Being diagnosed with a brain tumor takes a toll on the patient and their family physically, emotionally, and financially. Even with a good health insurance plan, medical bills and related costs — from travel and housing to equipment and parking — can quickly add up. While the ABTA is not able to offer direct financial assistance, we have compiled this list of financial assistance resources for brain tumor patients, families, and caregivers. For more information, talk with your navigator or hospital social worker.
Brain Tumor Financial Assistance
Sontag Foundation COVID-19 Emergency Financial Assistance
The Brain Tumor Network’s sister organization, the Sontag Foundation, has established an emergency financial assistance fund in response to COVID-19. Brain tumor patients and caregivers who are eligible may receive a one-time grant of $500 to cover daily living expenses. Expenses covered include food/nutrition, utility bills, rest or mortgage payments, car and other transportation expenses, temporary lodging, and child care. Oncology navigators and social workers are available to assistant patients and caregivers with treatment-related navigation, and are equipped to help with COVID-19 questions. Call 855-824-7941, option 5 for more information.
855-824-7941, option 5
NORD COVID-19 Financial Assistance Program
The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD®) launched its COVID-19 Critical Relief Program to provide much-needed assistance to members of the rare disease community affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The program provides financial relief that may be utilized to support critical, non-medical needs. covering up to $1,000 annually. It provides funds for essential expenses including, but not limited to unexpected utility expenses; cellular or internet service; emergency repairs to car, home or major appliances; and rent or mortgage payment assistance.
For more information on the NORD COVID-19 Critical Relief Program and to apply, please contact NORD by telephone at 203.242.0497, via email at COVID19assistance@rarediseases.org, or visit rarediseases.org.
COVID-19 Emergency Food Assistance Program
The program supports patients with cancer, multiple sclerosis or rheumatoid arthritis who are unable to afford or access food or nutritional needs due to COVID-19. Qualified patients will receive a one-time grant in the amount of $300 to cover groceries, food delivery or pick up, and medically tailored meals. Eligible patients include those who are undergoing active treatment, scheduled to begin treatment in 60 days, or have been in treatment in the last 6 months. Apply online at https://teamrubiconusa.org/applynow.
Glenn Garcelon Foundation
The Glenn Garcelon Foundation exists to empower and support brain tumor patients and their families by providing grants to those who meet their criteria. People with primary brain tumor of any type (malignant or non-malignant) are welcome to apply for assistance.
Mission4Maureen – TEMPORARILY SUSPENDED
Mission4Maureen is dedicated to providing financial assistance to families who are burdened with the staggering cost of brain cancer treatment. Financial aid is available for medical bills as well as child care, housing payments, utility bills, transportation, medication and other areas of assistance. An application with supporting documentation is required.
Darren Daulton Foundation
The Darren Daulton Foundation is committed to providing financial assistance to those who suffer from brain cancer, brain tumors, and brain injuries. Applicants MUST be a resident of Pennsylvania, New Jersey or Delaware at the time of submission of their application.
Musella Foundation Brain Tumor Drug Co-payment Assistance
Provides financial assistance to families who need help covering the cost of certain drugs used to treat Primary Malignant Brain Tumors (Grade 3 or 4). Covered Treatments include: Avastin, Gliadel, Optune (Novocure), Temodar
Cancer Financial Assistance
Offers a variety of financial assistance programs, call for eligibility requirements.
Family Reach is a national nonprofit dedicated to alleviating the financial burden of cancer. The majority of funds are used to support families with a child (aged 17 or younger) fighting pediatric cancer. However, they also provide assistance to young adults (aged 18 to 30) living with cancer, as well as parents living with cancer who have young children (aged 17 or younger). Family Reach’s efficient, solutions-driven model bridges the gap between hospital and home, quickly providing the vital support families need to stay afloat.
Cleaning for a Reason
This non-profit offers free professional housecleaning services to improve the lives of women undergoing treatment for cancer. Provides once a month cleaning for four months. Currently available in approximately 40 states and Canada.
Fifth Season Financial
Offers “Funds for Living and Giving (FLAG)” program that is specifically designed for cancer patients seeking financial assistance. It focuses on providing patients with access to immediate cash by allowing them to borrow money against the face value of their life insurance policy.
Cancer Financial Assistance Coalition
CFAC is a coalition of financial assistance organizations joining forces to help cancer patients experience better health and well-being by limiting financial challenges. Financial resources include medical expenses, pharmaceutical assistance, health insurance, and more.
