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For Cancer Patients, Hurricane Effects Still Pervade Daily Life, BUT Increased Financial Support is Now Available

To date, more than $50,000 distributed to cancer patients in Gulf Coast region

ALEXANDRIA, VA, November 3, 2005--For some people, the devastation left behind by hurricanes Katrina and Rita is just a memory, but for many cancer patients from your community, the impact of these catastrophic events continues. Many cancer patients and their families who had to leave their homes are not only dealing with the challenges of their cancer diagnosis and treatment, but also with financial issues and the trauma of uncertainty and temporary relocation.

In response, CancerCare, through support from The ASCO Foundation Hurricane Relief Fund, is providing increased financial support to cancer patients who have been affected by hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Since it was established in early October, the Hurricane Relief Fund has enabled CancerCare to distribute more than $50,000 to individual cancer patients in the Gulf Coast region.

The funds have helped people like Barbara Blahut from Biloxi, Mississippi, who was diagnosed with multiple myeloma on a naval hospital ship and found out she needed a stem cell transplant, one week after Katrina destroyed her home. Ms. Blahut has no health insurance and receives no funding from Medicare or the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA). The ASCO Foundation Hurricane Relief Fund is helping her with her day-to-day costs, including traveling to get treatment and other basic needs.

Grants from $1,000 to $2,500 per family are available to assist with the costs of cancer treatment, medical co-pays, medical equipment, transportation, lodging, homecare, childcare, and general living expenses. In addition to financial assistance, CancerCare social workers always provide counseling, educational information and programs, and practical help.

Money raised through The ASCO Foundation Hurricane Relief Fund will be available through the end of 2006 to help cancer patients as their individual situations and needs emerge over the coming year. Cancer patients in need of financial or psychosocial support should contact CancerCare at 1-800-813-HOPE (4673).

Please contact Jessica Barba at 212-712-6137 to arrange an interview with a cancer patient who has been affected by a recent hurricane and has received financial support through CancerCare.

Additional information on hurricane relief resources for cancer patients in your community can be found on For more information about how others can contribute to The Hurricane Relief Fund, please visit or contact The ASCO Foundation at 1-888-220-2839.

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