Family Unable to Afford Groceries due to Cost of Cancer

 In Family Stories, Family Story
Cancer-hero Chloe and her family

Chloe (front middle) with her family in Missouri

“Leaving the hospital 15 days after Chloe was admitted was when it hit me the hardest,” says Mia. “I had to go home with my sick child and her brothers and look at a house I couldn’t afford to pay the bills for. That is a very scary and lonely place to be.”

Chloe, Mia’s now 6-year-old daughter, was diagnosed with neuroblastoma at the age of 4. She is a vivacious young girl who enjoys arts and crafts and playing tag outside. Throughout two years of treatment, her family has been by her side as she bravely battles cancer. Extensive treatments resulted in Mia, a single mother, having to stop work to care for Chloe. This total loss of income, combined with medical expenses and out-of-pocket costs, put the family in great debt and unable to afford their basic needs.

“Cancer has created an unspeakable amount of debt for me, which is just embarrassing. I am not sure how I will be able to buy groceries and pay for car insurance or rent most months,” says Mia. “The mental toll and worry it brings is exhausting and keeps me awake most nights.”

Unfortunately, Mia is part of the majority when it comes to facing the financial burden of cancer. 58% of patients said cancer significantly impacted them financially (Cancer Support Community), ultimately affecting families as a whole.

Finding financial relief

After Chloe was further along in treatments, Mia was able to return to work part-time. Even with this minimal income, the accrued debt continues to impact her family. Mia spoke with her hospital social worker about accessing resources and was connected to our Resource Navigators.

Shortly after learning about the family’s situation, we provided a grant to help Mia afford rent. This assistance allowed Chloe to heal in her home, surrounded by loved ones, and gave Mia peace of mind during these challenging times. Our generous community is what makes relief like this possible.

“We are just taking things one day at a time,” says Mia. “Chloe was able to start kindergarten, which she absolutely loves, and is progressing well with her learning. She has missed quite a bit of school but is still doing great.”

If you or someone you know is experiencing financial hardship due to cancer, learn about our resources today.

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Damara and her son after her double mastectomy