Mark, 65 years old, divorced and living with his dog for companionship in Lehigh Acres with two adult sons, one local and one out of state. Nine years ago, Mark was diagnosed with Melanoma. He received treatment and now returns to Moffitt Cancer Center every six months for a checkup. In June 2020, Mark went in for a routine checkup and was diagnosed with Metastatic Melanoma, Stage IV. He receives IV treatments every three weeks at Moffitt Cancer Center.
CAN began assisting Mark in October 2020. He reached out as he was having a tough time managing his funds with treatment and travel to Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa. Living on a fixed income and relying on an older car with over 200,000 miles, he feared driving himself to and from treatment in Tampa because of worry that the car may break down. This was incredibly stressful for him. CAN assisted Mark by paying toward his monthly mortgage, hoping to offset some money for small car repairs and medical co-pays. At the end of the March, CAN reached out to Mark regarding the end of assistance, as the maximum benefit had been reached. Mark was very overwhelmed, so we discussed how we may be able to offer additional help.
Can inquired if he had applied for additional assistance through Florida Cancer Specialist Foundation. He stated that he had, but they were out of funding at the time. CAN stepped in and reached out to the Foundation on his behalf. They were experiencing some issues due to COVID and high rents, but assured CAN that they would move forward with assistance by way of utilities and car insurance for Mark. In addition, Mark was overly concerned that he had not received the third round of stimulus money from the government, as he was relying on that for car repairs. On his behalf and with his permission, CAN sought answers on the IRS website. His third stimulus check had not yet been sent and there was no indication that he would be receiving it. CAN applied for additional funding through Amber’s Antibodies on Mark’s behalf to help with car repairs.
In discussing treatments options with Mark, he stated that it would be nice to be able to get treatment locally and visit Moffitt as needed. CAN reached out to nurse navigator Jennifer at Regional Cancer Center to inquire about getting Mark treatment locally. Jennifer reviewed his information and said that it should be possible and that she would reach out to him to discuss the next steps in getting him set up with their services to help further reduce his out-of-pocket expenses.
On April 6, CAN reached out to Mark again to check in and help him research his stimulus check status. He was in good spirits and said that he checked his account and had received the stimulus! He was so excited that he called his mechanic and told him to start ordering the parts for his vehicle. We discussed Regional Cancer Center and that Jennifer should be calling him regarding moving his treatment locally. We also discussed Amber’s Antibodies and that hopefully he would hear back from them in the next few weeks as well. Mark is incredibly grateful to CAN for the continued assistance, support, and check-ins.
For nearly 20 years, generous support from our community has made it possible for CAN to help families and individuals like Mark, and that assistance is critical to everything we do at Cancer Alliance Network.
Thanks to contributions from individuals who give so much, we have helped over 1,200 children and adults battling cancer in our local communities. For families and individuals on the verge of not being able to keep the lights on at home or pay necessary bills, CAN’s financial assistance is precious. It preserves human dignity and helps them focus on fighting their cancer battle with peace of mind. Facing a world of unknowns and being forced to make life-changing medical decisions, as well as dealing with mounting pressures of everyday living expenses, CAN helps, when there is nowhere else to turn.
You CAN help to support the journeys of so many of our neighbors by making a gift to Cancer Alliance Network today. Your gift will provide greatly needed resources to a local family or individual who is currently experiencing a cancer diagnosis.