Terminal cancer patient holds yard sale to help pay medical bills, gov shuts it down

By Emily Sinovic
Salem News

A woman fighting a terminal form of bone cancer is trying to raise money to help pay bills with a few weekend garage sales, but the city of Salem, Oregon says she’s breaking the law and is shutting her down.

Jan Cline had no idea, but the city of Salem has a clear law that states a person can only have three yard sales a year.

Cline has been selling her stuff in the backyard for a few weekends and said she thought she’d be fine by keeping the sale out of everyone’s way.

“It’s a struggle,” Cline says. “It’s a struggle for me because I’m very independent, used to taking care of myself.”

She’s run businesses and supported herself for years but this summer she was diagnosed with bone cancer.

“It’s a bone marrow cancer that eats through the bones and causes holes in the bones so that just by walking I can break a bone,” she says.

In one day she lost her independence, her ability to work and earn an income that could pay for all those medical bills.

So she decided to sell what she owned. The sale was bringing in several hundred dollars each weekend until one neighbor complained and she got a visit from the city.

“He said, ‘I’m sorry. Rules are rules.’”

Cline says she understands the city is trying to prevent nuisances in neighborhoods but she doesn’t think she’s causing any trouble.

“We make such an effort of making it back here (backyard) so that it’s not goobering up the neighborhood, so it’s not like a garage sale all laid out day after day after day,” she says.

Cline says she’s not looking for special treatment but maybe some understanding.

“I just hope that nobody else has to go through this kind of thing. I hope no one else has to give their lives away for nickels and dimes and then be told they can’t even do that. I hope nobody else has to do this ever.”

According to the Community Development Department, there is a reason for the law. In the past some people had set up what ended up being permanent flea-market-type sales on their property.

After hearing more about Cline’s situation, a supervisor said he is going to take another look to see if there’s anything she can do to operate within the law. But if she reopens now, it is a misdemeanor and about a $300 fine.

If You Would Like To Help

Jan Cline

Hat tip Blacklisted News.

16 responses to “Terminal cancer patient holds yard sale to help pay medical bills, gov shuts it down

  1. Why do people in Administrative positions have ZERO common sense? The entire problem with this country is paperwork comes before common sense and human decency.

    • I think it’s deliberate — tyranny thru bureaucracy

      • I think it is deliberate, too. But how many people in lowly administrative positions carry out unjust paperwork every day without thinking it through–while they call themselves good people. They become attached to their official jobs and “paperwork” in order to hold on to their job benefits at the expense of social justice. They become unthinking go-fers for Corporate “policy.” Most people working for large corporations (and those corporately run government entities) actually believe the Big Heads care about them–when in fact, the corporate and government heads will spit them out as fast as they spit out the masses. They use compliant people like slaves to carry out their policies. And these “good” loyal employees will carry out “official” paperwork–no matter how unjust and manipulative the policies, because they are hypnotized by the SEEMING official authority of Administrative “paperwork” and the thought of holding on to their 401K–ALL AT THE EXPENSE of HUMAN JUSTICE.

      • Absolutely – they are trying to instigate a violent reaction. This is just one small story be these incidents are everywhere – swat teaming dairy farmers, etc. @Well, not any farmer, only those growing real food. TSA, builds every day.

        A good reason to thwart them but they will just plant people to do it.

  2. The thing is, tyrants deeply underestimate the nature of freedom. Tyranny and all of its lies cannot sustain itself. It will fail ultimately.

  3. “He said, ‘I’m sorry. Rules are rules.’”
    La majestueuse égalité des lois, qui interdit au riche comme au pauvre de coucher sous les ponts, de mendier dans les rues et de voler du pain.

    The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread

    OR have garage sales.

  4. She should list all her stuff on Craigslist–and in the meantime appeal the local law. I wonder what type of organization or group could help her with her dispute or help her rethink another solution for where to hold her sales. It would help her and help bring attention to her plight.

  5. This is awful! I feel so bad for this woman. I’d imagine if I were in her shoes I’d have to do the same thing. It’s disgusting that government doesn’t value human life. I wonder if there is somewhere people can donate money to help her? I’m living paycheck to paycheck but I’d be willing to donate some money to help her out.

  6. How about the jack-ass who called the police on her. Talk about a low-life, lack of morale, scumbag! There is a special place in Hell for that person. The neighbors should call out that person and post ads in country-wide newspapers, and signs all over their neighborhood and fliers in local shops.

    Use it as a way to call that person out for what they did and also collect to help this woman pay her bills.

    Have it say, “Please help! Since “PERSONS NAME” living at “PERSONS ADDRESS” called the police on Jan Cline, who has cancer and was selling her personal things to pay the medical bills, the police shut down Jan’s sales. Please help Jan with anything you can, this should not happen in America”.

    That’s what someone who lives near her should do.

    We have to look out for one-another and call out & reprimand those people who are detrimental to us coming together as one.

  7. a lot of strange things happening. I recently found that if you are 100 years old, Medicare is not paying for some diagnosis– that’s look totally out of logic to me. The friend of mine wrote about it in her blog.

  8. Actually these situations are excellent examples of decisions cultures make to be pro-human or anti-human. Law is notoriously unable to see the fine grain as are bureaucrats who administer the law. However, this is a social choice and that requires social effort and if the social is anti-social no amount of common sense can prevail. We are a short step away from terminating sick and elderly people in the name of cost efficency. Already more is spent on incarceration than education, and in prison people do get no cost medical treatment of varying degrees of competency.

  9. Wow. I found this page because I too have very advanced cancer and am unable to work to support my family due to treatments. It is a horrible feeling for your body to betray you. I cannot believe that someone actually reported her and that the city followed thru. No compassion, understanding or sympathy. The only plus side I cam see is that with this page she is being given a larger voice . I hope that generous hearts will understand her plight and click on the links to offer support. Honestly even $5 helps. Of all adds up. Skip your morning Starbucks and sleep well tonight knowing you helped a fellow human being.

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