Being diagnosed with breast cancer is a frightening occurrence in any affected woman’s life. And the chances to encounter it involve some of the highest rates of any type of cancer. In fact, one in eight women will face breast cancer during their lifetime. In the United States alone, this means that a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer every three minutes. These are very scary numbers. And beyond simply being diagnosed follows the financially devastating issue of how to pay for treatment. Breast cancer treatment typically costs between $50,000 and $100,000. This broad range is due to many factors including geographic location, method of treatment pursued and severity of each case. And while the condition is usually covered by health insurance, it can still leave many affected with the disease in a dire financial state. 60% of bankruptcies in the United States each year are caused by unexpected medical expenses. The good news is that there is help in the form of breast cancer financial assistance programs that provide grants to those diagnosed with breast cancer who experience severe financial difficulty.
This is a non-profit organization founded in 1944 to offer support to cancer patients. Every single year it provides help to a million people struggling with cancer and distributes around $30 million in assistance. The organization relies on donations as its main source of funding. For those diagnosed with breast cancer, it offers its assistance program to women and to the smaller number of men affected as well. In addition to providing its own assistance program, CancerCare’s staff of oncology social workers also refer applicants to other sources of help. To be eligible for the program, you must have a cancer diagnosis provided by an oncologist, be in active treatment for cancer, live in the United States or Puerto Rico and be at or below 250% of federal poverty guidelines. Starting the process is as easy as a phone call. To apply simply call CancerCare toll-free at 1-800-813-4673 to speak with a social worker. This call will involve a brief interview to confirm your eligibility. You will then be sent a bar-coded application by mail. In addition to financial assistance, you will also receive access to the organization’s many services including counseling, education, local support groups and other community programs.
Catherine H. Tuck Foundation
The Catherine H. Tuck Foundation was founded by David Hudgins after his sister Dr. Catherine Hudgins Tuck passed away at the age of 39 from breast cancer. It was only recently chartered in 2012 with the mission of helping to support some of the non-medical expenses which impact women when they are undergoing treatment for breast cancer. The foundation provides financial assistance for housing and bills so that women undergoing active breast cancer treatment can simply focus on getting better. To apply for help you must currently be or have been in active treatment within the last six months including chemotherapy, radiation or surgery. The program is only open to residents of the United States who are experiencing financial hardship from a breast cancer diagnosis and have $5,000 or less in liquid assets. The foundation is not able to supply funding to all that apply, but those that receive assistance will have payments made directly to their landlord, mortgage company and utility providers. There is also a one grant per year limit. To start the application process, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org including the information requested on the foundation’s website. A full application will then be sent out to you which can be returned either by mail or by fax.
The Pink Fund
Molly MacDonald, the founder of The Pink Fund, is a bold breast cancer survivor who wants to help others follow in her footsteps. She designed the Pink Fund to help women and men with short-term financial assistance when they have lost all or part of their income due to active breast cancer treatment. The funding it offers can be used to pay your rent or mortgage, car payments, car insurance, utilities and even health care premiums. These payments go directly to creditors and some applicants may receive assistance for up to 90 days following active treatment. The Pink Fund defines short-term support as up to three consecutive months. Help is offered only to those in active treatment, which the fund considers to be the period of time between diagnosis and the end of treatment. When you are able to return to work is determined by your physician. If you feel you meet the fund’s eligibility requirements, you are invited to begin your application by answering eight simple questions on the organization’s website. If the short quiz determines you are eligible, you will then be sent to a page where you can download a full application.