According to The National Cancer Institute the Federal Government has funded cancer research to the tune of $4,800,000,000 ($4.8 Billion) annually for the past 6-years. If you add to this number the telethons, fundraisers, stand up to cancer type programs and hundreds if not thousands of other organizations involved in raising funds to find a cure for cancer, we have a number well in excess of $5,000,000,000 ($5 billion) annually. These donations, given gladly from well healed donors, businesses, family members and widow’s mite type contributions from those devastated by the ravages of cancer but wanting to help find a cure. We thank all involved in this effort to find a solution to this killer disease.
I am writing this article at a bit of a weak moment after having just been inundated with private messages from hundreds of cancer patients, loved ones of cancer patients and caregivers that are rapidly approaching break point because of the demands of cancer care. My heart aches as I read these heartfelt messages from those that have been wiped out physically, emotionally, spiritually as well as financially.
Far from the star studded stage of “Stand Up To Cancer” or the closed-door appropriations committee meeting on governmental expenses. Lays the reality of cancer in the day to day lives of those impacted the most:
- “Hi just wanted to thank you for my gift card, I had my mail on hold cause I had just got evicted when you first contacted me, today I got my key to the apartment I thank God I have been living from place to place for 31 days I got the card just in time to get food God Bless you for Blessing me”
- “I have small cell stage 4 lung cancer, and a growth behind my heart. My fiancé through me out for a younger woman. Now I need help to rent a place don’t get my check until 1st. Please tell me you can help”
- “Our home has dropped to a one income household and bills are very hard to make at this time. Medical expenses are adding up for supplies and travel daily. I would be grateful for any information about applying for assistance. His expected out of work time will be for an additional 2 months.”
- “I was diagnosed with Renal Cell Carcinoma 04/14/16. I had a radical nephrectomy 05/09/16 and have been out of work since 05/07/16. My 2 adult children have been supporting me. This cancer has ruined my life and left me financially destitute.”
These 4 examples are a just a very small taste of the reality of cancer and the devastation caused to those fighting every day to stay alive with some level of dignity.
WHERE IS THE HELP FOR THOSE THAT HAVE CANCER TODAY?
At Cancer Horizons we applaud anyone involved in finding a cure to help someday or possibly prevent its spread, the question however that we should each be asking ourselves is where is the help for those that currently suffer? If Billions can be appropriated to the research for future generations then why not create a “direct funding source” for those that are in need TODAY!
Granted it is a monumental problem and with an estimated 1,685,210 new cases of cancer estimated for 2016 alone the solution is elusive, however on behalf of the 4 mentioned above and the millions just like them, we believe it is worth finding an answer.
Proposal – 5% of all funds raised for cancer research be set aside into an account exclusively earmarked for current cancer patients and their families. Simple math would tell us that 5% of $5 Billion is $250,000,000 ($250 Million). It is not a final answer but for those that are trying to keep food on the table and the lights on it would make all the difference!
We are so grateful for the hundreds of amazing organizations that work tirelessly to help provide financial assistance to cancer patients but they have limited resources and primarily funded by donations. A great directory of these resources can be found at this great site Cancer Horizons Financial Resources.
As an Online Cancer Community we will continue to champion the cause of the current patient by tapping into any resource financial or other to help make their life today just a little better and easier to get through.