Molly MacDonald was diagnosed with breast cancer in a time of job transition. She had no income and was paying Cobra insurance for her and her five children and ex-husband.
“We were faced with homelessness, I was in line at the food bank, I was in negotiations with Ford credit every 60 days not to come and repo my car,” MacDonald told Fox News.
After going through a financially devastating divorce, MacDonald took a $500,000 life insurance plan to ensure that her children were protected.
“I thought it would be better if cancer had taken of my life,” MacDonald said. “If I had an advanced disease and died, my children would not be homeless.”
In 2017, between 20 and 30 percent of women diagnosed with breast cancer will lose their jobs, according to a 2017 report of the Health of the Business. With the average treatment for breast cancer lasting 7 to 8 months, medical bills on the top of the household monthly bills can add up quickly. Some women may then have their medical leaves, and many can’t afford to miss months of work without financial woes.
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During the MacDonald’s of six months of treatment, she was discouraged by the dozens of other women she meets in similar financial situations.
“I thought: well, this is a huge gap, someone must do something, why can’t I?” she said.
MacDonald said that she had to think of a henry Ford quote when she decided to do something about the financial health of patients with breast cancer.
“”Whether you think you can or can’t, you’re right,’ and I thought I could and I did,” she said.
In 2005, MacDonald of the Pink Fund, a breast cancer non-profit organization that provided financial support to women while they went through with the treatment.
“We pay the patients accounts of their creditors for 90 days. We decorate by design with the Family Medical Leave Act and we pay their mortgage or rent, transportation, such as car payments, insurance, and utilities directly to their creditors,” MacDonald said.
The Pink Fund helps women pay their bills, so they can focus on getting better. As a 63-year-old breast cancer patient Patty Dell’ Olio. She was diagnosed with a triple negative breast cancer in April 2016.
“My bills started to pile up, I actually had to borrow money and I was trying to find out what I could that was out there that it would be useful and I found the Pink Fund,” Dell’olio told Fox News.
Dell’olio received money through the Pink Fund program to pay for her car insurance and gas for three months.
“It helped me mentally a lot, just [to] take that burden from these two accounts was a big help.”
A 2013 Bankrate study reported more than 75 percent of Americans do not have enough savings to pay six months of bills.
“It is difficult because you have to think about if you are going to live in a year or so and then you’re on the phone talking to someone about giving money, it is difficult,” Dell’olio said.
After 10 months of treatment, Dell’olio of the doctors said her scans looked good, but they will continue to be monitored for the rest of her life.
“On the positive side, you develop a certain way of, you know, not the peace or the rest but you begin to prioritize everything and see what is truly important and what is not,” she said.
For more visit PinkFund.org.