Hand in Hand: The Suzanne Renée Leider Memorial Assistance Fund was created to support sarcoma patients in finding the treatment they need. Hand in Hand offers financial assistance for second opinion consultations by reimbursing expenses related to travel, phone bills, costs of the evaluation, and related expenses.
Although modest, Hand in Hand enables us to touch as many patient lives as possible. Grants from the fund are awarded to patients each quarter. During the past few years we have experienced an unprecedented increase in the number of applications. Currently the grant maximum is $500.00. As our financial resources continue to improve, we hope to increase grants accordingly. Also note we will reimburse for mileage based on the IRS standard medical mileage rate for year the trip occured, e.g. 2011 at $.19/mile, 2012 at $.23/mile, and 2013 at $.24/mile. We will also consider for reimbursement expenses for meals and hotels if directly related to travel for a second opinion from a sarcoma specialist and not for ongoing care. The maximums allowed are the reimbursement rates for federal employees:
GRANT APPLICATION: Download the Application Form.
Suzanne Leider, the Sarcoma Alliance founder, was tireless in her search for knowledge and guidance in all aspects of her life. She sought out and effectively collaborated with many health care practitioners who extended both the quality and duration of her life during her battle with sarcoma. It was Suzanne’s wish that part of her legacy would be to help other sarcoma patients access the same wonderful network of health care information she found. In honor of Suzanne,, the Sarcoma Alliance inaugurated the Hand in Hand program in 2003 as part of Sarcoma Awareness Week. Grants have been given to women and men in every age group in almost every state and for every type of sarcoma. Grants are awarded without a “means test” to reassure those affected by sarcoma that they are not alone.
Donate Now to support Hand in Hand.
The Value of a Second Opinion
Here is a link to a full 2008 German article titled ‘The Value of Expert Second Opinion for the Diagnosis of Soft Tissue Sarcoma’
Definition of Second Opinion
The Sarcoma Alliance Assistance Fund reimburses expenses directly associated with getting a second opinion from a sarcoma specialist. The Sarcoma Alliance recommends that a second opinion be sought at a sarcoma center (see http://sarcomaalliance.org/sarcoma-centers/ ) or from a physician with expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of sarcoma and who has access to physicians in other specialties with similar expertise. The Assistance Fund does not pay for ongoing treatment subsequent to the second opinion.
A second opinion is when a patient seeks an evaluation from another physician to assess and make recommendations regarding the patient’s current diagnosis, treatment, and/or follow-up. This evaluation may be from a medical oncologist, pediatric oncologist, surgeon (surgical oncologist or orthopedic oncologist), radiation oncologist, and / or pathologist.
A single second opinion may include visits with multiple physicians on one day or over multiple days. A second opinion may include medical procedures and tests including laboratory assessments (i.e. blood work, staining of pathology slides), imaging (CT scans, MRIs, etc) or additional tests (biopsy, etc).
The second opinion may result in confirmation of current diagnosis and treatment plan or result in alternative diagnosis and/or treatment recommendations. A subsequent (additional) second opinion from another specialist may be desirable to resolve differences between the primary physician and the second opinion physician.
Once the second opinion evaluation is completed the patient may return to the primary physician for treatment or decide to continue treatment with the physician who provided the second opinion.
Also see: Encyclopedia of Surgery
Financial Assistance Links
National Cancer Institute – Financial Assistance for Cancer Care
American Cancer Society – The ACS has some programs to pay for travel costs, housing, etc while under treatment. You can reach the ACS at: 800-ACS.2345 or http://www.cancer.org/Treatment/ChildrenandCancer/WhenYourChildHasCancer/ChildrenDiagnosedwithCancerFinancialandInsuranceIssues/children-diagnosed-with-cancer-financial-and-insurance-issues-help-with-other-expenses
Cancer Care has some grants available.
Cancer Trials – Patient Care Costs
Consumer Guides for Getting and Keeping Health Insurance
The mission of Coverage for All is to simplify public and private health insurance eligibility information in order to help more people access coverage. They aim to centralize the distribution of information and eligibility requirements, encouraging more people to enroll, thereby lowering the ranks of the uninsured.
