What does an extra $100 mean to an individual?

For most of us, it may mean a nice dinner out or a brand new outfit or tickets to a ballgame. But, for an individual facing a cancer diagnosis it can mean so much more.

Angel Foundation recently increased the amount of its financial assistance funding from $500 to $600 to offer more support to cancer patients in active treatment. That additional $100 may mean an extra week of transportation to cancer treatment, or air conditioning when the individual isn’t feeling well or coverage of medical copays not paid by health insurance.

And then there is the emotional impact of such funding. “An additional $100 may give the patient confidence to schedule that next appointment—because they’ll have transportation covered,” says Kelly Theesfeld, coordinator of Angel Foundation’s Financial Assistance program. 

 She recalls one recent financial assistance applicant, a woman in her 50s diagnosed with breast cancer, who walked two hours to get to her appointment because she had no money for transportation.  Because her appointments are during the day, it was difficult for her  to find a ride with everyone working. “In providing her with emergency financial assistance, It means someone saying yes to her request for help—rather than no, no, no ,” says Kelly. “Here is an organization that can say yes and say it quickly. “

Emergency funds also recently helped a single mom who has been living with cancer for several years. She has been taking out school loans to make ends meet. Worried about her financial situation, she says, “I’m not afraid of dying, but I’m afraid for my children.”

Each day at Angel Foundation, we are reminded of the enormity of cancer’s impact through similar stories of newly diagnosed cancer patients and their families. We are humbled by the strength and courage of those we serve. And we are grateful to our funders for their support, allowing us to increase our financial assistance to patients enduring cancer treatment and the physical, financial and emotional toll that accompanies it. We strive to bring recipients empathy, encouragement and compassion.

“There is more than money in that envelope,” says Kelly. “There is reassurance and the gift of time, a chance to take a breath to determine what course to take next as they face this huge change in their lives.”