Cancer Special Needs Fund helps patients get care

Cancer Special Needs Fund helps patients get care

Eleanor Cassidy and her niece, Susan
Eleanor Cassidy and her neice, Susan, appreciate the way in which the Cancer Special Needs fund has eased the burden on their family.

Eleanor Cassidy says people at the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center are like her family, and she loves family.

The 76-year-old native of Queens, New York, and former payroll administrator at Manufacturer’s Hanover Bank for 32 years, visited her Delaware relatives on a regular basis. A few years ago, after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, Eleanor decided to move to Delaware permanently to be with her family. “I like it here, it’s very relaxing and quiet, and most important, I’m with my family,” she says.

Eleanor is very conscientious when it comes to taking care of her health. Last May, when she had her routine mammogram, results showed she had breast cancer. Eleanor wanted to start her daily radiation treatments immediately. There was one problem. Due to her Parkinson’s Disease, Eleanor can’t drive. She was worried about how she’d get to and from her treatments.

Eleanor’s niece offered to work something out with her employer so she could take turns with other family members to get Eleanor to her treatments every day. That’s when, according to Eleanor, “One of my guardian angels at the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center stepped in. Through the Special Needs Fund, my social worker arranged to have the Generations van service pick me up at my house every morning and take me home after my radiation treatment.” Eleanor’s niece, Susan adds, “The Special Needs Fund was a lifesaver for our entire family. Knowing that someone would take my aunt to and from treatments took away a lot of stress. We are so happy this kind of program exists.”

Eleanor finished the 33 radiation treatments in September, and based on her doctor’s report, her prognosis is good. She will continue to visit her doctors every three months. “The whole experience was very easy and I’m grateful to everyone at the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center for treating me like family,” says Eleanor. She adds, “I recommend the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center to everyone I meet.”

About the Cancer Special Needs Fund

Christiana Care’s Cancer Special Needs Fund covers patients’ medication, transportation to and from appointments, supplies, nutrition counseling and massage therapy. More than 2,000 patients have received financial help since the fund began. The fund is made possible through the generous support of corporations, foundations and individuals in the community.