The Cancer Patients in Need Fund provides supplementary assistance to patients undergoing cancer treatment at Geisinger–Lewistown Hospital's Community Cancer Treatment Center and provides financial help in the form of gift cards for gas, food and other personal care items.
This fund was started in 2009 by Dave Nelson, Medical Physicist, at Lewistown Hospital. Dave saw how cancer patients' lives were severely disrupted and how many of those patients struggled to make ends meet while going through their treatment. For instance, those who receive the cards can buy food or clothing so that other resources are available for utilities and rent. Participants can receive up to $500 worth of gift cards for each series of radiation treatments.
For most patients, radiation therapy will consume five days a week for four to six weeks and sometimes longer. Many patients' lives are severly disrupted during the course of treatment. If their jobs pay them only when they work, they'll probably be without a paycheck at least as long as the treatments last. Or they may lose their jobs because of their radiation therapy.
Particularly in hard economic times, patients may not have disability insurance to help them through treatments or may be awaiting the start of benefits from social programs. Some programs may provide reimbursements, but patients need money up front to cover costs. And the last thing anyone needs is financial problems on top of something as difficult as cancer treatment.
Donors wishing to contribute to the Cancer Patients in Need Fund can call (717) 242-7365.