Financial aid for breast cancer & a collective thank you

At a recent breast cancer retreat, one of the “house moms” asked those of us at the dinner table, “What helped you the most?” One woman described how prayer in the morning helped her get through each day, and so on. By the time it was my turn to answer I was feeling incredibly shallow. My answer? “Money.” (Though flowers are a close second.)

Getting breast cancer meant that I took an incredible financial hit, in lost income and increased expenses. So how did I get through? Well, in part, through grants.

Because last year I earned less than 4 times the federal poverty level (not unusual for women in nonprofits BTW), I qualified for several sources of aid:

So for any one in similar shoes, there is help out there. Here’s how it worked in my life:

  • Cancercare sent me checks outright.
  • Brenda Mehling sent a check to my landlord.
  • CoPay Relief covered copays and coinsurance related to chemo only; they sent me reimbursement checks and paid my oncologist directly. They also continue to pay my pharmacy for each prescription, which is a huge relief. (Who knows if I’ll use up the whole $2K before the award-year is out, but I might).
  • Healthwell covers insurance premiums.
  • Providence gave me gas vouchers and Fred Meyer gift cards.
  • I also rec’d a $20 check as a rebate for an anti-nausea medicine (Kytril), as well as
  • significant support from family, friends and various community members.

To everyone and every organization that helped, my undying (hopefully, right?) gratitude. You made a huge difference in my life. With every grant/gift envelope that I opened my body visibly relaxed, and my stress eased. Thank you.

And the 10 bouquets of flowers over the course of chemo were wonderful – they brightened my home, and my life, considerably. You know who are, and I thank you with all my heart.



Filed under breast cancer, chemo, costs, financial assistance

3 responses to “Financial aid for breast cancer & a collective thank you

  1. Carol Drewes

    Thanks for this great list of resources.
    I have great support from friends and family who’ve been through treatment but they are all on a VERY different financial level (higher) than I am. They just don’t hear me when I say the thing that scares me most is the loss of income. Bless you!!

  2. maria martinez

    My moms died of colon cancer and went through hell and now I have a friend who was just told last week she has breast cancer and I know she does not have any insurance and I am determined to help her some how besides just being there for her
    thanks for your info

  3. Molly Macdonald

    My experience was similar. Our home went into foreclosure,my five children and I ended up standing in line at the food bank and as a result I began a non-profit to make direct bill payments. Thanks for your suggestions. We will add them to our site.

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