AFSCME Member Looking for Donations for Son Fighting Cancer

An Eastern Sierra AFSCME member is seeking donations to help pay for her son’s chemotherapy treatments.

Local 315 member Janie Barba’s son, Kris Isbell, was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in 2016. As his caregiver, Barba—who works part time assisting seniors at Inyo County Senior  Center—has been taking off work and traveling more than four hours away from home to take her son to his treatments every two weeks.

While Isbell has insurance and receives some assistance, they are still short on the $1,000 they have to spend every month to make the hospital trips happen.

Isbell is well known throughout the Bishop community, and a number of his family and friends have already stepped up to help him out. A GoFundMe campaign has been started. Barba’s Local 315 sisters and brothers have also helped out by donating sick leave, which has so far enabled her to continue getting a small paycheck. But it is still not enough.

“Kris is one of those rare souls in the world who makes you feel loved, cared for, goes out of his way to talk with you, get to know you, be your friend, help you, or even just made sure he knows your name,” the GoFundMe stated. “Let's return Kris the attention, love, and care he has given over the years. Anything that anyone could donate would be greatly appreciated.”

Each time Isbell and his mom travel to City of Hope Healthcare in Duarte (Los Angeles County), they have to rent a car because they do not have one of their own. In addition to money spent on renting a car, they have to pay for hotels as well as food and gas.

Some of the money they spend each month to get Isbell back and forth to his chemotherapy treatments is being partially offset by the Eastern Sierra Cancer Alliance. But the aid is not enough to cover the full expenses for Isbell’s treatment, which is not available in Inyo County and expected to last another two years.

Isbell’s healthcare struggle is one that all AFSCME members can understand because we fight every day to make healthcare more affordable for all Americans. To learn more about how you can help, visit