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Organization Provides Financial Help for Breast Cancer Patients

Organization Provides Financial Help for Breast Cancer Patients
May 12
13:50 2017

Organization Provides Financial Help for Breast Cancer Patients

Nothing can be more devastating for a woman than hearing a doctor tell her she has breast cancer. She is filled the fear and panic. She fears dying and losing part of her feminine charm. She begins to dread and fear the nauseating treatments she has heard so much about and she fears what this will do to her family.

As the news of having breast cancer sinks in, she begins to fear the financial strain breast cancer treatment will have on her and her family. If she has insurance, it usually only pays for part of the expenses, but we all know that insurance companies find as many ways to refrain from paying medical bills and for the flimsiest of reasons.

As her treatment begins, she finds that it’s difficult to show up to work every day. She is frequently nauseous and feels quite weak. She begins to call in sick to work until her sick time is used up and then she hopes to be able to use what vacation time she has to help pay the bills that begin to arrive in the mail.

What happens when she uses up all of her sick and vacation time, but she’s still not physically able to show up to work. Breast cancer treatment can last for months and then there is the time needed to recoup her strength and get back on her feet. Quiet frequently, she ends up losing her job and sometimes her insurance as well, unless she can pay the exorbitant cost of Cobra insurance.

At this stage of breast cancer treatment, she dreads going to the mailbox and finding more bills or delinquency notices on past due bills. Not only is it difficult to pay the mounting medical bills, but it also becomes difficult to pay the mortgage, put food on the table, pay for car insurance or gas for the car. What does she do? Where does she turn for help?

That’s what Molly MacDonald found herself facing while undergoing breast cancer treatment some years ago. After losing her job, she was paying for Cobra insurance for herself, her husband and five kids. She described some of what she went through:

“We were facing homelessness, I was in line at the food bank, I was bargaining with Ford credit every 60 days to please not come and repo my car.”

MacDonald said she took out a $500,000 insurance policy on herself and actually thought it would be better financially for her kids if she let the cancer take her, but she was a fighter and knew that was not the answer, explaining:

“I kind of thought it would be better if cancer had taken my life. If I had an advanced disease and died my children would not be homeless.”

According to a recent report, 20% to 30% of women going through breast cancer treatment will lose their jobs. The same report said that on average, treatment lasted for 7 to 8 months. During that time, there are the monthly expenses as well the mounting medical bills, that can and do put an untold amount of stress on her and her family, the kind of stress that can have damaging health effects of their own.

MacDonald met other women going through the same treatment and financial situation that she was going through. Many of them felt as helpless and scared as she was. That’s when she decided to do something to help many other women who found themselves in the same situation she was in.

In 2005, MacDonald founded the Pink Fund. According to their website:

“The Pink Fund has been formed to help breast cancer patients focus on healing, raising their families, and returning to the workplace. The Pink Fund will provide short term financial aid for a brief period of treatment and recovery.”

In 2016, Patty Dell’ Olio was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer. That’s when the breast cancer cells test negative for estrogen receptor (ER-), progesterone receptors (PR-) and HER2 (HER2-). This means this type of cancer does not generally respond to hormonal therapy or other therapies that are often used in the treatment of breast cancer.

Dell’ Olio found herself in the same situation that MacDonald went through years earlier. She explained:

“My bills started to pile up, I actually had to borrow money and I was trying to find whatever I could that was out there that would be helpful and I found the Pink Fund.”

“It’s hard because you’re dealing with having to think about if you’re going to be alive in a year or so and then you’re on the phone talking to someone about giving you money, it’s difficult.”

For three months, Pink Fund paid her car insurance and gas bills. Her treatment lasted 10 months, after which time doctors said her scans looks good.

If you find yourself or someone you know in the same situation of going through breast cancer treatment and struggling financially, you may want to contact the Pink Fund to see if they can help. It’s hard to ask for help, but in the long run, it can take some of the stress out of your recovery, which will be a huge plus.

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