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Compass to Care

Wed, Jun 12, 2013

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THE PROBLEM

Many cancer patients have to travel more than 60 miles to find the nearest oncologist. 40 percent of hospitals aren’t equipped to treat cancer patients. Depending on how far a family has to travel, expenses may mean more than gas and meals. They may need airfare, car rentals and hotels. Cancer treatment can last from a few months to several years, which means traveling back and forth to the hospital week after week, month after month, year after year.

Caring for a child with cancer takes a lot of time. For 60 percent of the families we help, one parent has to give up his or her job. With just one income, paying for all the treatment-related costs just isn’t possible. With 77 percent of families living from paycheck to paycheck, preparing for the unexpected costs that come with a child’s cancer treatment is impossible. Unlike medical bills, which can be part of a payment plan, travel costs have to be paid immediately. We help families that have cash or lines of credit to cover these costs.

WHAT THEY DO

By covering the travel costs that come with cancer treatment, we’re taking care of an immediate need that families have to deal with again and again. We take care of all the planning so families can focus on their child’s treatment. We make sure families aren’t forced to eat out of vending machines or skip meals to save money.

HOW THEY STARTED

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Our role in the fight against childhood cancer focuses strictly on getting children to the hospital for treatment. This mission stems for our founder’s personal experience with cancer as a young child. In 1974, at the age of 14 months, Michelle Ernsdorff was diagnosed with kidney cancer. There wasn’t (and still isn’t) a pediatric oncologist in her hometown of Dubuque, Iowa to care for children with cancer. Her parents, Mike and Sandy, were left with no option but to travel over 200 miles from their home to the Mayo Clinic for Michelle’s treatment. The cost of getting to the hospital and back was a huge financial burden for her parents, one that led her father to hitchhike home on one occasion because he did not have the money necessary for a bus ticket or car rental.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

Buy a Dina Doll, or donate one to a child fighting cancer

Host a fundraising party for a special event, asking guests to bring donations instead of gifts
Contact them at:

120 W. Madison St.,
Suite 702 Chicago, IL 60602,
Phone: (773) 340-CURE (2873) Fax: (312) 276-4524,
More at www.compasstocare.org

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