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The Financial Costs of Childhood Cancer          January 2011

In this issue:

From the Director

ACCOIN Family News

Community Calendar

Financial issues can increase the stress of a childhood cancer diagnosis

World Cancer Day

Make a Difference - Donate now

Wish List

From the Director



We are pleased to announce two grants received that will greatly benefit families - Avista heating assistance and Macy's family support services grant. Check our ACCOIN family news for details.

Direct financial assistance to families can be a lifeline during extremely trying times. Many families face this need for the first time in their lives. With extreme sensitivity, we make the process of this vital support as seamless as possible.

Your continued donations ensure that families receive the financial assistance they need.


Together, we make a difference.


Mary Anne Ruddis

ACCOIN Family News

Click here

In Loving Memory

Spokane Parent Groups getting an overhaul

Extending our Hand to New Families

Need Help with your heating bills?

Working together to support the cancer survivor at school.

Family Support Gets a Boost thanks to Macys

Community Calendar

February 5th - Working Together to support the cancer survivor at school


February 12th - Pizza Factory Fundraiser


General Meetings -  last Tuesday of the month. 6:00PM


March 14 - SAVE THE DATE Empty Bowls at Jennys Cafe - 2010


April 1 - "Light the Way" dinner/auction. We are currently seeking sponsors and auction items.


June 12 - SAVE THE DATE Deer Park Ladies Golf Club Benefit Tourn

Financial issues can increase the stress of a childhood cancer diagnosis

A childhood cancer diagnosis creates high anxiety within the entire family. There are many costs - social, emotional, spiritual, and financial.  Financial pressures that occur as a result of a diagnosis further adds to an already stressful time.


The attitude and health of parents directly affects the coping of their child. Parents need to be supported so that they can be present and focused on caring for their family. These financial pressures add to the already overwhelming worries about the outcome of the diagnosis, treatment schedule, and how they will juggle other sibling needs.


“During the first, inpatient, week of treatment the sum of income lost plus additional expenditure exceeded 50% of total income in over 45% of families. During a subsequent week of out-patient treatment, loss of income plus additional expenditure amounted to more than 20% of income in over half the families,” reported the British Medical Journal article "Financial burden of childhood cancer.”

Loss of income occurs as parents take time off from their jobs to be available for their child during hospital stays, for frequent out-patient clinic appointments, and a demanding at home medications schedule. Children also have compromised immune systems and many times cannot attend school or daycare. This can necessitate that one parent quit their job altogether. While income is lost, costs increase. This combination creates additional anxiety as parents try to navigate a balance between caring for their child and maintaining their financial responsibilities.

Increased costs come from out-of-pocket medical expenses and non-medical expenses such as transportation, food, lodging, family care, parking, and other miscellaneous items. In some cases, families must set up a separate residence closer to the treatment facility. Unlike medical bills, non-medical bills must be paid immediately and are rarely reimbursed.

The American Childhood Cancer Organization Inland Northwest distributed nearly $40,000.00 in calendar year 2010 to assist families with some of these direct costs. With roughly 50% of our membership coming from outside of Spokane County, travel expenses can add up quickly. Even for families within Spokane County, additional expenses can result in high levels of additional stress.

Financial pressures can persist long after active treatment has ended. It can take many years for families to recover. Many families still face long-term costly follow-up care and sometimes life-long medications for their child.  Families who subsequently experience the loss of their child face even greater financial problems. Read more here: “Losing a child to cancer takes financial toll too.” Along with overwhelming grief, they must also cope with financial devastation.

World Cancer Day

February 4, 2011 is World Cancer Day. To help raise awareness consider hosting  a Pjammin event at your child's school.

Click here for information about Pjammin in the workplace.


"More than ever before there is a need for a concerted and coordinated fight against cancer, and we believe that World Cancer Day can play its part by providing an even bigger platform for your cancer messages." Read more at World Cancer Day

Make a Difference - Donate now

Click here to donate on-line.

Mail: American Childhood Cancer Org Inland NW

P.O. Box 8031

Spokane, WA 99203

Wish List

Computer with monitor/keyboard/mouse

Minimum requirements: Pentium 4 CPU 3.20 Ghz 2 GB RAM

Windows XP or Windows 7

Additional Wish List Items

Thanks to our community supporters

We want to thank Macy's for the generous grant award of $2000 for family support.


AVISTA We are also pleased to announce that we have received an Avista grant to help families who are Avista customers with their heating bills. Families with a child in treatment that do not have Avista and need assistance, can apply through our regular emergency funds program. See ACCOIN family news for more information and details about how to apply.

Candlelighters of the Inland Northwest • PO Box 8031 • Spokane • WA • 99203
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