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Huntsville Hospital gives transportation aid to cancer patients

“It’s not always necessarily people who don’t have a job. There are people that are maybe unable to work during their treatment and their income is cut,” said Huntsville Hospital Cancer Program Director.
Published: Sep. 2, 2021 at 8:14 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Regular treatments can make a life-saving difference when it comes to battling various forms of cancer. But the time and money spent to receive treatment, can be a barrier for some patients.

When it comes to transportation to and from cancer treatments or the finances to make that possible, Huntsville Hospital’s Cancer program director Karen Adams says it’s always been an issue across the board.

“It’s not always necessarily people who don’t have a job. There are people that are maybe unable to work during their treatment and their income is cut. Maybe they don’t have vacation time, or sick time, or other means of income coming in, and they make a choice between how do I pay my house, payments how do I pay my utilities, what about food what about my medications? There are a lot of things that factor in,” said Adams.

Huntsville Hospital worked closely with the American Cancer society and received grants to purchase gas cards. Those cards are used for transportation to and from treatments and reimbursement for those taking patients to receive care is also provided.

Latoya Whitfield’s mom Beverly Phillips was diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2020.

“It was definitely a shock to us. It was very overwhelming when we found out,” said Whitfield.

Whitfield says her mom went through almost a year of treatments.

“I was taking care of everything. My mom doesn’t work and my stepfather is disabled. So on top of taking care of my household, I was also having to take care of my mother’s household,” said Whitfield.

Whitfield says Huntsville Hospital asked if they needed financial help. Whitfield says the gas cards helped tremendously and took a lot of stress off her parents.

“It kept them from having to dip into their other savings or their other funding that they would need to just survive,” said Whitfield.

Whitfield says although the times were tough, it was easy going through the process with Huntsville Hospital.

“If we can eliminate one little burden for them maybe I can’t afford the gas to get there, it takes one more thing off their plate to worry about,” said Adams.

Phillips has been cancer free since March. If you’re interested in receiving financial help for transportation to cancer treatments, you can talk to your care team at Huntsville Hospital to see if you qualify.

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