How are TeamWalk Funds Used?
Each year the Over Thirty Baseball League hosts a Mother’s Day Breast Cancer game and donates the funds raised at the event to TeamWalk. Many who undergo cancer treatment are unable to work 40 hours a week causing the family income to drop significantly. After paying their rent or mortgage to keep a roof over their heads as their priority, they sometimes don’t know where their next meal is coming from. So, this year these funds raised at the game were used to buy Market Basket gift cards to give to those in need throughout the year. In the spirit of Mother’s Day, we know that no mother would want to see a family go hungry.
TeamWalk helps patients cover expenses associated with cancer treatment so they can focus on their treatment and recovery without the worry and stress of added expenses. Your dollars help minimize financial burdens and instills hope for patients facing a cancer diagnosis.
The Right Fit
Lisa is a 7-year cancer survivor who was treated at Lowell General Hospital’s Cancer Center. She was recently discharged from Lowell General with right arm cellulitis and needed a properly fitted compression sleeve and glove. MassHealth provides only one sleeve per year, and no glove. With her work as a home health aide she really needed two sleeves and two gloves to ensure they remain clean and effective. TeamWalk provided Lisa with up to $500 to get these necessary supplies.
TeamWalk is always ready to help patients with their necessities so they can focus on their recovery without the worry and stress of worrying how they will pay for expenses related to their treatment.
The Importance of Independence
Dorothy, an 83 year-old woman from Dracut is undergoing treatment for both metastatic renal cancer and congestive heart failure. She wanted to stay in her home as long as possible, but needed some durable medical equipment to make this possible. A TeamWalk grant paid for a raised toilet seat with arms and a specialized walker to help her increase her independence and stay at home.
Many patients, like Dorothy, need additional support during cancer treatment. TeamWalk dollars can make a difference by providing services that help a patient move forward with courage and peace of mind.
Make a Memory
Sometimes when you are undergoing cancer treatment all you want is to have a day with your family to take your mind off of your condition and have a little fun. Thanks to a grant from TeamWalk, Becky and her family were able to enjoy a day together that included a trip to Suffolk Downs to see KURIOS: Cirque du Soleil - Cabinet of Curiosities. With 4th row seats right in the middle of the action under the air conditioned Big Top, the family had a great time watching the jaw-dropping feats of artistry and agility. After the show they drove to an outstanding dinner at Abe & Louie's in the Back Bay. Perhaps Becky said it best in her email to us. “We really enjoyed ourselves and will remember this day for a long time. It’s hard being in weekly treatment and this was a day to leave that at LGH and just have fun. Thanks again to all the volunteer walkers for funding my special memory with my family.”
TeamWalk is The Merrimack Valley’s largest single-day fundraising event, bringing 5,000 walkers together to raise funds for family members, friends, neighbors, and complete strangers who are undergoing cancer treatment and need support.
A Reason to Smile!
Prior to receiving head and neck radiation, patients require a dental consultation and extractions. Since radiation can cause a reduction in saliva production, and saliva is the first line of defense against cavities, patients undergoing these treatments are at a much greater risk for cavities. This is why, at the minimum, patients generally require daily life-long fluoride treatments along with a supervised rigorous dental hygiene regimen. Problematic teeth, as defined by the dental consultant, within the radiation treatment area may need restoration or, if not restorable, extracted before radiation therapy to minimize later risks of jaw problems, including osteoradionecrosis (bone destruction). This is why it is ideal for patients to be treated at centers of excellence with a head and neck multimodality cancer team to insure they receive optimal surgical treatment, radiation therapy, and supportive ancillary care. We have formed partnerships with Dr. Louis Stylos, DMD as well as, Drs. Horung, Esbah , Bacos & Tarro of Merrimack Valley Oral Surgery to provide pre-radiation dental care for patient’s that do not have their own dentist or oral surgeon. TeamWalk generously pays for this care, which includes evaluation, x-rays, and necessary extractions prior to radiation.
TeamWalk can assist with grants for home expenses that will be difficult to cover if you are out of work while being treated or on a fixed income. It is just one way we can ease the financial strain so patients can concentrate on getting well.
Proud to Work With PrideStar
It’s always nice to get notes of appreciation from families that receive assistance from TeamWalk funds. It is especially nice when they are complimentary of one of our partners. One letter, from Heather in Westford, raved about her family’s experience with PrideStar EMS. Heather’s father is a double amputee and in a wheelchair who required six weeks of radiation at the Cancer Center. When he received the diagnosis, the family was preparing to coordinate various family members and friends to help get him to and from treatment. When Heather learned that PrideStar could transfer him and they wouldn’t have to get him in and out of a car twice a day it was a blessing. It helped save a lot of time, effort and his strength. It really put the family at ease knowing he was in such good hands when they were not able to accompany him. According to Heather, every driver was on time, friendly, and completely professional so her father quickly felt good about going alone as he got to know and strike up a rapport with them.
Transportation is one of the biggest ways that TeamWalk funds helps people undergoing cancer treatments and their families. It helps to relieve stress at a time that is already very stressful. With the support of TeamWalk, patients can better cope, families can relax, and healing can continue.
You Can Go Home Again!
Last year TeamWalk helped Benjamin, a 38 year old man from Lowell, who was dying from cancer. His wish was to go home to Africa to see two of his four children and his parents who lived there before he died. He was between chemotherapy treatments and the medical staff at Lowell General Hospital knew that there was very a short window of opportunity for him to travel while he was healthy and feeling well enough to do so. TeamWalk provided a $600 grant to assist in paying for part of his airline ticket and helped facilitate the purchase of the ticket. Once he knew he had enough money and clearance from his doctors, Benjamin was on a plane within 48 hours. He had a wonderful trip and was able to spend quality time with his family. He returned one month later and passed away several months later.
TeamWalk is there to help patients so they can focus on their treatment and recovery without the worry and stress of added financial burdens. Your financial support of TeamWalk helps minimize distractions and instill hope for patients facing a cancer diagnosis.
Barbara is a 61 year-old woman who lives in Tyngsboro. She was being treated for head and neck cancer and ended up with trouble opening her jaw. She needed speech therapy, but was on a very fixed income and couldn’t afford the $18 co-payments required at each session. TeamWalk covered all of them until Barbara reached her maximum benefit of $550.
TeamWalk helps provide services when there is a co-pay that is cost prohibitive to the patient or a gap in insurance coverage. With the support of TeamWalk, patients can better cope, families can relax, and healing can continue.