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St. Petersburg woman with cancer gets free pest control service

Terri Troolines, holding her English mastiff, Gracie, says she lives by the saying she keeps in her home: “Let me be the person my dog thinks I am.” While out on disability, the 56-year-old couldn’t afford pest control.

CHERIE DIEZ | Times

Terri Troolines, holding her English mastiff, Gracie, says she lives by the saying she keeps in her home: “Let me be the person my dog thinks I am.” While out on disability, the 56-year-old couldn’t afford pest control.

ST. PETERSBURG — She lost her hair from chemotherapy.

Then came the nausea, which kept Terri Troolines out of work. And though insurance covered most medical expenses for her ovarian cancer, she was out $27,000.

So much for the pest control guy.

"I just can't afford it right now," she told Julian Gregory with Pest Control Solutions & Services. The service cost more than $300, too much for a 56-year-old on disability.

"Terri, just don't even worry about it," he told her. "I'll be there tomorrow."

"No, you don't understand — I can't pay you anything."

"I'll see you tomorrow," he said, cutting her off. "Goodbye."

When Gregory showed up to treat her house, Troolines was at chemo. But when he finished the next day, she was home.

"Julian, you know I can't afford this," she said.

No amount of pleading would change his mind.

"I just want you to get better," he said.

She did. She's been cancer-free for about six months. Her hair grew back, although it's gray, not black. She's working the deli at the Sweetbay Supermarket in South Pasadena.

And she doesn't hesitate to call Gregory about pests.

"I just didn't know,'' she said, "there were men like that in the world anymore."

Andy Boyle can be reached at aboyle@sptimes.com or (727) 893-8087.

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St. Petersburg woman with cancer gets free pest control service 05/27/09 [Last modified: Monday, June 8, 2009 9:00pm]

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