Young Adult Assistance
Surviving and Moving Forward: The Samfund for Young Adult Survivors of Cancer
Provide various grants and scholarships to young adult survivors, ages 21-39, to help supplement the money that they and their families have lost during treatment, and pay for specific transitional issues, such as fertility options, living, job search and lingering medical expenses. The Samfund primarily support those with malignant (cancerous) tumors; however, they also support those with non-malignant tumors who are being treated with chemotherapy and/or radiation on a case by case basis.
Allyson Whitney Foundation
The Allyson Whitney Foundation primarily provides grants to young adult (age 16-36) patients with rare cancer diagnoses. Grants help cover unanticipated expenses including transportation, hotels, rent, medical expenses, fertility options, integrative therapies, and wigs.
Giving Hope Fund
The “Giving Hope Fund” allows young adults (age 18-40) currently battling cancer, as well as those who have been in remission for up to 5 years after their treatment, the opportunity to help pay for necessities they encounter in everyday life. This includes medical bills, healthcare premiums, doctor visits and prescription co-pays, rent and mortgage payments, cell phone and credit card bills, clothing, work and educational related materials along with department store and grocery gift cards.
Medical Financial Assistance
Friends of Man
Friends of Man is an all volunteer charity to help people with basic or special needs that cannot be provided elsewhere. They will assist with prostheses, wheelchairs, medical equipment, mobility equipment, hearing aids and orthopedic shoes. Application must be filled out by a healthcare professional.
Lazarex Cancer Foundation
Offer financial assistance; transportation, lodging, relocation expenses, medical expenses not covered by insurance for patients participating in clinical trials.
The mission of Mother’s Grace is the charitable purpose of: providing individual assistance to mothers and children in immediate need of resources while experiencing devastating life events or crisis. This help can include payment of rent, utility bills, medications or any other ancillary service that may support them during their time of need.
Dental Lifeline Network
This organization offers a Donated Dental Services (DDS) program. DDS tends to the dental needs of the disabled, elderly or medically compromised individuals who cannot afford the necessary dental treatment. Their website offers contact information for each state to help you locate a participating program in your area.
Association of Jewish Family and Children’s Agencies
Agencies provide help for medical equipment, supplies, prescriptions and transportation to medical care.
Children Financial Assistance
Clayton Dabney Foundation for Kids with Cancer
Provides gifts, last wishes and financial assistance to families which will facilitate quality of family life and create everlasting memories. Child must be considered terminal, under the age of 21 and be referred by a healthcare professional. Cap per family is usually $2,000.
First Hand Foundation
First Hand Foundation assists individual children who have health related needs and no financial resources to cover these expenses.
Provides nonmedical financial assistance to children, up to the age of 18 at the time of diagnosis, afflicted with brain tumor and currently undergoing medical treatment. Requests must be submitted by a social worker.
The IronMatt Family Assistance Program
The IronMatt Family Assistance Program gives direct financial assistance to families regardless of their socio-economic status, the type of brain tumor (malignant or not), or the progress of the disease.
Kelly Ann Dolan Memorial Fund
Provides financial assistance to families of terminally, critically and chronically ill children. Referral must come from a healthcare worker. Child must reside in Pennsylvania, New Jersey or Delaware.
Supports the needs of children with cancer and their families who are seeking alternative methods of healing. The foundation also disperses funds to patients for treatment needs and to the families for their personal needs.
National Children’s Cancer Society
Provides financial and in-kind assistance to children with cancer.
The Pinky Swear Foundation is committed to easing the financial impact of cancer. They help to pay rent, mortgages, car payments, car repairs, utilities, groceries, gas and more. They also provide financial support related to end of life or bereavement care.
Live Like Bella
The Live Like Bella® Childhood Cancer Foundation assist families whose children are battling cancer with financial support for medical copays, basic needs such as gas, groceries, utilities and more. They also work closely with funeral homes to provide assistance towards memorial cost for a child whose battle with cancer has ended.
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
Offers treatment protocols for pediatric brain tumors. All patients accepted are treated without regard to the family’s ability to pay. Referral must be made through a physician.
