Family Reach is a 501(c)(3) organization that provides financial assistance to families with a child or parent afflicted with cancer. Their Financial Treatment Initiative provides real support for families facing the real-life financial challenges of cancer. Working with more than 200 hospitals and cancer centers nationwide, immediate financial assistance, education and navigation are available to families before they hit critical breaking points.
Carla Tardif, CEO says that Family Reach inspired her because, “I’ve been touched by cancer and know what it means when people “show up” to keep you afloat during your darkest days. There is no better purpose in life than to help others”.
Why was Family Reach formed and who does it help?
Family Reach was formed by two families, both of whom lost children to cancer. Inspired by our own experiences dealing with the out-of-pocket expenses, transportation costs and loss of income that accompany a cancer diagnosis, we set out to help others in need and pave a path for what is now known in the industry as cancer-related financial toxicity (CRFT).
Thanks to the support of our community, we’ve helped more than 45,000 people from 49 states since 2003! In 2016, nearly three-fourths of those we serve reported at least a 50 percent loss of household income following a cancer diagnosis. These are families in your community – the dad behind you in the grocery store, the mom by your side on the soccer field and the friend at your child’s birthday party – that are struggling to stay afloat while they fight for their loved one’s health.
How does your solutions-driven model help families with cancer costs?
For a long time, Family Reach’s support has been in the form of grants that cover mortgage payments, transportation, utilities and other everyday expenses. This is still an essential part of the work we do, but we’ve also begun to expand.
Our Financial Treatment Initiative takes a comprehensive approach to the financial well-being of families through three key focus areas: financial assistance, education and navigation. The initiative is designed to get to the root of CRFT and intervene at the clinical level. Our Financial Handbook is an integral part of these efforts. Created by cancer patients and caregivers, for cancer patients and caregivers, this free resource offers essential guidance and empowers families to advocate for their financial health.
Can you tell us about your Key Holder Program and how does someone enroll in it?
Key Holders are people committed to being a continuous resource for families battling cancer. Members of this monthly giving community receive a commemorative key chain to serve as a reminder of the role they play keeping families in their home, with food on the table. They also get quarterly newsletters with updates on the families they are helping and exclusive details on all things Family Reach.
Joining the community is easy! Click here to fill out the online form. For as little as $15 a month (the price of one pizza!) our Key Holders are making a big difference in the lives of families fighting cancer.
What is Family Reach’s long-term strategy in reaching more people and how are you going to get there?
It’s all about collaboration. Each industry has a unique perspective they can bring to the table and it will take all of us working together to full address the cost of cancer crisis. That’s the vision behind our annual Imagine Sessions. Thought leaders from across sectors and across the country unite at these think-tank style events to listen to thought-provoking panelists and brainstorm together. Last year’s session was a huge success, and we’re excited for our next Imagine this fall!
We’re also continuing to expand the scope of our programs. The Financial Treatment Initiative is the first step in this direction and will continue to grow. Research experts at renowned cancer institutions are conducting studies measuring its impact. We believe they will verify what we see everyday – financial barriers impact a cancer patient’s chance of survival – and help us develop more effective programs for our families.
How does someone in need of your services contact you?
The best place to start is our Eligibility webpage. This outlines everything a family needs to know about our programs.
I also strongly encourage families to download a free copy of our Financial Handbook. It truly is packed with vital information to help them navigate the financial side of their cancer journey.
Photo Credit: Family Reach.
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