At the Oncofertility Consortium, we like to introduce our readers to advocacy groups who are doing great things to make a difference in the lives of individuals facing or who have faced, a cancer diagnosis. One of those organizations we would like to shine a light upon is, The SAMFund. The SAMFund is a unique non-profit organization created to assist young adult survivors of cancer with a successful transition into their post-treatment life, by providing financial support through the distribution of grants and scholarships.
Grants provided by The SAMFund cover a wide range of post-treatment financial needs, such as: rent and utilities, car and health insurance premiums, graduate tuition, vocational training, student loan repayment, current and residual medical bills, family-building expenses, gym memberships and transportation costs. To date, The SAMFund has awarded a total of $735,000 to hundreds of individuals across the country and they are currently accepting applications (due by July 9th) for the 2012 SAMFund Grant. If you are a cancer survivor between the ages of 17 and 35, or if you know of someone who is and may need financial assistance for one reason or another, check out the application requirements on The SAMFund website to find out if you qualify.
Not only does The SAMFund provide funding opportunities, but in early 2011, they developed a free webinar series called Moving Forward With Your Financial Health to address some of the most common challenges faced by young adults after treatment. Then webinar series was a huge success and The SAMFund has continued to add exciting and relevant topics to this popular webinar series. On June 11th, The SAMFund presented the first in a series of two webinars about family building post-cancer entitled, Moving Forward With Your Financial Health: Building a Family After Cancer Treatment (Part I).
Moving Forward With Your Financial Health: Building a Family After Cancer Treatment, gave participants the opportunity to learn about fertility challenges after a cancer diagnosis, biological options for building a family, and the resources for financing the procedures from experts in the field of cancer and fertility, Joanne Frankel Kelvin and Mindy Berkson. Joanne Frankel Kelvin is a Clinical Nurse Specialist at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York who established the Cancer and Fertility Program to ensure all patients are informed about their options for fertility preservation before cancer treatment, and for building a family after treatment. Mindy Berkson is the founder and CEO of Lotus Blossom Consulting (LBC), helping clients by bringing together the resources and professionals necessary to accomplish the end family building goal, and serve as a guide through the often stressful financial, physical and emotional demands of the infertility process.