Every year, thousands of families experience financial toxicity and immense emotional distress due to the roller coaster of childhood cancer. According to a study by the American Childhood Cancer Organization, more than 75% of pediatric families have one parent who stops working completely or reduces their work hours by at least 50%. This cuts most families’ household income in half, while at the same time their expenses increase at a rate they can’t keep up with. Cancer treatment creates financial toxicity and the last thing any parent should be concerned with is figuring out how they will afford to eat, pay for hospital parking, keep the heat on, or get their child to and from treatment.
Our goal and priority at One Mission is to continue to meet the emotional and financial needs of our patients and their families because truthfully, there is never enough financial help out there for cancer families.
Below is an example of one of the many families we have helped:
Derek, a 2-year-old from a Boston suburb, was admitted to the hospital in 2021 and diagnosed with high-risk neuroblastoma. His treatment has included chemotherapy, surgery, radiation therapy, and a stem cell transplant. Derek and his sister live with their parents, Kayla and Kelvin. Before Derek fell ill, Kayla worked at a daycare, but she has been on unpaid leave since the end of August. Kelvin was working as a full-time certified nursing assistant, and his few weeks of paid leave were quickly exhausted. Kayla and Kelvin were soon experiencing financial hardship. Patient assistance funds supported the family by providing a regular stipend of meal and gas gift cards during Derek’s many admissions, as well as providing several grants to cover rent, helping the family maintain housing stability.