President's Message

Hello Friends,

I hope you and your families are well and enjoying the beginning of summer. After over a year of enduring the pandemic, I am optimistic that brighter days are around the corner.  As our physical offices slowly return to normal, The Assistance Fund (TAF) family continues to pursue its mission of providing underinsured people living with life-threatening, chronic, and rare diseases access to critical treatment through financial assistance, education, and advocacy. To that end, I'm pleased to share some exciting updates with you.

As part of our continued commitment to ensuring you have access to your critical treatment, I am excited to announce that we've renewed our COVID-19 Health Insurance Assistance Program for 2021. The program provides immediate financial support for eligible TAF patients by offering grants of up to $2,500 to help you secure health insurance. Apply today at

In May, we asked you to submit your artwork in our inaugural Kaleidoscope of Life Art Contest. And the interest you showed was incredible! We received an overwhelming number of beautiful submissions, and our panel of judges struggled to decide on just five winners; the TAF community clearly has many talented artists. I hope you enjoy the pieces as much as I have. You can view them below.

Thanks to the wonder of the vaccines, life as we know it is on the horizon. The TAF team looks forward to the day when we can see you in-person at conferences again. Until then, I wish everyone good health. Please enjoy the rest of our news and updates below, and stay tuned for our 2020 Impact Report, which will be published later this summer.


Mark McGreevy
President and CEO
COVID-19 Update

As of June 8, 2021, more than 139 million Americans have been fully vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine. TAF programs and services continue to be fully operational as we transition back to our physical offices.

Three vaccines have been authorized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for emergency use. Every adult is eligible for a vaccine, and children ages 1217 are eligible for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. To find information on your nearest vaccine location, text your ZIP code to 438829, or use CDC’s Vaccine Finder: Vaccines.Gov.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have updated guidance on best practices for people who are fully vaccinated:

It is important to take care of your COVID-19 vaccination card. The CDC recommends taking a photo of the card for your personal records. And several supply stores like Staples offer free laminations to protect the card and make it more durable.
Winners Announced for 2021 Kaleidoscope of Life Art Contest

This spring, TAF launched its Kaleidoscope of Life Art Contest, with the goal of providing patients an opportunity to showcase their artistic talents. Thank you to everyone who entered artwork in this year's contest. We had an overwhelming number of exquisite submissions. Congratulations to the five winners and their submissions:
Marieke K., Parkinson's Disease Copay Assistance Program
Faith J., Pulmonary Hypertension Copay Assistance Program
Alicia V., Primary Biliary Cholangitis Financial Assistance Program
Phyllis P., Cystic Fibrosis Copay Assistance Program
Kenya M., Pulmonary Hypertension Copay Assistance Program
Upcoming Disease Awareness Months

Acute myeloid leukemia
Myasthenia gravis

Graves’ disease (thyroid eye disease)
Juvenile arthritis
Parathyroid diseases

Operations Team Tips: Making the Reimbursement Process Worry-Free

My name is TaRay, and I'm TAF's Manager of Quality Assurance and Claims Management. At TAF, we strive to make the reimbursement process easy and convenient. TAF financial assistance disease programs require important insurance documentation in order to receive reimbursements.

Here is a sample health insurance premium information document. When you are submitting health insurance proof of payment, make sure the following information is clearly displayed:
  • Insurance provider name (i.e., Providence Health Plan)
  • Payment information
  • Date of payment (i.e., January 27, 2020)
  • Health insurance premium amount paid

Reminder: The most efficient way to submit documentation is through our electronic document uploader: Thank you!

For more information on other types of reimbursements download TAF's Reimbursement Overview:
TAF Launches Advocacy Website
This spring, TAF launched our Advocacy website. One of our core values is to fiercely advocate on behalf of our patients to ensure they don't go without treatment because of an inability to pay. Alongside our incredible partners, we advocate to ensure patients have access to all clinical care, diagnostic testing, therapy, and treatment they require; and to ensure they receive such at an out-of-pocket cost within reach, regardless of socioeconomic status.

Check it out today:
Conference Attendance
On the Road

The Assistance Fund will continue to attend virtual conferences until in-person gatherings begin again.
Purple Pro: Shakari Kellam, Patient Advocate

What is your favorite thing about your job?
Being able to help. Patients often call in and don’t have a lot of hope. When patients see how easy the application process is and that there is no cap on assistance, they sound so relieved!

What are some of the most common questions you receive?
Most questions are about whether we have a maximum or cap on their assistance.

What have you learned while working at TAF?
Everyone is going through something. To be able to provide the assistance, even though the assistance isn’t coming from me, I’m doing something to lift a weight off their shoulders. A lot of people are sleeping better knowing they will get their medication the next day.

What three things best describe how to be successful at your job?
Focus, listen, and take my time.

How are you trying to improve patients’ experience?
I am trying to provide all of the resources in one call. If a patient isn’t sure about how to navigate the website, I will take information from the website and send it over email just so they have it.

Describe what it’s like to work at TAF.
It’s refreshing and a cheerful environment. Everyone is willing to help. I am able to go onto a chat where everyone is helpful.

What is one fun fact about you?
I am kind of shy, but once I get talking, I don’t stop!

