From the CEO: Family Reach Answers the White House Call to Join Cancer Moonshot
When the White House officially relaunched the Cancer Moonshot in February, I was invited to attend the announcement on behalf of Family Reach. My overwhelming feeling after the event was that this time feels different.
This time the Cancer Moonshot is about improving the cancer patient experience and addressing health disparities. This time it’s about the Family Reach mission.
The financial reality of living with cancer
Our approach has always included a deep connection to the realities of living with cancer. Everything changes within minutes of a diagnosis — job insecurity leads to lost income, out-of-pocket expenses to get to treatment quickly add up, and suddenly you’re choosing between paying for your everyday needs or treatment.
The St. Jude’s Controversy: A Look at Why Family Reach Welcomed the Spotlight on the Financial Reality of Cancer
In 2016, Family Reach responded to Vice President Biden’s Cancer Moonshot by creating the Financial Treatment Program. The first of its kind, the comprehensive approach to financial health brought the non-medical financial burden of cancer to the national stage.
Just a few years later, the pandemic magnified the need for this kind of program to help relieve financial distress. We used to be concerned about the fact that 42% of cancer patients depleted their life savings in the first two years of treatment1 and now we’re seeing patients come to Family Reach with no savings to begin with.
Committing to the Cancer Moonshot
Cancer is a bipartisan issue. Specifically, the financial crisis of cancer is an issue of such magnitude that we must take advantage of the resources, collaboration, and amplification provided by the Cancer Moonshot.
With a goal of reducing the cancer death rate by at least 50% in the next 25 years, the Cancer Moonshot is calling on the cancer community to unite their efforts around earlier diagnosis, cancer prevention, reducing disparities, patient and caregiver support, and data collection.
Family Reach is often the missing piece of the puzzle in cancer treatment plans and we’ve never been more prepared to answer this call-to-action from the White House. We have a proven Financial Treatment Program and a delivery model that’s scalable. We have an entire team dedicated to the measurement and evaluation of our financial interventions.
A future where financial treatment is a standard of cancer care
When our family founders came together on a front porch 25 years ago, they saw a problem bigger than cancer. They saw financial hardship and disparities that make cancer a different experience for every family. In a dramatic story of evolution, Family Reach went from an organization addressing an issue that people didn’t understand or even believe existed to one that’s being recognized at the highest level for the work we’re doing.
Family Reach sees a future where financial treatment is a standard of cancer care — and we just took one giant leap forward by joining a White House initiative that will change cancer as we know it.
We hope you will continue to support us as we take on this next chapter of our work. The White House will open doors and elevate our programs, but it’s up to us to realize the profound potential in this opportunity.
Change requires all of us. Thank you to everyone who helped us come this far and to all those sticking with us to celebrate what comes next.
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Running enthusiast, patient advocate, and CEO of Family Reach, Carla Tardif is a spirited leader who isn’t afraid to go the distance. She’s been leading the charge against the financial burden of cancer for over 10 years, making tangible impacts for cancer patients and their families through innovative solutions and collaboration.
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