The North Star Lodge Patient Emergency Fund, funded by donors to The Memorial Foundation, provides assistance to patients on limited incomes who may be unable to pay for some of their basic needs when they are going through cancer treatment.
For those with a limited income, the out-of-pocket costs for each appointment and for cancer medications can mean they are unable to afford the basics of life – food, gas, power or phone contact. Recently, cancer care was provided to a single gentleman who lives in a very remote area about 30 miles from North Star Lodge. The cost of cancer care left him unable to pay for cell phone usage with his pre-paid cell phone. He has limited family in the area and no close neighbors – so without cell phone access he was isolated, unable to call for help if needed, arrange transportation or speak to his cancer care team if he had questions or problems.
North Star Lodge social workers discovered how dire his situation was during their routine assessment. They utilized the Patient Emergency Assistance Fund to provide him with pre-paid cell phone minutes so he could stay in touch with them, connect with family living far away from the Yakima area and call for help if he needed it. This simple intervention and support of less than $75 helped to make the cancer journey for this patient more bearable.
The patient was overjoyed that we were able to provide this support to him during his treatment. He was extremely grateful for this simple gift, made possible by the generous donors in this community.