Which TAF value do you most identify with and why?
Transparency. I like to help and put myself in another person’s shoes. Sometimes it takes a little more time, but I want to be sure I am getting them the correct information. 
TAF Is on Instagram

If you're on Instagram, follow @TheAssistanceFund for the latest news and updates, as well as a look at the people behind our best-in-class patient experience.
Patient Profile: Susan, Primary Biliary Cholangitis Financial Assistance Program

Susi didn’t always have the travel bug. She moved to Boston from Connecticut in the 1970s as an art student. Forty years later, Beantown is still home. Until the COVID-19 pandemic, Susi worked for the American Council for International Studies, an educational travel agency. It fulfilled her passion of working with people and brought the world to her doorstep.

“Through work, I’ve been to Australia, the United Kingdom, and Chile,” Susi said. “And I did a global teacher conference in Costa Rica. That was so much fun!”

In 2020, with bags packed and sights set, Susi eagerly awaited her next trip: an Italian adventure. Although the pandemic delayed the trip, Italy remains at the top of her destination wish-list.

It was going to be my first trip to Italy,” she said. “Unfortunately, 2020 was such a crazy year.”

On top of the world-class travel, Susi’s job also provided her with excellent health benefits. It wasn’t until she lost her job in March 2020 that Susi realized how expensive her primary biliary cholangitis (PBC) medications were.

“I took for granted my monthly $30 copay,” Susi said. “Without my job, I didn’t know what to do.”
When Susi’s liver numbers spiked several years ago and was diagnosed with PBC, she was referred to a liver specialist at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital. Thanks to her specialist’s quick thinking and effective treatment, she remains symptom-free. But without her employer-based coverage, Susi faced the horrifying prospect of going without treatment.

“I don’t know what would happen if I didn’t take my treatment,” she said. “When you’re on your own facing it, it’s difficult.”

Susi’s doctor made sure she knew she was not alone. Since her diagnosis, Dr. Lai has looked out for Susi, answering her questions and providing critical support. When Susi’s copay skyrocketed nearly tenfold, she knew where to turn.

“I’m so grateful that my doctor always goes above and beyond to keep myself and others living their healthiest lives to the fullest,” Susi said. “She’s my hero.”

Dr. Lai suggested Susi contact The Assistance Fund (TAF). Through its Primary Biliary Cholangitis Financial Assistance Program, patients like Susi have financial assistance for many of their out-of-pocket expenses for PBC, including copays, deductibles, premiums, and ground travel costs. When Susi learned TAF had approved her participation in the program, she felt an incredible sense of relief.

“It just took a load of pressure off of my shoulders,” she said. “If it weren’t for TAF, I would have had to stop taking my medication.”

For her 60th birthday, Susi finished an 80-mile bike ride in Vermont, cycling alongside women half her age. Looking ahead, Susi has a booked full schedule of cycling and camping until the pandemic subsides and she can travel abroad again.

“Thanks to TAF, I can continue following my passion,” Susi said. “I’m able to keep photographing my cycling travel adventures as well as the people I meet along the way!”
Would you like to be featured in an upcoming newsletter? If you have received assistance from The Assistance Fund and would like to share your story, please contact TAF Communications Manager Mark Meier at
Leave a Legacy, Save a Life

Our new planned giving website provides resources for you to plan a gift that fits your future retirement strategies.

You can:
  • Find the right gift for you based on your age, assets, or the amount you would like to give.
  • Learn about ways to give and how to fund your gift.
  • Download brochures and watch videos on popular types of contributions.
  • See your potential benefits with our Gift Illustrator.
  • Get your plans in motion with our Personal Estate Planning Kit.

Visit our new website today to start planning your legacy!
Healthy Pumpkin and Ginger Scones
Makes 12 scones
Time: 30 minutes

Nutritional Information:
142 calories;
Fat: 4g
Saturated fat: 3g
Trans fat: 0g
Monounsaturated fat: 1g
Polyunsaturated fat: 0g
Dietary fiber: 2g
Sodium: 134mg
Carbohydrates: 25g
Protein: 2g
Sugars: 10g

  • ¾ cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • ½ cup pumpkin purée, well-drained, canned, or made from 1/2 pound fresh
  • ¼ cup buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • ½ cup chopped candied ginger
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Sift together the flours, salt, ginger, baking powder, and baking soda. Place in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade.
  2. Add the butter to the food processor, and pulse several times until it is distributed throughout the flour. The mixture should have the consistency of coarse cornmeal.
  3. Beat together the pumpkin purée, buttermilk, and maple syrup in a small bowl, and scrape into the food processor. Add the ginger, and process just until the dough comes together.
  4. Scrape onto a lightly floured surface, and gently shape into a rectangle about 3/4 inch thick. Cut into six squares, then cut the squares in half on the diagonal to form 12 triangular pieces. Place on the baking sheet. Bake 12 to 15 minutes until lightly browned. Cool on a rack.

To roast the pumpkin: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Cover a baking sheet with foil. Place the pumpkin pieces on the baking sheet, drizzle two teaspoons of olive or canola oil on top, cover tightly with foil, and place in the oven. Roast for 1 1/2 hours or until thoroughly tender. Remove from the heat, transfer to a strainer or a colander set over a bowl or in the sink, and allow to cool and drain. Peel the pieces, and purée in a food processor fitted with the steel blade.

Advance preparation: These will keep for a couple of days well wrapped or in a cookie tin.
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4700 Millenia Blvd., Suite 410
Orlando, FL 32839
Washington, DC, Office:
655 15th St. NW, Suite 502
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