2012-2013 Recipients

In 2013, we awarded a total of $153,000 in grants to young adult survivors all over the country.

2012-2013 Grants Web

  • ashley sAshley S.

    survivor of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
    "Living with cancer is a strange dichotomy of cramming life into too small of a span and worrying about things later…everything and nothing changes simultaneously. Life’s financial obligations did not change just because I prioritized beating cancer. I am a survivor now, and I am very proud of that. A grant from The SAMFund will give me confidence to work towards living healthier, getting in shape, and managing stress and anxiety while feeling accomplished and powerful. Then, I will start to recognize myself once again…the newer, stronger version."
  • kristina h

    Kristina H.

    survivor of Endometrial Cancer
    "Cancer is expensive. My greatest financial challenge has been the fact that I have put all my money into surviving. A SAMFund grant would help take some of the stress off my shoulders while I figure out how to support myself in the immediate future."
  • jerome j

    Jerome J.

    survivor of Lymphoma
    "I had to take a medical leave from my job and my unemployment was only good for six months. All of the little side hustles that I would do like landscaping, painting and sheet rock have been cancelled because I can no longer be exposed to those types of chemicals or environments… Even with my insurance taking a huge portion of my medical bills, I still have thousands of dollars of bills racking up. I could desperately use this grant to help to ease the financial strain my cancer has caused."
  • caitlin h

    Caitlin H.

    survivor of Hodgkin's Lymphoma
    "My greatest financial problem this past school year was being able to pay tuition for the school year… I was left without a large sum of the financial aid I needed for that year and knew no one else who would be able to qualify for a loan... It was a scary time for me, thinking that for coming all this way I may not be able to continue pursuing my dream. I am requesting a grant for books and supplies because the ones required by my Radiation Therapy program are very expensive… A grant from The SAMFund would be such a blessing, helping me to be able to pay my own bills and have some peace of mind."
  • joy j

    Joy J.

    survivor of Brain Cancer
    "My biggest challenge over the past year has been financing my car payment, which is over 50% of my monthly social security income. It leaves me sacrificing or cancelling doctor appointments to balance money, for daily tasks such as gas for doctor appointments, food, personal maintenance, and prescriptions… My request for a computer is due to the different roles I have as a 2-time brain cancer survivor. I help people and organizations nationally find resources to get others through cancer battles; I attend school to reach one of my life goals and keep learning to help others; I see 12 doctors on a regular basis; and manage over 100 medications a week. I do these tasks with no assistance and it’s difficult with chronic illnesses to carry all my tools without neglecting something."
  • meghan b scaled

    Meghan B.

    survivor of Hodgkin's Lymphoma
    "As a past grant recipient, I know that The SAMFund has provided the framework for me to really live within the reality of my life post-cancer. I realized how far I’ve come in the last year. Now I have so much more control over how much fear is allowed to rule my life. Freeing myself from the effects of PTSD and cancer will continue to be a challenge, but now that I’ve made it through such a hard time, I know what to do to keep myself moving forward. The skills I have gained, along with help from The SAMFund, will keep me on the path toward full independence in the workplace."
  • Donna A.

    survivor of Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma
    "Cancer forced me to take a year off of school, depleted my endurance and energy levels, and now I work less hours for less money. Receiving a grant from The SAMFund would help me to be able to get a gym membership so I can work on getting my endurance and energy levels back up. It would increase my quality of life."
  • Candice m

    Candice M.

    survivor of Breast Cancer
    "The medical bills began to come in non-stop once I began my cancer journey! I lost all of my benefits when I was laid off from my job and I was also denied SSI benefits which left me with nothing to spare financially. When attempting to get back to work after treatment, I could not obtain decent employment that would help me meet my financial needs… Receiving a SAMFund grant would greatly help me move forward towards financial freedom."
  • The SAMFund


    survivor of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
    "I have been in remission for over 14 years, but the chemo has had a negative effect on my fertility… We have chosen to take the path of adoption as our way of starting our family, which puts a tremendous financial burden on a young couple."
  • Brian B.

    survivor of Burkitt's Lymphoma
    "I was sure that I was going to be able to keep working, though maybe a few less hours, but still go strong none the less. Little did I know that my treatment regimen would take me out of the workforce for good for the duration of my treatment, plus some. Life still happens, and bills still need to be paid. I ended up depleting my entire savings to cover expenses like rent, utilities, car, and student loan payments. So by the time my treatment was complete, I was back at square one. Receiving a SAMFund grant for a computer and student loan assistance through The Andrea Coller Memorial Award has given me the means to pick up life where I left off."
  • ann m

