Cancer is so very expensive; even if you have insurance. When I was diagnosed, my family and friends put together three different fundraisers to help with the financial burden. At first I didn’t want anyone’s help; mainly because of pride. Then I realized that people actually wanted to help and I thought about all of the times I’ve donated money to one family or another in my community. These are great ways to help with the financial burden of cancer, and also to let your friends, family, and community come together and help you.
My family put little plastic jars with a photo of me in gas stations all over the area I lived. I felt embarrassed at first, but no one has to put money in if they don’t want to. A dollar here and a dollar there when you can’t work really adds up. A lot of people hug me (that I don’t even know) in stores and restaurants now, and tell me they’re glad to see me ‘up and around’. If you live in a small to mid sized town, this is really a great way to raise money. We ended up raising almost $700 dollars and while it won’t pay the hospital bills, it really helped out with things my children needed for school while I spent months in the hospital. My family appreciated every bit of it.
A bake sale is another great way to raise money for the cost of cancer. If you can, I recommend getting your local GirlScout troop involved. The young ladies in my home town baked up a storm! They also loved doing it and learned about helping others, cooking, marketing, and volunteer work. I wasn’t well enough to attend but they raised over $2,500 dollars over the course of a weekend. Now that I’m feeling better, I help out with events when I have the energy to do it. Don’t feel embarrassed asking for help. Just do a good deed in return when and if you can. About a month later, they did a carwash to earn even more money. I was so ill at the time that I’m not sure how well it did, but it definitely made me feel loved.
We live in a town with a population of about 40,000 people, but somehow everyone seems to know everyone else. A few of the local businesses donated services or merchandise and sold raffle tickets to raise money. The winner received the gift that corresponded with the ticket and we ended up raising almost $2,900 dollars for hospital bills. My workplace also donated a vacation package that we sold tickets for $5 dollars for. The couple that won the trip transferred it to me and my children; for when I was feeling better. Pretty sweet isn’t it? I couldn’t go on the trip because I worked for the company, but I did call and thank them. We met them for dinner when I was able to eat again. Another woman donated a beautiful homemade quilt that was worth well over $1,500 dollars. The raffle tickets from the quilt alone brought in almost $700 dollars.
Facing cancer is scary enough without having to stress over paying the bills. There are so many people that will help you, if you will let them. Sometimes you have to put your pride aside but it’s important to do it. No one can go through cancer alone and never need help. It’s an ugly, mean disease that you have to fight with every ounce of strength and spirit you possess! Even when you do, sometimes you don’t win. Trust me when I say, you will get to a place where you won’t mind the help. That being said, if you’ve been diagnosed, just concentrate on getting better. Let other people take some of the financial burden from you.