Assistance Grants Cover Medications, Lymphedema Care, Medical Equipment
DALLAS - April 21, 2005 - Breast cancer patients throughout the United States who are low-income, under- or uninsured may be eligible for financial assistance grants to cover the costs of oral cancer treatment medications, pain and anti-nausea medication, lymphedema support and supplies, and durable medical equipment through a partnership between the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation and CancerCare, the nation's oldest and largest not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing free support services for cancer patients and their loved ones.
The Linking A.R.M.S.™ Program
Through a program called Linking A.R.M.S.™: Assistance & Resources Made Simple, the Komen Foundation and CancerCare have extended the reach of both organizations to economically disadvantaged breast cancer patients.
Patients who call the Komen Foundation's National Toll-Free Breast Care Helpline, 1.800 I'M AWARE®, may be transferred to the Linking A.R.M.S.™ program if they are qualified to receive financial assistance through the program. Eligible breast cancer patients may receive financial assistance grants of up to $300 for oral medication, lymphedema care, and medical equipment. Program participants may also receive, free of charge, counseling, information and referral services provided by CancerCare staff social workers. The caller is informed of a variety of other CancerCare programs that may cover expenses related to transportation, home-based medical care and child care.
The Komen Foundation, recognized as the nation's leading private source of funding for breast cancer research, is active in breast cancer patient advocacy efforts, particularly on behalf of medically underserved and minority populations. Through its more than 100 Affiliate groups nationwide, the Komen Foundation is able to fill existing gaps in breast health and breast cancer care. Six Komen Affiliates located in Las Vegas, Atlanta, South Florida, Maryland, Philadelphia and McClean County, Ill., have been instrumental in launching the Linking A.R.M.S.™ program and working with CancerCare to expand the program's outreach nationwide.
The Komen Foundation and CancerCare
"The Linking A.R.M.S.™ partnership formed by the Komen Foundation and CancerCare enables our organizations to draw on each other's strengths, our knowledge of cancer and our networking capabilities for the direct benefit of underserved and economically disadvantaged breast cancer patients anywhere in the United States," said Wendy Mason, helpline manager for the Komen Foundation.
The Komen Foundation's Helpline answers more than 60,000 calls yearly from persons diagnosed with breast cancer or those close to them. Many of those calls are in reference to financial assistance. The Linking A.R.M.S.™ partnership enables Komen Helpline staff and volunteers, who take calls in Spanish and English, to offer financial assistance callers a resource to address their needs.
Annually, CancerCare reaches approximately 90,000 people - 25 percent of whom are breast cancer patients. In 2004, CancerCare provided nearly $3.7 million in assistance to more than 15,000 patients and families.
Diane Blum, MSW, CancerCare executive director said, "The Komen Foundation's national network is very strong and its volunteers and staff are among the most dedicated frontrunners in the fight against breast cancer. Through this partnership, we are so pleased to be able to provide our professional counseling services and financial assistance experience to an even greater number of breast cancer patients in need."
About the Komen Foundation
The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation was established in 1982 by Nancy Brinker to honor the memory of her sister, Susan G. Komen, who died from breast cancer at the age of 36. Today, the Foundation is an international organization with a network of more than 75,000 volunteers working through local Affiliates and events like the Komen Race for the Cure® to eradicate breast cancer as a life-threatening disease. A global leader in the fight against breast cancer, the Foundation fulfills its mission through support of innovative breast cancer research grants, meritorious awards and educational, scientific and community outreach programs around the world. Together with its Affiliate Network, corporate partners and generous donors, the Komen Foundation has raised more than $740 million for the fight against breast cancer.
For more information about breast health or breast cancer, visit the Foundation's Web site at www.komen.org or call the Foundation's National Toll Free Breast Care Helpline at 1.800 I'M AWARE® (1.800.462.9273).
CancerCare is a national non-profit organization that provides free professional support services to anyone affected by cancer: people with cancer, caregivers, children, loved ones, and the bereaved. CancerCare programs—including counseling, education, financial assistance and practical help—are provided by trained oncology social workers and are completely free of charge. Founded in 1944, CancerCare now provides individual help to more than 90,000 people each year, in addition to the more than one million people who gain information and resources from its website. Find out more about CancerCare by calling 1-800-813-HOPE (4673) or at www.cancercare.org.