United Healthcare Children’s Foundation
Offers financial assistance to cover medical services beyond what insurance will cover or if service is not covered by the policy at all. Children are eligible up to the age of 16, who are US citizens and are currently covered under a commercial health insurance policy. Generally assistance must be requested before services are obtained and funds will generally be paid directly to the facility. Grants up to $5,000 per year.
Family Voices (FV)
Family Voices works with families of special needs children to advocate for health care services, provides information on appealing insurance claims, and can put families in touch with health care programs in all states. Contact the FV program in your state for more information.
General Financial Assistance
Will provide assistance, up to $500.00 for those who are able to demonstrate a financial need.
Catholic Charities, USA
Some local offices have limited funding available to provide emergency financial assistance.
Local units can offer emergency financial assistance to families.
Hardest Hit Fund, U.S. Department of Treasury
A foreclosure prevention program that is available for homeowners struggling to pay their mortgage. It is available in 19 states and each state has varying qualifications to apply.
Meals On Wheels
Coordinates thousands of programs throughout the United States dedicated to delivering meals to those who are homebound. Some programs require a small donation. Each program determines eligibility.
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
Helps low-income households meet their home energy needs.
Assistance programs are offered by many gas, electric, water, and phone companies. If you feel you may have difficulty paying your monthly bills, contact the company before your balance becomes too large. Companies are more amenable to working out a payment plan with those willing to work with them. Many states have regulations that prohibit companies from turning off utilities; your doctor or social worker may need to write letters describing why the service(s) are medically necessary. The regulations do not diminish your responsibility for paying the bills, but may allow you more time or lower monthly payments. In an emergency situation, check with local help lines and social service agencies as some provide one-time emergency help with utility bills.
Prescription Drug Assistance
Musella Foundation Brain Tumor Drug Co-payment Assistance
Provides financial assistance to families who need help covering the cost of certain drugs used to treat Primary Malignant Brain Tumors (Grade 3 or 4). Covered Treatments include:Avastin, Gliadel, Optune (Novocure), Temodar
The foundation helps to bridge the gap by providing financial assistance to eligible patients to cover certain out-of-pocket costs related to copayments, deductibles and insurance premiums. At this time, only Glioblastom and Anaplastic Astrocytoma brain tumors are covered. Visit website to see other medical conditions covered.
Partnership for Prescription Assistance
Offers a single point of access to more than 475 public, state and private patient assistance programs, including more than 200 programs offered by pharmaceutical companies.
Medicare Rights Center
Provides information on how to locate prescription assistance or discount programs.
Wal-Mart Pharmacy Site
Wal-Mart currently offers a 90 day prescription supply for just $10. $4 generics offered through the Wal-Mart program included multiple strengths of dexamethasone (a steroid), prednisone (a steroid), carbamazapine (an antiepileptic drug), and several antidepressants.
Wegman’s Food Markets
Some of the programs offer 30-day supplies, some are 90-day supplies, but each is offered at discounted rates. Their program includes a 90-day supply for $11.99.
Target currently also offers a program with a 90 day prescription supply for just $10 and $4 generics. The generics offered in the included multiple strengths of dexamethasone (a steroid), prednisone (a steroid), carbamazapine (an antiepileptic drug), and several antidepressants.
Walgreens Prescription Savings Club
Offers special discounts on the cash price of thousands of prescriptions.
Patient Advocate Foundation
Their Co-Pay Relief Program offers co-payment assistance to patients with brain cancer. Program accepts calls beginning the first business day of each month until funds are depleted. Providers can also apply on behalf of their patients online.
Needy Meds is a non-profit organization with the mission of helping people who cannot afford medicine or health care costs. The Needy Meds website provides a comprehensive database to search for available prescription assistance programs for both brand name and generic prescriptions. Application forms are also available for certain prescription assistance programs. Needy Meds also provides information about diseased-based assistance programs, discount drug cards and government programs.
Rx Assist is a pharmaceutical access information center created by Volunteers in Health Care (VIH) a national resource center for safety net organizations. Rx Assist provides a comprehensive database of prescription assistance programs with application forms available at the website. Information is also available on low-cost prescriptions, co-pay assistance and Medicare Part D.
Together Rx Access Program
Offers savings on brand name and generic medications for children and adults, who are not covered through Medicare and who do not have public or private prescription drug coverage. To qualify applicants must be under age 65, be a legal resident of the United States or Puerto Rico and meet income guidelines.
National Patient Travel Center
Provides information about all forms of charitable, long distance medical air transportation.
