We rely on nurse navigators, like Donna Thompson, to inform their patients about our grant program and help those patients apply for grants.
Nurse navigators submit the grant applications and help us verify information so that we can ensure that our grants go to the right recipients.
Nurse navigators also have a ringside seat to all the physical and financial challenges that breast cancer brings.
Donna, who works at the David and Donna Long Center for Cancer Treatment Radiation Oncology in La Mesa, was kind enough to share some thoughts with us.
The Financial Shock of a Cancer Diagnosis
Donna explained to us that patients find out about their treatment options little by little, which can make it extremely difficult for them to plan for what comes next.
"They may be the only reliable source of income for their family," she told us, "and when this income is reduced or gone, they need extra support from resources like SOPFCA."
Making Painful Financial Choices
Even patients with health insurance can still struggle with the financial burdens of cancer. Donna tells us that many patients are under-insured, which leaves them with large out-of-pocket expenses.
"Their income goes to [health expenses] and not their bills, rent, mortgage, etc."
Financial Health Is Just as Important as Physical Health
One of the most profound things Donna told us is that financial worry "is often an overlooked symptom when a patient is struggling not only with the fear of their disease but with their financial status."
How SOPFCA Makes a Difference
"We all know how expensive San Diego County has become," Donna notes. That is why she regularly refers breast cancer patients to our grant program. "Having a local organization that can assist our breast cancer patients is extremely vital," she says.
We want to thank Donna for her tireless advocacy on behalf of her patients, as well as all nurses for their hard work and the love and care they give to the world.