our foundation we are able to help our community and honor a fallen CDCR family member.”
Moreland said SATF/SP continues to help the family and have been a big part of all the fundraisers for the foundation.
Learn more about the foundation at https://www.nomocancer.com (You may not be able to open this link from a CDCR computer.)
TAKE A SHOT AT CANCER
What: Big Mo’s Sporting Clay Shootout
When: Nov. 15, 2014
Where: 5 Dogs Range,
20238 Woody Road, Bakersfield
Read Jeffrey S. Moreland’s original obituary notice at http://www.insidecdcr.ca.gov/2012/11/jeffrey-s-moreland/