Meet Ana, Eugene, and John. They are the latest Lifeline Project participants to be profiled in our ongoing series highlighting the needs of transplant patients.
Ana was initially diagnosed with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma in December of 2009. She was treated with six cycles of R-CHOP chemotherapy and went into remission in June of 2010. Unfortunately she relapsed a year later and would need to undergo more chemotherapy as well as an autologous stem cell transplant. Ana has been through a lengthy treatment and could use help with her medical expenses.
Eugene is a former case manager, social worker, and secondary school teacher whose working career was cut short in January of 2009 when he was diagnosed with multiple myeloma. Despite undergoing treatment and a bone marrow transplant his cancer is still not in remission. Eugene is continuing to undergo treatment, which has put him and his wife in a difficult financial situation. Neither of them can maintain employment while they focus on his care and they are desperately in need of assistance with their rent payments.
John was diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) in April of 2010. Since that time he has undergone multiple rounds of chemotherapy, several blood transfusions, and a bone marrow transplant. As a result of the lengthy treatment, John could not return to work and was terminated by his employer. His wife, Debra, also needed to stop working in order to be his caregiver. They are now faced with multiple expenses, including the additional cost of housing near the transplant center. Despite the challenges they are focusing on the future and have just celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary.
To help these or any of the Lifeline Project participants, click here.
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.
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 the Foundation tries 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. The Foundation does not restrict its financial assistance to a specific disease, type of transplant, or age range, which makes these programs vital resources for many patients who do not meet other organizations’ eligibility criteria.
While advocating on behalf of a young mother in need, one social worker recently wrote:
“Furthermore, since she has fanconi anemia and MDS, most of the cancer organizations that usually offer help are not willing to do so, since these are not considered “cancers,” yet the treatment (chemo and stem cell transplant) is the same.”
The Bone Marrow Foundation relies 100% on private contributions from generous individuals, businesses, and foundations. To learn how you can make a gift to support transplant patients and their families, click here.