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Small Shelby County farm helps patients fighting cancer across the country

Jana Bass of Bass Farms
Posted at 5:59 AM, Jul 20, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-30 17:37:51-04

SHELBY COUNTY — A family farm in Shelby County is helping cancer patients across the country with their products.

Jana Bass of Bass Farms sits out back on a windy summer day.

"Well we've done a lot of different things," Bass said. "Sheep and cows, and oh I guess a couple of pigs, and goats, and a little bit of, chickens and everything."

But today, there's no livestock on their land.

It's a farm of product production.

"A product farm," Bass said. "I don't know, it's kind of come full circle."

Bass Farms manufacturing
Here's a look inside the Bass Farms product farm in Shelby County.

Bass left her full time job years ago as her mother battled cancer and was soon going to pass. She started creating goat milk products to sell at her local farmers market as a small side job.

Little did she know at the time, that side job would create a big business for her family with a product that could help cancer patients like her mother in their treatments.

She also has created products for babies.

"I was making all the products in the kitchen. And it was really for a baby, for their butt," Bass said. "So it was called Baby Butt Butter, that's what the Triple B stands for."

Somewhere between selling it at the farmers market and today, people began using it for things other than to treat diaper rash, including burns from radiation treatments.

Triple B Cream
This cream was originally made by Jana Bass to help with diaper rash.

"It was a total accident," Bass said. "So it really wasn't for burns at all."

Bass says oncologists, one in particular, began taking notice.

The oncologist began recommending all of his patients try the Triple B cream, and then his colleagues caught on and then other hospital groups as well.

"A lot of times they would have to stop treatment because they would have to have such severe burns, they would have to give them a break," Bass said. "And so, he would see that if they went home and used it once or twice, they didn't have to take any breaks."

Cancer patients started recommending the Tripe B Cream from Bass Farms on national cancer support Facebook groups and pages. Hospitals started carrying the goat milk cream in their gift shops and providing samples to patients undergoing radiation.

"I didn't know until I started doing this, all of these simple ingredients that do such big things," Bass said.

Not too far away in Camby during this time, Niki Donaldson received the news over a phone call as the world shut down for the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020.

Niki Donaldson opens up
Niki Donaldson explains what it was like going through cancer treatments in the early days of the pandemic.

"I was diagnosed with breast cancer in the left breast," Donaldson said. "Twenty weeks of chemo and 25 rounds of radiation."

As the pandemic took hold, and in-person interaction was on hold, Donaldson took to Facebook to find support in those cancer support groups.

That's when she came across recommendations for this Triple B Cream for radiation.

"And I looked at the label and I was like whoa, that's like here in Indiana," says Donaldson. The kept the cream and then eventually she prepared to meet with her radiation oncologist.

"He gave me a sample and he said 'I want you to start using this product' and I was like 'is this Triple B Cream? Like is this Bass Farms?' And he was like, 'how do you know what this is?'," Donaldson said.

Donaldson used the cream and says she never had any burns from her radiation treatments.

When she finished treatments, she got celebratory cookies and thanked her new friend Jana, for creating a product that gave her a sense of calm through one of her most difficult trials.

Niki and Jana
New friends pose for a picture. They were connected after Niki used Jana's cream when battling cancer.

"The product seems so small to me," Bass said "But the cancer patients, we get emails everyday, that it's huge to them."

Bass says she has a huge soft spot for these patients, people like her mother, who are going through this fight for their lives.

She knows treatments are time consuming and everything is expensive, so she made it a priority of her business to keep costs down.

In fact, on their website you can order the Triple B Cream and ointment and she offers a discount code for cancer patients for as long as they need it.

Bass Farms across the country
Inside their production facility, Bass Farms keeps track of orders shipped across the country.

They also offer more than 100 different products now, with over 200 scents available.

When asked if she ever thought her products would help cancer patients across the country, Bass says she had no idea the impact.