On Friday, September 21, Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden hosted the national Biden Cancer Summit in Washington, D.C. with the goal of improving the cancer journey for patients, their families and caregivers through innovation and collaboration in the cancer community.
Boston-based national nonprofit Family Reach was invited to take the main stage to shed light on the financial burden of cancer, a national crisis that the organization has been addressing for more than 22 years. Lost income coupled with increased out-of-pocket costs associated with treatment result in higher mortality rates, the inability to adhere to their treatment plans, and bankruptcy. The financial burden of cancer affects nearly one in three families who have a child in treatment.
First announced at the Biden Cancer Summit, Family Reach is one step closer to the goal of reaching even more cancer patients before they hit financial breaking points and before their cancer care is interrupted due to a $5 million dollar donation from AbbVie, a global pharmaceutical company.
Family Reach will now be able to accelerate the scope of its support programs by adding 25 hospitals in 25 states to reach an estimated 4,400 additional families affected by pediatric cancer. Family Reach will also be able to train new staff to add 125 hospital-based social workers, resource navigators, and nurse navigators to the Family Reach network, expanding its reach to an estimated 200,000 people within two years.
“Families dealing with cancer need more than a cure. We see the financial struggles families dealing with a pediatric cancer diagnosis face every day and the dangerous decisions it forces them to make; do they pay their heating bill or put food on the table? These financial barriers directly impact patient’s survival rate because they affect their ability to access care and adhere to lifesaving treatment,” says Carla Tardif, CEO of Family Reach. “We are tremendously grateful to AbbVie and to all of our supporters for recognizing the magnitude of this issue. With continued support from our community, Family Reach can build upon the resources that will impact a family’s chance of making it to the other side of cancer.”
Additional resources will be more widely available by mid-2019, including financial literacy tools and the expansion of the Financial Planning for Cancer created in collaboration with the Foundation for Financial Planning and The Financial Planning Association as well as a digital hub for data sharing among affiliate nonprofits.
“As the only national nonprofit focused exclusively on addressing this issue for over 20 years, Family Reach remains steadfast in its dedication to reducing the financial hardships on families facing a cancer diagnosis,” said Laura Schumacher, Executive Vice President, External Affairs, General Counsel, and Corporate Secretary at AbbVie. “Family Reach’s solution-based model helps so many families at critical junctures in their lives so that they can focus on what truly matters: the health and needs of their child. We are proud that our support will allow Family Reach to significantly expand its work.”
Everyone deserves a fair shot at getting to the other side of cancer. Family Reach won’t stop until financial barriers are no longer a hurdle.
For more information about Family Reach, visit familyreach.org.
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