Stars with Heart
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Stars with Heart whose name will soon be changing to Big C Support aim is to provide financial support to ALL cancer patients we are the ONLY charity in Australia to have this as our sole mission. Whilst there are other cancer charities around providing this support the support that is available depends upon what type of cancer you have, where you live, or your age meaning way too many cancer patients in Australia fall through the cracks, the only optin then is for them to go 'welfare shopping'. rely on the support of family and friends which is not always possible or available, or refuse treatment (which does happen regularly in the rural areas).
Stars with Heart/Big C Support believes that no one in Australia should be put in the position that they are considering not having treatment simply due to the costs involved in going through cancer. One of the big myths of cancer is that it is all covered by Medicare it is not.
Access Economics conducted a study into the financial burden of cancer on cancer patients in 2007 and found that for a typical cancer the out of pocket expenses and lost salary cost the average cancer patient around $42,700 this blows out to a whopping $105,000 for leaukaemia or $150,000 for brain cancer the most expensive cancer.
Just think how would you cope if you were in this situation where you or someone you loved got cancer - and could not work for about 9 months, and on top of that had to pay for all your medical bills including scans which can cost around $2000 per scan and are not able to generally be done in public facilities, and then if the only treatment that could help you was not on the PBS so the drug would cost you $17,000 per dose! These are not hypotheticals this is what cancer patients are trying to deal with today.
How are we going to do this?
Our first initiative is to provide financial counsellors into all oncology departments Financial counsellors provide information, support and advocacy to assist people in financial difficulty.
Working in community organisations, their services are free, independent and confidential. Financial counsellors have an extensive knowledge of a range of areas of law and policy, including consumer credit law, debt enforcement practices, the bankruptcy regime, industry hardship policies and government concession frameworks.
They are not allowed to be aligned to any financial organisation, they have to be registered with ASIC and to undergo a Certificate IV in Counselling as they are generally dealing with clients in severe financial distress.
There aim is to sort out their clients financial situation and to make it as manageable as possible. They do this by negotiating with all their clients creditors to get repayments reduced to a manageable level, ensuring they have access to all the money they should be receiving, often their is money that cancer patients (and others) can access in the very tiny print in the insurance area of superannuation policies and other such documents, and also ensuring they are receiving all their government entititlements.
Having access to financial counsellors will make it possible for cancer patients to get their financial situation into some sort of manageable situation, thereby eliviating a huge amount of additonal unneccesary stress. It also means that as these financial counsellors will only be working with cancer patients that they will be come experts on the financial impacts of cancer patients. It also means that Stars with Heart/Big C Support will be able to stay on top of all areas that are financially impacting upon cancer patients that may need to be addressed in aother way.
Why Should You Support Us?
- We are not a large well funded charity we are a grass roots charity so to us your money will make a huge impact weather it be a $1 or hundred it it will make an enormous difference.
- We are at the moment relying solely on your donation and support.
- There is no other charity addressing this need yet it it is the No 1 issue for cancer patients after concerns about mortality is just how are they going to get through it financially?
- What could be a worse situation than having cancer and wondering if you are going to loose everything including your home simply because you are too sick to work? Both your mortality and your security that place that gives you and your family comfort (your home) are under threat.
* The cancer stats are that 1:2 people in Australia are likely to get a cancer diagnosis before they are 85 with approximately one third of Australian’s not having enough superannuation to see them through to the end of their retirment, and people’s personal savings dwindling it means that a lot of people are going to be getting this new and need some level of financial support - so unless you support us now we will not be there when they do.
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