When an individual is diagnosed with cancer, it not only affects them physically and emotionally, but also financially.  Medical expenses and the inability to work during treatment can make paying monthly bills, such as rent, a very difficult task.  Every year, we receive requests from hundreds of families seeking financial assistance.

One of the requests we received was for a woman whose husband was diagnosed with multiple myeloma.  As her husband’s only caregiver, she took unpaid leave from work.  With no income coming in and awaiting the pending approval of social security, the couple was unable to cover their expenses and was forced to move.  We gave this couple $600 in financial assistance to help pay for their living expenses.

Another request we received was for a man who was unable to work and waited three years through appeals for social security disability.  During this time, he lost his house, went through all of his savings, and spent some time homeless on the streets.  Finally, the man was approved to receive disability, but just as things seemed like they were starting to turn around, he was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer.  With the new financial burden brought on by the cancer, his social worker reached out to us for help and we answered back with $600 in financial assistance.

These stories are what we see everyday from individuals all around the Twin Cities metro area.  And the need for financial assistance has increased as we received 694 applications for financial assistance from January to June in 2012 compared to 430 applications during the same months in 2011. 

We have been fortunate enough, however, to receive an increase in support from donors, organizations, and community fundraisers, which has helped us continue to meet the growing demand for financial assistance.  This year, we have been able to distribute financial assistance to 595 individuals with $64,845 distributed in May, the second highest month in Angel Foundation history. 

The financial assistance we have distributed has truly made an impact on the recipients, eliminating some of their worry and helping them gain some sense of control in their lives.

“As the Financial Assistance Program coordinator, I have the opportunity to see first hand how impactful and far reaching a financial gift can be,” says Jennifer Kielas. “So many of our financial assistance  recipients tell me how this assistance from Angel Foundation  not only helps alleviate a potential financial crisis, but helps restore their hope as well. “

A quote from one of the recipients really defines the impact of financial assistance: “I am so deeply grateful for you, your organization and the assistance you can provide.  This is truly the most devastating thing I have ever experienced and you…have given me HOPE.  And I can tell you that without it, life seems literally unbearable at times like this”.

By Sam Wroge, marketing intern for Angel Foundation