This week the Wall Street Journal‘s “Donor of the Day” column recognized Charlotte Moss for her efforts to help bone marrow, stem cell, and cord blood transplant patients and their families. Charlotte became very familiar with the cause a decade ago when her brother battled leukemia and she was his donor.
While accompanying her brother through his treatment, Charlotte witnessed firsthand the struggles of transplant patients and their families. She told the Wall Street Journal:
I saw people that I knew weren’t going to make it….Most importantly, there was nobody around to give them that psychological support to boost them up during their treatment, because they couldn’t afford to be there. And that really put the lump in my throat every day.”
Charlotte Moss has been a long-time supporter of The Bone Marrow Foundation and serves as a member of the Board of Directors. She will be honored at the Foundation’s Be A Lifeline Gala being held tonight in New York City.
The Bone Marrow Foundation was founded with one goal: to improve the lives of bone marrow, stem cell, and cord blood transplant patients and their families. One of the ways we try to do this is by helping ease the burden of some of the additional expenses related to transplant, such as housing, transportation, childcare, co-pays, and donor searches.
Because our budget does not allow us to approve every request to our Patient Aid Program, we often have to make tough choices. Sometimes only a tiny difference determines which application is funded and which is denied. In order to give a more clear idea of the depth of need these patients and their families face, we are sharing excerpts, like the one below, from actual Patient Aid applications. The names have been changed to maintain confidentially, but the stories are straight from the applications.
Janice is battling MDS and recently had a stem cell transplant. She has requested help paying for rent and groceries.
Janice is a single working mother who will potentially be off work for the next year. With Janice’s current position, she has no disability benefits; hence when her paid time off and sick leave hours are used, she will no longer get paid. Finances are already a strain for Janice, as she tries to take care of her son while fighting for her life. Also of note, without disability benefits, the patient’s employer only needs to hold her position for 6 months. Beyond this time frame, the patient could lose her job which provides her with insurance. (She has approximately 1 month of paid time off and sick leave left.)
After submitting the application, Janice’s social worker reported that her co-workers were able to donate some of their own paid time off to help her, but that too has run out.
Each of us has the ability to make a big difference in the lives of these patients and their families. By ensuring that they have access to all the resources they need, we truly create a lifeline for those who desperately need it. To learn how you can make a gift to support the Foundation’s efforts, click here.