Ochsner oncology social workers help administer the OCI Patient and Family Assistance Fund to patients who need financial assistance. They include, from left, Kelly Killeen, Angela Tillman, Johanna Schutte and Melissa Smith.

In his early 40s and suffering from colon cancer, John was on his way to his appointment with his radiation oncologist when the pain became so severe he called his doctor's nurse on the phone. "I'm trying to make my appointment," he told her, "but I'm in terrible pain. I haven't been able to buy my pain medications because I can't afford them." A few minutes later, as he entered the lobby of the Ochsner Clinic, John passed out on a couch, only a few steps from his doctor's office.

Robert, 24, married with three young children, worked in construction. His job offered no benefits, and when there was no work, there was no pay. He didn't worry about his lack of health insurance until he was diagnosed with lymphoma and was told he would need four to six months of chemotherapy. Where would he find the money to help pay for his utility bills and medications?

John and Robert are among the 11,000 cancer patients seen annually by the world-class health care providers of the Ochsner Cancer Institute. They are also among the hundreds of patients who have little or no financial resources and need help to offset the expense of cancer treatment.

Thanks to the Ochsner Cancer Institute Patient and Family Assistance Fund, these patients have somewhere to turn. The fund provides assistance of up to $500 to patients with a diagnosis of cancer. In extenuating circumstances, additional assistance may be available. The fund helps pay for medications, transportation and other emergency needs such as rent or utilities.

The radiation oncology nurse and oncology social worker made an urgent request to the fund so that John's medication could be purchased immediately. With his pain subsiding, John walked to his doctor's office.

The fund helped Robert and his family pay for essential medications and unpaid utility bills.

The most basic needs (medication, housing, food, transportation) of many patients would go unmet without the OCI Patient and Family Assistance Fund.

Learn How You Can Help
For more information about donating to the OCI Patient and Family Assistance Fund, please contact Craig Bardell, J.D. at (504) 842-6585 or today, at no obligation. You can also donate online.