With a baby at home the last thing Jennifer Gale ever imagined was a breast cancer diagnosis in her 30s. After finding the lump and seeing her doctor, she entered a whirlwind of testing and planning. Jennifer’s cancer was aggressive and would need a bold treatment plan.
First was four months of chemotherapy, then a lumpectomy, followed by weeks of daily radiation treatment. How was this going to work with her daily commute from the South Shore into Boston? “It was a daunting decision because you don’t know how you will respond to treatment and if you can work or not.” Jennifer decided to take a medical leave of absence from work. With her husband going in for back surgery, it was a 1- 2 punch.
It was at Dana-Farber Cancer Center at South Shore Health, Jennifer connected with a resource specialist in the oncology department who introduced her to Ellie Fund and its services. Needing her mother to drive her to and from chemotherapy and her husband at home unable to care for her daughter, Jennifer asked Ellie Fund for a child-care reimbursement. One day per week her daughter was able to socialize and play at daycare, while Jennifer received treatment. “The childcare help was the missing piece that stitched my treatment planning together.” She also utilized Ellie Fund’s grocery gift card services. “Going to your mailbox and opening grocery gift cards is a feeling of relief I cannot describe,” explained Jennifer.