It doesn’t take much
How We Do It
Through strategic partnerships with UAB and the 12 UAB Health System Cancer Community Network members, we are able to work on the local level with hospitals across Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi to identify individuals and families that are battling cancer and struggling financially.
At 46 years old, John’s prostate cancer came as a shock. There was no family history, he ate healthy, and was active. A routine check-up had led to another doctor’s visit, lots of tests, and then finally the news that no one is prepared to hear; “you have cancer.”
In some form or fashion, a diagnosis of cancer happens to 4,620 people a day. Despite the sheer numbers, John will often feel alone in navigating life with cancer. Questions of surviving, reoccurrence, expense, why me, and many others will be part of the battle.
But cancer, prostate or any other type, is not the center of the story. Cancer may play the part of the villain, but the real narrative is the impact on John’s life and those around him. Cancer is not selective. It impacts lives in ways we rarely think about, much less talk about. In between diagnosis, treatment, and a cure, there is a gap; and in that gap there is a life to be lived.
So for John, despite the support of family, friends, co-workers, and others, the question of how to move forward, how to continue living life, defines his new reality. The diagnosis is not his identity, but it will shape him and consume most of his thoughts. Beyond questions of “What treatment option is best?” and “How will this affect me at work?” are questions of “Will I still be able to help coach my son’s baseball team?” and “Will I fall asleep when I read to my daughter at night?”
Many of us will never walk the road John, or others with cancer, are on. But all of us know someone who has. We can all make a difference. Most often, the biggest difference is made in the smallest of ways. Life is lived in the little things, in the gap between now and tomorrow.
That is why we exist. To rally people together and to help, often in the smallest of ways, to assure those who are struggling with the questions of everyday life, who need help in the gap, that they are not alone.
While many organizations exist to address similar vulnerabilities, they are segmented in their care, typically only addressing one type of cancer or need.
Here’s how we help people like John
Feeds a family for a day
Gets an individual to and from their treatments
Provides lodging for a cancer patient and their family
Here’s where we use your investment
The Deep South Cancer Foundation partners with cancer centers in multiple communities throughout Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi.
Each center is best equipped to identify their local needs along with those who need it most. This allows us to tailor our help to meet the individual needs of different communities and to make the greatest impact on people whose lives have been turned upside down by cancer.
The reality is that with every diagnosis of cancer comes fear, anxiety, even confusion. Patients are faced with crucial decisions and have an urgent need for information they can trust. But most of all, patients need someone to help guide them through the challenges and barriers that cancer treatment presents.
Patient Navigators address and resolve the barriers that patients encounter during their cancer journey. The Patient Navigators are non-clinical men and women whose job it is to make navigating the health system easier.
The DSCF provides direct resources to these Patient Navigators and their cancer patient navigator programs to help patients and their families eliminate the worry of transportation, lodging, and food, so that they are empowered to concentrate on what matters most – beating cancer.