(Baton Rouge, La.) – Cancer patients undergoing treatment frequently require assistance getting to and from facilities, often creating a financial and logistical burden. During this COVID-19 pandemic, these burdens are amplified and even greater needs are expected in the coming weeks and months. Due to a $75,000 grant from the American Cancer Society, which will impact Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center facilities, some of these hardships will be alleviated. Mary Bird Perkins officials report that the funds will be used to address the transportation needs of cancer patients throughout southeast Louisiana.
An estimated 26,480 Louisiana residents will learn they have cancer this year and getting to their scheduled treatment may be one of their greatest roadblocks. To help patients get the critical care they need, American Cancer Society community transportation grants are awarded at a local level to health systems, treatment centers and community organizations. These grants are available in select communities through an application process and focus on addressing unmet transportation needs of cancer patients, particularly vulnerable populations experiencing an unequal burden of cancer.
“Disparities predominantly arise from inequities in work, wealth, income, education, housing and overall standard of living, as well as social barriers to high-quality cancer prevention, early detection and treatment services,” said Jeff Fehlis, executive vice president of the American Cancer Society. “The Society collaborates with community health partners to reach individuals in areas with higher burdens of cancer and limited or no access to transportation because even the best treatment can’t work if a patient can’t get there.”
“We are truly grateful for the American Cancer Society’s generous support to help improve survivorship and lessen the burden of cancer for patients through transportation assistance,” said Todd Stevens, president and chief executive officer, Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center. “With the COVID-19 pandemic, cancer patients are facing unprecedented challenges in many areas of their lives, including transportation. This grant will help alleviate a barrier to receiving timely treatments. It takes many generous, supportive individuals, corporations and organizations to provide the vital resources needed when someone is diagnosed with cancer. Mary Bird Perkins is grateful for its partnership with the American Cancer Society and we hope that others will consider supporting the Cancer Center’s mission.”
For more information on giving opportunities to Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center, visit marybird.org/onecommunity-onegoal.
For additional information about the American Cancer Society, call 1-800-227-2345 or visit cancer.org.
About Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center
Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center is a regional cancer care organization that has been fighting cancer for almost 50 years. The cancer care organization provides care at nine centers in Baton Rouge, Covington, Hammond, Houma, Gonzales, Zachary and Natchez, Mississippi, and its service area encompasses southeast Louisiana and southwest Mississippi regions. For more information, please visit www.marybird.org.
About the American Cancer Society
The American Cancer Society is a global grassroots force of 1.5 million volunteers dedicated to saving lives, celebrating lives, and leading the fight for a world without cancer. From breakthrough research, to free lodging near treatment, a 24/7/365 live helpline, free rides to treatment, and convening powerful activists to create awareness and impact, the Society is the only organization attacking cancer from every angle. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and cancer.org/LA.