Emergency Financial Assistance Fund Helps Families Focus on Child’s Care
For many families in the United States, everyday expenses like utility bills, groceries, and transportation pose a significant challenge. For families facing a child’s brain tumor diagnosis, these financial challenges can prove devastating – pulling parents' focus from their child when it's needed most.
"Treatment regimens are typically long and intense, requiring parents to take leave from work. These are often unpaid leaves. At the same time, there are numerous out-of-pocket expenses related to their child’s care not covered by insurance," explains Joe Chabot, a resource specialist who helps pediatric brain tumor families navigate these hurdles.
"Many families experience one or more of the following material hardships: food, housing, energy, and transportation insecurity. These hardships are a problem for any family, but when experienced by a pediatric brain tumor family they can become serious barriers to care, affecting compliance to treatment regimens and even outcomes."
All this week, we're highlighting individuals like Chabot and their commitment to family care. It's part of our Brain Tumor Awareness Month campaign, shining a light on how we Care, Cure, and Thrive as a community.
Joe Chabot, Resource Specialist
"My staff and I are Resource Specialists, and every day we work with in-treatment pediatric brain tumor families, helping them access concrete assistance. Together with the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation and their Butterfly Fund, we remove barriers to care by helping families access support, including financial aid."
At hospitals across the country, the PBTF partners with healthcare professionals to administer our emergency financial assistance program. You can help these families by donating directly to the Butterfly Fund.
In 2016, the Butterfly Fund provided more than $429,000 in emergency financial assistance to 349 families. The fund paid for gas and grocery cards, helped families with bill payments, defrayed funeral costs and much more.
To qualify for assistance, families must have an unmet financial need as a direct result of their child’s brain tumor diagnosis, and their child must also be receiving treatment at one of our partner facilities.
The PBTF recently surveyed families who were helped by the Butterfly Fund. When asked how they would have managed without the support, families explained how the assistance enabled them to spend more time with their child, travel farther for better care, and maintain house and car payments.
"In a lot of ways we would be lost," responded one of the surveyed parents. "But whatever I had to do, I would for my child. Without the support, love and care of the foundation we would not be where we are at now. My child is learning to live her life to the best of her abilities and could not do that without the help of the foundation."