Last week you were introduced to Joseph and his family (The doctor said, “You have cancer.” October 28, 2011).  You read about Joseph’s shock as he received the news that he had cancer.  Joseph has now started treatment and is finding that the financial obligations, even with good health insurance, are difficult to meet.  Co-pays for daily radiation, increased costs for gas and parking is taking a toll on his family’s income.  “When you’re the father and the provider, there are a lot of questions about whether you’ll be able to do that any more, and it’s really hard to see your family struggling because the cost of cancer treatment is so high,” says Joseph.

Like many cancer patients, Joseph has experienced a sudden and dramatic decrease in earnings as he is unable to work full-time due to his treatment schedule and the ill effects of treatment.  This is leaving his family in a precarious financial position.  Studies show that due to the physical and psychological toll of cancer treatment, cancer patients are often unable to work, are underemployed and many eventually lose their jobs at a rate three times that of the general population.  This also has an impact on the primary caregiver’s ability to work and Joseph’s wife, Maria, has needed to use many hours of vacation time to care for her husband.

Joseph’s situation is not unique and many in our community have faced the same financial challenges while they undergo cancer treatment.  Some cancer patients struggle with the decision of fulfilling their treatment to avoid leaving their family bankrupt or with insurmountable debt.

There is help for famlies like Joseph’s.  Angel Foundation’s Financial Assistance Program helps adult cancer patients meet their critical non-medical basic needs such as housing, utilities, food and gas.

Last week you learned about the Power of 10 challenge grant that Angel Foundation’s board of directors has put forth to new donors and current donors that want to increase their gift.  If you’re not a donor, double the impact of your gift by making a gift today and being part of this challenge.  If you already support Angel Foundation, thank you!  You can help us meet the challenge by increasing your gift by any amount.  When you support Angel Foundation, you make a difference in the life of a familiy when cancer strikes.