Rose McCarroll knows firsthand how overwhelming the cost of cancer can be.
Rose lives in Blackfalds, AB with her husband Richard and son Adam. In 2014, her life turned upside down when she was diagnosed with cancer in her uterus. Though she underwent a hysterectomy to remove the tumours, it was later found that her cancer had spread and that she needed to receive radiation and brachytherapy treatment at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre in Calgary. Self-employed as a day home provider, Rose was unable to work while undergoing treatment. And soon as the costs associated with her treatment started to add up, she and her family started to feel the financial strain.
“The trips back and forth from Calgary was financially difficult because I couldn’t work. My husband and I had to rely on one source of income when we were used to two.”
During one of her radiation appointments at the Tom Baker, she aired her frustration to her doctor. That was when she learned about the Patient Financial Assistance Program (PFAP).
“My radiologist said ‘Do you realize that there is funding to help you stay down here in Calgary?’ I had no idea. So he directed me to a social worker who I have to say was a godsend! She told me about the Alberta Cancer Foundation and how their Patient Financial Assistance Program could help me cover my expenses. She set me up and took care of everything! All I had to do was focus on my treatment.”
Funded by Alberta Cancer Foundation donors, PFAP covers costs like housing, food, childcare and transportation — things often omitted from other kinds of financial aid. Through this relief program, Rose received aid for her stay in Calgary and the transportation costs to travel from Blackfalds. The program also helped her and her family with their housing expenses.
“We were really struggling and this program helped us get over the hump. I always tell my husband, if we ever win the lottery, I will be making a large donation to this program in the Alberta Cancer Foundation.”
Two years after Rose had completed her treatment, her cancer re-occurred in 2017. Rose is currently undergoing clinical trials at the Tom Baker and is told by her oncologist that her prognosis looks promising.
Because of the Patient Financial Assistance Program, Albertan families can focus on healing rather than making ends meet when faced with a cancer diagnosis.
You can make a difference for Albertans like Rose by donating to the Patient Financial Assistance Program.