The HealthWell Foundation
The HealthWell FoundationR is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization established in 2003 that is committed to addressing the needs of individuals with insurance who cannot afford their copayments, coinsurance, and premiums for important medical treatments. Our vision is to ensure that no patient goes without health care because they cannot afford it.
As patients are required to pay a larger share of health care costs each year, even many individuals with insurance find health care unaffordable. These patients face challenges affording the treatments they need to fight chronic and life-altering medical conditions. The HealthWell Foundation was established to address and help alleviate this problem.
Lazarex Cancer Foundation can help pay for clinical trial expenses
National Comprehensive Cancer Network – NCCN Virtural Reimbursement Resource Room
The oncology reimbursement landscape continues to present ever-evolving challenges for clinicians and others that work with patients with cancer. As a response to these ongoing challenges, help is available through the NCCN Virtual Reimbursement Resource Room. http://www.nccn.org/reimbursement_resource_room/default.asp
The Northwest Sarcoma Foundation
The Northwest Sarcoma Foundation is a non-profit organization committed to providing education and support to patients and families who are living with sarcoma. They strive to provide timely and accurate information regarding research and treatment options, and offer overall support by creating local networks throughout the Northwest. The Foundation is pleased to offer HELP$, a need-based financial aid program for adult sarcoma patients currently undergoing treatment. Its service area includes the five-state region of Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Montana and Idaho. For more information
Eric D. Davis Foundation — Provide the Assist grants help sarcoma patients who need to travel for treatment at UT-Southwestern Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center in Dallas or M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. http://www.ericddavisfoundation.org/programs-services/providing-the-sarcoma-assist/
Patient Advocate Foundation – Legal Counseling for Insurance and Finance Issues
Patient Advocate Foundation, Co-Pay Relief Program
This program provides assistance for fees not covered by insurance and was expanded to include sarcoma patients. Patients must financially and medically qualify for the program.
AOW – Airlines of the Web Medical Air Services
Angel Airlines for Cancer Patients – The mission and purpose of Angel Airlines For Cancer Patients’ is to ensure that no cancer patient is denied access to distant specialized medical evaluation, diagnosis or treatment for lack of a means of long-distance commercial airline transportation. http://www.angelairlinesforcancerpatients.org/
Air Charity Network coordinates free air transportation for people in need – 877-858-7788
Corporate Angel Network – Free Airline Flights for Cancer Patients
Patient Airlift Services – Patient AirLift Services covers flights in the entire northeast United States as far west as Ohio and as far south as Virginia. Typical flight times in our general aviation aircraft will range from two to three hours per leg, covering 200 to 600 miles. Flights originating or terminating beyond our primary coverage area will be conducted by our member pilots, or will be coordinated with other similar organizations to provide you with a seamless travel itinerary.
National Patient Travel Helpline – 800-296-1217
Department of Civic and Charitable Contributions
P.O. Box 33611
Dallas, TX 75235
Amshwand Sarcoma Cancer Foundation
Temporary, short term housing while at Texas Medical Center
Also in Houston
Temporary, free housing
Hope Lodge – American Cancer Society’s Hope Lodge’s provides FREE lodging to cancer patients.
And a new Hope Lodge in New York City
Joe’s House – free or reduced housing nationwide
Los Angeles – Housing near Cedars-Sinai
National Association of Hospital Hospitality Houses, Inc
New York City, Miracle House.
$50 per day, and it includes free meals during the week
Ronald McDonald House provides inexpensive housing for families of ill children in many locations:
Cancer Legal Resource Center / Disability Rights Legal Center
Services for health and disability insurance; employment, estate planning and finances
Pediatric Financial Assistance Links
Pediatric Oncology Resource Center:
Children’s Cancer Fund of America
Foundation for Children with Cancer – Financial Assistance Program
United Health Care Children’s Foundation provides assistance for children with medical costs that are not covered by insurance.
Partnership for Prescriptions
Several hundred drug assistance programs stand ready to offer free or low-cost drugs to patients in need.
Toll Free Telephone: 1-888-477-2669; http://www.pparx.org
Federal and State Programs
If you are eligible for health coverage from your employer, but are unable to afford premiums, some states have premium assistance programs that can help pay for coverage.
For more information read the brochure about CHIP programs (pdf) http://www.sarcomaalliance.org/docs/chip_notice.pdf