Project Purple’s Patient Financial Aid (PFA) Program is one of the most important ways in which we help those who have pancreatic cancer. We have always been committed to helping people who have a current pancreatic cancer diagnosis. However, in recent months, we have seen an increasing number of patients in need of financial assistance. In the last two years, Project Purple has recommitted itself to helping as many patients as possible through our PFA program. Patient Financial Aid is now one of our cornerstone programs, in addition to funding medical research, and we want you, our donors, to know where your dollars are going and who they are helping.
The Patient Financial Aid Program
The PFA program helps patients pay for medical co-pays, living expenses such as rent or mortgage, utility bills, and even the cost of transportation to and from treatments. Project Purple believes patients should be able to focus on fighting their cancer instead of worrying about losing their home or having their power shut off.
John Burke, Project Purple’s Controller, is the administrator for the Patient Financial Aid Program. He processes all of the applications we receive seeking assistance. Project Purple’s PFA program has exploded in the first months of 2017. He says, “Speaking in rounded numbers, we paid out $50,000 total in 2016. In just the first five months of 2017, we have paid out just short of $60,000.”
An Ever Increasing Need
Project Purple is receiving more than double the applications for PFA than it received last year. In fact, the number of patient applications for financial aid has increased every month of 2017. John says, “Last year we’d have three to five patient files in process each week. By the first quarter of 2017, that number jumped to ten applications per week.” Now John is routinely processing 15 PFA applications each week.
Many patients with pancreatic cancer are too sick to work. With the loss of income and possibly even loss of medical insurance, patients can find themselves facing a financial crisis. Disability payments can help tremendously but they take a while to process and begin. John finds that for those waiting benefits, such as disability, Project Purple’s PFA program literally keep them in their home with the lights turned on.
Where the Money Goes
In the last couple of weeks alone, Project Purple has helped a number of patients in a variety of ways. Project Purple paid the rent of a military veteran in Washington who receives chemotherapy for his pancreatic cancer. He was facing a 3 day notice to vacate his home. With a little financial assistance from Project Purple, he is able to stay in his home.
In addition, Project Purple’s PFA program has kept utilities turned on for two other patients diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Project Purple has also been able to pay for anti-nausea patches for a number of patients. The cost of that patch runs into the hundreds of dollars. As we spoke, John was in the process of helping a mother with pancreatic cancer and her daughter make a down payment on an apartment so they would have a place to live.
The PFA program in the last couple weeks has paid the rent for a Veteran in WA who is getting chemo treatment and was facing a 3 day notice or vacate. The program also helped keep the water and lights on for two other patients diagnosed with PC.
Patient Care Packages
In addition to helping patients who are in financial distress, Project Purple also sends current pancreatic cancer patients care packages. As of the beginning of June, 2017, we have sent 510 Care Packages out to patients fighting pancreatic cancer to provide them with an emotional boost.
Since the Project Purple Patient Financial Aid Program began, we have been able to help many, many patients as they face pancreatic cancer. If you or someone you know needs financial assistance, apply HERE The need for financial assistance continues to grow exponentially and we want to help every patient in need. We need your help so we can help others. Please make a recurring or one-time donation to Project Purple HERE