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Local couple with island ties asks for assistance as cancer makes their tough times even worse

June 22, 2023
By Sheila Evans

Rick Andersen is a local master carpenter and author of two children’s books. His creativity is being put to the test now, though, as he tries to build a path to the future. Rick was diagnosed with metastatic prostate cancer recently. Treatment is tough and expensive. He and wife Stacey are hoping the people of Boca Grande and surrounding areas can help.

They have established a Gofundme page to raise money for living and medical expenses. 

“We are proud Maine folks, transplanted to Southwest Florida 23 years ago, and it pains us to ask – but we desperately need your help. Please consider helping by donating, or by sharing this with your world.” 

The Andersens have more than cancer to contend with. Their house was seriously damaged by Hurricane Ian, and their homeowners insurance company was among the many that “went “belly up” following the storm. Their roof still leaks, and other repairs have had to be put on hold.

They have been raising two of their grandsons for the last 18 years and were looking forward to a little more ease in their lives as the last one recently graduated from high school. Think again. 

“Our journey ahead is terrifying, at best. Please consider helping us out during this very difficult time,” they said. Just over a year ago Rick lost a finger in a workplace accident, which has impacted their day-to-day lives. Then the cancer diagnosis came.

This happened shortly after Rick qualified for Medicare, which will help cover his medical expenses, but while his medical coverage has started, his actual Social Security will not start until August or September. 

“The anticipated treatment will be an incredible physical, emotional and financial burden on us,” said Stacey. “This is above and beyond what we expect will be covered by Medicare.”

“We are humbly asking for your support. We have history with Boca Grande, from first working with Donna Moore in the 1980s, and then relocating to the area from Maine in 2000. Rick is a local master carpenter who has touched the lives of many folks in Boca Grande with his many woodworking talents over the past 23 years, working most recently with island craftsmen and previously with All Phase Custom Millshop,” they said. 

“Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for anything you can do in support of this Gofundme effort,” they added.    

They hope to raise $25,000, and so far have raised $11,600 since early June.

The Gofundme link is