Road to Recovery
The American Cancer Society Road to Recovery program provides transportation to and from treatment for people with cancer who do not have a ride or are unable to drive themselves.
Air Care Alliance
Provides referrals to charitable, long-distance, or air medical transport options.
Compass to Care
For families affected by a pediatric cancer diagnosis. Compass to Care pays for the following expenses, based on your family’s needs: Airfare, Bus Fare, Car Rental, Gasoline, Lodging, Parking Fees, Taxi Fees, Train Fare, and/or Tolls.
Travelers with disability and their companions are offered a 10 percent discount on round trip travel with appropriate documentation. Travelers must book at ticket counter to receive the discount.
Angel Wheels to Healing
Angel Wheels to Healing utilizes the following resources for assisting patients: Gas cards to help off-set fuel cost for patients, commercial ground transportation (AMTRAK, Greyhound, Trailways, etc.) and volunteer drivers although please note – they only have 85 drivers throughout the continental US.
Offers financial assistance for transportation costs associated with treatment for patients with malignant tumors.
Children’s Miracle Network
Financial assistance for transportation associated with medical treatment may be available at a local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital. When you call the national office telephone number, you will be referred to the local program director at a local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital. The local program director will help locate financial assistance for transportation to medical treatment, if funds are available.
Continental Airlines (in partnership with MD Anderson Cancer Center)
Provides transportation for patients being treated at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas.
Corporate Angel Network
Corporate jets transporting cancer patients for treatment. Patients must be ambulatory.
First Hand Foundation
Helps to cover the costs of treatment, medical equipment, lodging and transportation.
Provides free air transportation to Canadians in financial need that must travel from their own communities to recognized facilities for medical care.
Lyft / American Cancer Society
Lyft has partnered with the American Cancer Society to offer complimentary rides to cancer patients going to and from medical appointments. This program is available in Atlanta, Cincinnati, Denver, Houston, Las Vegas, Miami, Philadelphia, and other cities. Contact the American Cancer Society to determine eligibility and book a ride.
Miracle Flights For Kids
Provides air transportation for medical treatment for medically stable children and adults.
National Children’s Cancer Society
Financial assistance available for reasonable transportation costs in conjunction with medical treatment.
Operation Lift Off
Provides air transportation to medical care and treatment centers for children with a life-threatening illness.
Provides complimentary, roundtrip tickets to patients and/or caregivers through nonprofit hospitals and medical transportation organizations.
In addition. . .
Many airlines offer bereavement fares to those traveling for funerals. Passengers must purchase tickets at regular fare, and then will receive a partial reimbursement upon verification of death, i.e., obituary or death certificate.
- For local transportation assistance, try your local American Cancer Society, Catholic Charities, Area Agency on Aging or United Way office. Many divisions have volunteers that provide transportation assistance or reimbursement.
- Hospitals may provide cab or bus vouchers for patients. Or offer van services for outpatients. Contact the social worker at your treatment facility to ask if these programs exist there.
- Check with local park districts, city offices or transit authority to see if they have vans or medi-cars available at low or no cost.
- Many nationwide car rental companies offer cars with hand controls, some may also have vans with wheelchair lifts. Locations require advance reservations for vehicles with these options.
The National Association of Hospital Hospitality Houses
Provides referral information to anyone in need of lodging while undergoing treatment away from home.
This site functions as a clearinghouse of lodging options for cancer patients while traveling. It currently offers over 2000 listings searchable by state.
American Cancer Society Hope Lodge
Provides free living arrangements for those undergoing treatments for cancer and their families.
Extended Stay America
Extended Stay America’s Keys of Hope© program program offers cancer patients free hotel rooms as well as incredibly discounted rates.
First Hand Foundation
Provides travel assistance grants for families with children diagnosed with a medical condition.
Ronald McDonald Houses
RMH are situated near many larger hospitals throughout the country and abroad and offer low cost accommodations. A social worker can make a referral to the nearest RMH or you can search for locations on their website. Click “Chapter Search” at the top of the page.
Surviving and Moving Forward: The SAMFund for Young Adult Survivors of Cancer
Provide various grants to young adult survivors, ages 17-35, to help supplement the money that they and their families have lost during treatment, and pay for specific housing issues, such as moving expenses, rent and utility assistance.
YMCA or YWCA
Check local phone directories for area listings. Many offer low rates for overnight accommodations.