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CancerCare Touching Hearts Program Provides Much Needed Support to Underserved Women

Mary Kay Ash Foundation partners to provide support services to women diagnosed with cancer in need of financial assistance and critical health resources.

While anyone can be diagnosed with cancer, the disease does not affect everyone equally. Many cancer patients – especially underserved women – face overwhelming barriers to care and needed resources due to structural and societal inequities.

The Mary Kay Ash Foundation sponsored Touching Hearts Program through CancerCare helps to alleviate these factors, which have a significant impact on a cancer patient’s health and well-being, affecting their access to even basic needs such as food, housing, healthcare, transportation, utilities, childcare and other general day-to-day needs. The persistent high costs of cancer treatment and related expenses often place an overwhelming financial strain on women affected by cancer and their families. Oftentimes, their capacity to obtain the best possible treatment outcomes can also be hampered by limited health literacy, a lack of financial resources, and inadequate support networks.

Consequently, CancerCare continues to experience a strong and steady demand for its services, particularly financial assistance. In recent months, the demand has been especially high, due to the pandemic and the challenging economic environment. Among the many requests for financial assistance that it receives, the most common and frequent need identified by patients continues to be addressing the costs of transportation to and from treatment. Unlike most other cancer support programs aimed at women, it provides much-needed assistance and support to women with all types of cancer.

For many, one of the major challenges is simply finding the money required to get to and from the facility providing the treatment.

Yolanda S., 62, lives in San Diego and contacted CancerCare to inquire about financial assistance. After being diagnosed with Stage III colorectal cancer. Her treatment plan includes surgery, radiation and chemotherapy.

Yolanda told the social worker affording transportation to her radiation and chemotherapy treatments was difficult. Her CancerCare social worker promptly helped Yolanda apply for transportation assistance, and she was quickly approved for a grant made possible by the Mary Kay Ash Foundation’s Touching Hearts Program.

The social worker also provided Yolanda with information about other psychosocial support services, as she expressed an interest in participating in an online support group for women. Yolanda later joined an online group at CancerCare and expressed her appreciation for all the assistance that she received.

CancerCare offers many virtual workshops and information sessions to help patients and family members cope with the stress of a cancer diagnosis.
Health & Wellness classes
Health & Wellness classes such as yoga and Pilates are offered to help with treatment side effects and overall patient well-being.