Where do all the billions of dollars made from charities and organizations really go and is my donation helping?
My own personal experiences with these organizations were like following a rabbit down a hole, a deep dark lonely hole with no end in site.
Am I bitter? Let’s just say sad or confused. Those are better words to describe the injustice I never knew existed.
I am extremely thankful to some family and friends that saw the need and our bills mounting without needing to see my financial records first. Some of these organizations have you fill out eight pages or more of questions or maybe submit your personal story and wait months for approval.
Wouldn’t it just make a cancer patients life easier to send them any paperwork from your doctor stating your diagnosis and time frame of treatments and household income for the last year?
It was a competition between sick women for needed funds. Most charities only give women help during active chemotherapy and radiation. This might sound good in theory but anyone who has had cancer treatments knows that during chemo you’re too sick to think about bills and paperwork. In most treatment plans radiation starts immediately for the best results. It is fast acting but extremely damaging and the average length of time is anywhere from four to six weeks for most patients. Radiation needs to be done on a daily basis and is exhausting with each treatment the patient gets weaker so those days are reserved for rest. So competing with other women for resources by writing your personal story and everything they require is a ridiculous task.
So now your treatments are over and your bills are overdue and your kids are growing which means they need shoes, clothes and all other necessities you always bought for them.
It’s mind boggling how many things we take for granted going from a two income household to one or even worse for a single mother that suddenly has no income and now living on welfare.
To me the hardest part was not being able to afford the little things. Like taking my son to the show or going into a store and just buying him something. It’s just another side of this disease that makes you feel worthless.
Cancer comes with treatments and sometimes many surgeries where they need their significant other for support mentally and physically.
In most cases they don’t have any more sick days or vacation days left to get paid. So they have to choose between giving needed support or going to work to get paid.
According to The Journal Of The National Cancer Institute 62% of cancer patients are in deep debt because of cancer and treatments and out of 4,700 patients about 55% debt is over $10,000 because of treatment or losing income.
I don’t think it’s necessary for me to talk about all the facts that anybody can look up themselves but just to bring a few things to attention.
I did not get a single penny from any charities or organizations during my treatments or struggles. This wasn’t not for trying either but it was due to not being able to find any charities or organizations that would help me and my family because most had all the conditions I talked about earlier.
In the later days of my illness, when out of pocket expenses were mounting, I was surprised with the outpouring of kindness and support given to us that came from my husband’s company, boss and co-workers. My previous employer also did a giving tree for my family and I for Christmas that first year. I will forever be humbled by these acts of kindness and some of these funds came to me from people I have never met. This is what charity was about to me.
If you decide to give to a charity or an organization please check where its going and who the money is helping. While some go completely to research and finding a cure or support services, education, and public awareness, very few are available to actually help a cancer patient in need or help them directly with finances or paying bills.
We definitely need more of that.
I think the best way to help a cancer patient directly is to go to the Cancer Center in your area and donate grocery cards or cash cards by going to the financial aid department and telling them you want to directly help someone in need. I would never put conditions on helping someone who needed it and don’t understand why it’s okay for cancer organizations and charities to.