The Patient and Family Support Fund continues to be our area of greatest need. It is a fund of last resort for many patients, after all other possible sources of support have been exhausted. The generosity of our donors makes it possible for patients to receive financial assistance with unexpected costs that arise during their treatment such as: costs associated with travelling to receive their treatment; and medical supplies (such as prostheses, lymphedema sleeves, wigs and mastectomy supplies). There are situations where the patient cannot afford basic needs such as groceries to feed their families. Through your donations to the Patient and Family Support Fund, you are there to help them when they need it most.
Dawn & Melvin Green’s Story
It started as a bruise on my left breast.
Months passed and it didn’t get any better. It only got worse. Deep down, I knew what it was. But I’d seen others in my family go through cancer. I didn’t want to put my husband, Melvin or our four boys through that so I kept it to myself.
Then, one day, Melvin asked me what was wrong. He knew something was going on. I couldn’t keep the secret anymore so I showed him what was now a 16 cm hole in my breast. We sat at the kitchen table and talked and cried.
My doctor sent me to the Cancer Centre in St. John’s. After my first appointment with the cancer care team, I felt hope for the first time in months. And that had a lot to do with you! I wasn’t expecting good news when I walked into the oncologist’s office that day. But then she looked at me and asked “do you want to see your granddaughter grow up?” Of course, I said yes. “Then let’s get working,” she replied. “I can treat this.”
I knew then and there that I had a chance to beat this. I had the best doctors ever. I still can’t believe how well I was cared for. Four months of chemotherapy was followed by 30 radiation treatments and then it was time for my mastectomy. It was an eight-hour operation, and afterward the surgeon came out to talk to Melvin. “We got every bit of it,” she said with a smile.
It’s been quite a journey and the team at the Cancer Centre has been there every step of the way. You’ve been there too. On top of the all the stress that comes with getting a breast cancer diagnosis, there’s a lot of financial strain too. I had to take a leave from my job. Then there was all the extra money we were spending on gas, going back and forth to St. John’s – about $50 each time.
Thank goodness for the Patient and Family Support Fund, which you support through your donations. Through the Fund, we received gas cards which made it possible for me to attend treatment. The Fund also helped provide groceries for our family.