Imagine being told you have cancer and that you have weeks, months, or even years of treatment ahead of you. Coping with the physical and emotional challenges of cancer treatment can be daunting enough, but for many, the financial burden makes this overwhelming. There are patients who are primary wage earners until their treatment or disease forces them to cut their work hours, or stop working completely. There are patients who are retired and on a fixed income, and others who have a high deductible or no prescription plans. For these and many more, a cancer diagnosis means a sudden huge increase to their expenses. They may have to choose between paying out of pocket for the medications that will relieve their nausea, or paying their heat bill. They need to have a healthy diet, but the increase in their bills means they can’t afford fresh fruits and vegetables. They may need to drive to Torrington for daily radiation treatments, which mean increased gas bills or the cost of additional child care.
The Cancer Care Fund of the Litchfield Hills is a not-for-profit organization created to assist and support cancer patients residing or receiving care in northwest Connecticut. People who live in Norfolk and the other northwest corner towns are eligible to receive money from this fund, wherever they are receiving their cancer treatment.
The Fund supports cancer patients with care, treatment, education and prevention programs and awards financial assistance to patients for emergencies such as food, rent, utilities, medications or other needs as determined by clinicians and case managers. The Cancer Care Fund has given financial help to hundreds of local patients ranging from a Stop and Shop grocery card or a gas card, to paying a month’s mortgage or oil bill, or obtaining a chair lift for a patient who could no longer get upstairs to her bedroom. The Fund also supports programs such as educational seminars, massage therapy for patients during their treatments, oncology nutrition, to name just a few.
The Fund is supported by donations from families and patients as well as community events. The biggest such event is the Tour of the Litchfield Hills. Participants in the Tour can chose a bike tour of 12, 30, 50, 75 or 100 miles, or can walk a 2, 4 or 6 mile route. All the bike and walking tours start and end at Coe Park in Torrington, where participants can enjoy a free lunch after their tour, and also includes rest stops and support services throughout all the routes. This year will be the 13th year of this annual event, which will be held on Sunday, August 7. The Tour is run by volunteers and all money raised goes to support the Fund.
To support friends, family and neighbors who are undergoing cancer treatment, please let them know about this fund.
For more information, or to donate directly to the Cancer Care Fund, call 860-567-0160 or visit www.charlottehungerford.org.
To participate in the fundraising event, call 860-379-3372 or visit Tourofthelitchfieldhills.com.