When two-year-old Alexa was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, it created incredible hardship for her family. She needed treatment at a hospital 185 miles from home—and the regular trips for care lasted for more than 27 months. So much travel was exhausting and expensive.
A childhood cancer diagnosis turns a family’s world upside down overnight. The need to travel to another city, or even across the country, for treatment is not uncommon. For Alexa’s family and many others, this intensifies the stress of caring for a sick child while trying to work, manage bills and take care of their other children.
The National Children’s Cancer Society (NCCS) alleviates the burden of getting a child to treatment through the Transportation Assistance Fund which helps with non-medical expenses associated with getting a child to treatment, such as mileage, airfare and lodging.
Travel is just one of many weights carried by families like Alexa’s. Her parents received additional support from the Emergency Assistance Fund. This fund assists with needs ranging from mortgage, rent and utility payments to meals away from home and prescriptions. Alexa’s family also appreciated the free publications available with tools to navigate the challenges of their cancer journey. These resources cover a variety of topics for children and adults with practical information that provides mental and emotional support before, during and after treatment.
“The assistance from the NCCS has been so, so helpful. It is amazing that there is this kind of support for families like us,” said Alexa’s mom Margarita.
No family can prepare for a childhood cancer diagnosis. But the NCCS is there when needed most to help families get where they need to be—physically, financially and emotionally—and give their children the best shot at survival.