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New partnership to ease the financial burden of blood cancer

A new three-year partnership between Greater Charitable Foundation and the Leukaemia Foundation will reduce the financial burden and improve health outcomes for people living with blood cancer and their families.

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Greater Charitable Foundation has committed $229,500 to support the ongoing delivery and expansion of the Leukaemia Foundation’s Financial Assistance program, designed to assist people living with blood cancer and their families throughout the Hunter Region, wider NSW and South-East Queensland.

The Leukaemia Foundation’s Financial Assistance Program provides patients and their families with monetary support such as covering, household bills, and fuel and grocery vouchers as well as provides advocacy to assist patients with financial hardship after diagnosis.

This investment from Greater Charitable Foundation will expand the Leukaemia Foundation’s Financial Assistance Program by both increasing the number of blood cancer patients financially supported by 50% and increasing referral pathways to financial counsellors, with the funding to be directed to support people living with blood cancer.

Leukaemia Foundation’s Acting Head of Philanthropy, Sally Cane, said more than 110,000 Australians are living with blood cancer at any given time and over 5,700 people lose their life to blood cancer each year.

“Blood cancer can develop in anyone, anywhere, at any age and at any stage of life, so we are focused on making sure every Australian with blood cancer gets access to the trusted information, best-practice treatment, and essential care they need,” Sally said.

“We are delighted to be entering into this partnership with Greater Charitable Foundation which will provide $76,500 each year for the next three years, to cover the cost of providing our Financial Assistance Program to people living with blood cancer throughout the Greater Bank operating area.

“The cost of treatment can financially cripple blood cancer patients and their families, as a blood cancer diagnosis typically means one or more people within the household are unable to work full time. This reduction in income is only one contributing factor to the financial burden of blood cancer.

“After diagnosis, a patient is also faced with out-of-pocket expenses, ongoing treatment and rehabilitation costs and a very real possibility of not being able to return to full time work due to long-term treatment side effects. For those that live in rural and regional areas, it also often means temporarily relocating to the city to receive ongoing cancer treatment that can be anywhere from a few weeks to up to 12 months in duration.

“We also know that health outcomes are worse for people in financial stress during their blood cancer treatment, so alleviating some of those pressures can make a massive difference to their longer-term prognosis.”

Greater Charitable Foundation Chief Executive Officer, Anne Long, said the partnership with the Leukaemia Foundation will deliver many benefits.

“Research shows that blood cancer patients experiencing financial hardship have poorer survival outcomes at five years compared to other blood cancer survivors, so if we can help them avoid financial hardship, we hope to bring their survival outcomes in line with others with the same blood cancer,” Ms Long said.

“As well as assisting people with their immediate needs, the Leukaemia Foundation Financial Assistance program also aims to improve their financial literacy through connecting them with financial counsellors, which dovetails perfectly with our new funding strategy of improving the overall financial wellbeing of participants.

“We are delighted to be partnering with the Leukaemia Foundation and we are very excited to think that our support could help people in our communities live longer and healthier lives.”

For more information on the new partnership visit https://www.greater.com.au/greater-charitable-foundation/our-partners/leukaemia-foundation

About The Leukaemia Foundation

The Leukaemia Foundation is one of Australia’s largest cancer charities. Since its inception in 1975, the Leukaemia Foundation has worked to help hundreds of thousands of Australians diagnosed with blood cancer and their families access life-saving treatments and supportive care services, while also consistently supporting Australia’s blood cancer research community to deliver some of the world’s leading improvements in survival outcomes.

The Leukaemia Foundation provides Australians living with blood cancer, their families, and carers access to a range of supportive care, including accommodation, transport, emotional and practical support, health and wellbeing, grief support, and peer support groups. Research has shown that this supportive care has improved survival outcomes and quality of life for blood cancer patients and their families.

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