GRIC grant dollars to help cancer patients in rural areas
March 2, 2018
Gila River Indian News
A local not-for-profit organization extends their appreciation for the Gila River Indian Community’s financial contribution towards an important health cause.
During a Community Council meeting at the GRIC Governance Center, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Executive Director Jim Brewer presented two pieces of artwork before tribal leadership on Feb. 22.
In 2017 a grant was awarded to LLS, a 501(c) (3) organization, in the amount of $25,000 to help them provide transportation funds to patients that reside in rural areas of the state.
In a statement about LLS, it said the organization is dedicated to finding cures and treatments for individuals with leukemia, lymphoma, or myeloma, which are different forms of blood cancers.
Brewer said that LLS is dedicated to funding treatments for patients by providing access to the treatments, that includes travel expenses through the Patient Travel Assistance Program for qualified recipients.
Some of the services they provide are national and community-based programs, co-pay assistance, clinical trial research and peer-to-peer support groups.
For some of the patients receiving assistance from LLS, they live in rural communities, requiring them to travel far to the nearest cancer treatment center, which over time, incurs a large amount of travel costs.
“These grants actually help our patients with their expenses related to that travel,” said Brewer about the PTAP, “So far we have distributed half of the grant that you have provided to 24 families, through a $500-dollar annual grant.”
The PTAP covers a variety of expenses that includes lodging costs, toll, gas, plane/train tickets and temporary housing.
Brewer said, that 92 percent of those grants are provided to pediatric patients that are under the age of 18.
Furthermore, 13 percent of the grant goes to Native American families or individuals that identify themselves as Native American.
The grants coverage includes 38 percent of patients, that live outside of the Phoenix and Tucson metro area in all 15 counties of the state.
In appreciation of the grant Brewer presented council with two pieces of artwork, that were made by three of the young LLS patients, Naveah (age 6), Javen (age 9) and Abby (age 8).
All three patients had received treatment and services from LLS for a form of blood cancer and were recipients of the PTAP grant.
Brewer said, “The grants are having the impact that we intended and we thank you so much for that support that enables us to have them.”
According to the grants proposal, LLS states that travel is one of the most needed services that presents a significant barrier to accessing care that is identified by patients.
He read a message that was written by Abby, which accompanied the artwork that said, “This is my big red heart and it has black blood all around it, but all the wires and colorful medicine are going to help me get better.”
Gov. Stephen Roe Lewis said the Community is proud to assist LLS, which helps fund an important cause that affects many individuals across the country.