While curing breast cancer through research is a long-term solution (and, indeed, a multi-billion-dollar research initiative), there is much to be said about organizations who help in the here and now – organizations who help breast cancer patients in times of crisis. The reality is that while we must indeed forge new discoveries in medicine to end breast cancer once and for all, our enthusiasm must be tempered with the reality that people are suffering from the effects of breast cancer today, and they are in urgent need of help today.
When people are diagnosed with breast cancer, they often must quit their jobs in order to focus on healing. Yet by quitting their jobs, they lose their health insurance: but still have bills to pay. Needless to say, the loss of income can be crippling. Now, not only must they focus on healing while taking care of their family, but they must also somehow find the money to pay for their most basic needs.
The COVID-19 pandemic has only compounded the issue, as patients must add “avoid a deadly global virus” to their workload. While COVID may have a low fatality rate, it is deadly for those undergoing chemotherapy.
Luckily, Breast Cancer Angels has answered the call for help in Southern California. Based in Los Alamitos, this nonprofit organization operates on a razor-thin overhead model to help as many women as possible; over 1,800 individuals and their families receive support from Breast Cancer Angels each year.
These are not families in a permanent state of homelessness; rather, these are families whose medical diagnosis has brought them on the brink of homelessness. Breast Cancer Angels is the only nonprofit organization that meets this critical need by providing financial assistance to keep families afloat. Often, we singlehandedly keep these families off the street by providing the help they need such as rent and utility assistance, grocery and transportation assistance, and so much more.
This year, Breast Cancer Angels is celebrating 20 years of service in the Southern California community, but it coincides with the devastating economic impact the virus has caused, and the organization is not exempt. Now, over 1,000 women and their families who depend on Breast Cancer Angels while undergoing chemotherapy are at risk of losing the financial support they receive to stay afloat.
In such an unprecedented time of a global pandemic, individuals with cancer are more vulnerable than ever. It is up to the community — businesses and foundations like yours- who can rally together to bolster our most vulnerable through nonprofit organizations like Breast Cancer Angels.
Breast Cancer Angels needs your help, and the families the organization looks after need your help! Visit breastcancerangels.org to learn how you can help women with breast cancer survive these extremely turbulent times.