When you’ve been told you have cancer, you are suddenly thrust into a whole new world of emotions, stress, and responsibility. While outsiders may believe that your focus is directed entirely on your treatment plan, the diagnosis brings an onslaught of new challenges and anxieties. Cancer affects your sense of self. It introduces a level of anxiety, fear, anger and grief that can lead to overwhelming depression, and these emotions do not arise simply from the disease.
In many cases cancer’s greatest difficulty comes from concerns about how to pay for medical bills, or guilt that arises because of the impact that the illness has had on the family’s budget. Nobody wants to think that family vacations, tuitions, savings are being set aside because of them, yet this is often the harsh reality.
For cancer patients in Montana, the most stressful and disturbing side effect of their cancer treatment is not nausea or hair loss but the pile of medical bills that stares at them from their kitchen table. The anxiety that keep them up at night has less to do with their next doctor’s appointment then how they are going to pay the co-insurance for their surgery and at the same time pay the utility bills.
Though these aspects of cancer are unknowns to the general public, there is a wide network of support organizations that have been created specifically to address the special needs that arise from a cancer diagnosis, and the financial ravages of the disease are high on their list of areas in which they offer help. There are financial resources for cancer patients in Montana that come from within the state and from grassroots organizations in the community, as well as from national organizations that make funding and assistance available to patients throughout the country.
If you are seeking financial help for cancer patients in Montana, you are probably learning the importance of asking for and accepting help when it is offered, and these organizations are eager to be of service.
Cancer Network of Sanders County
About Cancer Network of Sanders County: Cancer Network is a nonprofit organization that was formed to lend support to Sanders County residents with their cancer treatments. Funds are available to assist with travel expenses, medications, prostheses, wigs or other related expenses not covered by insurance.
Chicks n Chaps
About Chicks n Chaps: Chicks n Chaps raises money for breast cancer treatment, education and prevention in multiple towns across Montana and the US, while teaching women about the sport of rodeo. Money raised in each town with the Women’s Only Rodeo Clinics stays in that town to help local people get the medical attention they need. Funds raised are distributed to charitable organizations who then distribute their funds locally to families and individuals who are impacted by breast cancer.
Community Medical Center Ava Nicole Breast Health Fund
2827 Fort Missoula Rd., Missoula, MT 59804
About The Community Medical Center Foundation: The Ava Nicole fund was established in 2008 to help support the needs of breast health patients during their diagnosis and treatment. Provides anything from medication, wigs and camisoles, to gas money, and beyond.
Providence Montana Health Foundation
The Providence Montana Health Foundation supports patients of Western Montana and their needs by offering direct financial assistance, and Team Up Montana focuses specifically on helping cancer patients. They are a resource to those who would not be able to keep up financially without extra support.
Fifth Season Financial
About Fifth Season Financial: Fifth Season Financial offer the Funds for Living Program, a financial assistance resource that helps relieve the financial burden experienced by many late-stage cancer patients. Fifth Season’s program provides funds to people living with cancer or any other serious illness by using their life insurance policy as collateral. The funds you receive have NO RESTRICTIONS. You choose how you want to spend your money. Pay bills, take a vacation, or give a gift to someone you love. It’s your choice! The Funds For Living Program has provided over $115 million in funds to hundreds of families. Learn more: www.fifthseasonfinancial.
Stephen T. Marchello Scholarship Foundation
About Stephen T. Marchello Scholarship Foundation: Offers post-secondary scholarships to current year high school graduates who are survivors of cancer who reside in Montana.
Brenda Mehling Cancer Fund
About Brenda Mehling Cancer Fund: Supporting patients 18-40 currently undergoing cancer treatment by covering services to meet daily needs, such as co-payments, health expenses, rent, insurance, etc..
Partnership for Prescription Assistance – Montana Chapter
About Partnership for Prescription Assistance: Offers Montanans a single point of access to more than 275 public and private patient assistance programs, including more than 150 programs offered by pharmaceutical companies.
About HealthWell Foundation: HealthWell Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization committed to addressing the needs of individuals with insurance who cannot afford their co-payments, co-insurance, and premiums for important medical treatments.
Cancer Care and The Cancer Care Co-Payment Assistance Foundation
About Cancer Care: Cancer Care offers limited assistance for cancer-related costs, and providing professional oncology social workers to help find resources via phone. Assists with costs such as: transportation to and from cancer treatment, home care, child care, pain medication, and Lymphedema supplies (breast cancer only). The Cancer Care Co-Payment Assistance Foundation provides financial assistance for chemotherapy or targeted treatment co-payments.
Relieve financial stress with the Funds For Living Program.