    Ann M.

    survivor of Fibromyxoid Sarcoma
    "My experiences with cancer have caused financial hardship throughout my young adult life. My second cancer recurrence occurred when I was 25 years old. Even though I spend very responsibly, cancer has challenged my ability to build my financial strength. Although it is a hardship for me to pay my high insurance premium, I am not willing to sacrifice the quality of care that I receive because of my financial situation. A grant from The SAMFund would help prevent a financial disaster."
  • The SAMFund


    survivor of Ovarian Cancer
    "I'm always told to focus on "me" and "getting better" and that is almost impossible with all of the stress of post-treatment side effects, depression and the financial burden that cancer and treatment has created in my life. I believe a grant from The SAMFund would alleviate so much stress and allow me to begin to focus on my health and simply maintaining wellness and a positive attitude and move forward with some confidence that I can actually do this."
  • Samantha O.

    survivor of Erdheim-Chester Histiocytosis
    "Before receiving a grant to help pay for student loans from The SAMFund, it felt as though the financial impact of my illness was not only obstructing my educational development and career goals, but the build-up of my student loans and the inability to begin paying them back had temporarily prevented me from focusing solely on my most important job, healing. Now, post-diagnosis, post-radiation and chemotherapy and hip reconstruction surgery, post-letting go of the life I'd worked so hard to build for myself, and post-beginning to start anew -- I am left with a healing body, an attacked yet hopeful perspective and deep sense of gratitude. And with the utmost thanks to The SAMFund, a significantly smaller stack of student loan statements."
  • The SAMFund


    survivor of Brain Cancer
    "I was on disability for a year, but after that I was on my own. Throughout my chemotherapy, I had to rely on my girlfriend (who is now my wife) to support me financially. The problem is, even now, with my seizures, I really cannot hold a full-time job…The medical bills have been daunting. At one point, I owed over $20,000. Every month, my wife makes about $500-$700 in medical payments to lower these bills, but they never go away. With the continued care I need, the bills continue to come in as fast as she can pay them."
  • Marissa R.

    survivor of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia
    "I have recently started a part-time job. Full-time is still too much for me. It will take me a long time to reach the financial independence and level of comfort I had before I became ill. Not only did I have to stop working immediately, I also lost a large portion of my belongings due to an abrupt relocation that had to take place. The grant money I have been awarded is paying for a computer and computer software that I need for work purposes. This helps me tremendously to get on track to having a secure future!"
  • The SAMFund


    survivor of Melanoma
    "I knew that life was going to present challenges to me when I gave birth to a child at the age of nineteen… I had time to prepare for these events in a way that made me feel I had some control over the outcomes. When I was diagnosed with cancer, there was nothing that could prepare me for the news or nothing I could "control" about the outcome of the disease… My ability to work and earn a living became severely affected by these circumstances… I've had a difficult time securing and maintaining work since my overall health has been severely out of balance."
  • Jessica A.

    survivor of Leukemia
    "My doctors are not allowing me to work until I am at least one year post-transplant. At the time of my diagnosis I was working for a major non-profit organization… They gave me three months of short-term disability, then terminated my employment, forcing me to elect COBRA… Last year my medical expenses were around $10,000 and this year they have already exceeded that total… My savings is rapidly being depleted by the cost of residual medical bills, doctors’ visits, prescriptions and COBRA premiums."
  • The SAMFund


    survivor of Lymphoma
    "Cancer has affected my financial health by causing me to be unable to work due to treatment and its side effects. Temporarily disabled, my savings quickly drained throughout my experience. A cut in my state’s general assistance funding left me without sufficient resources to cover my rent. A grant from The SAMFund could make a world of difference in my life by providing a lifeline while I get myself back up on my feet financially."
  • Cashea A.

    survivor of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
    "When I was diagnosed with cancer, I was on the brink of turning 21, getting ready to graduate college, living on my own, and working a full time job with the National Park Service. I had my life all planned out. Cancer changed that... It wasn't until after treatment that I realized just how bad cancer actually was. I finished treatment and beat the disease, but I lost my insurance, still didn't have a job, and ended up having to apply for food stamps just to get by... I may have won the fight with cancer but right now, it feels like cancer has won. I never thought that the after would harder than chemo."
  • anthony m scaled

    Anthony M.

    survivor of Spindle Cell Sarcoma
    "I was forced to take multiple cycles of time off from work to recover from surgeries and treatments. I was unable to give my wife a proper honeymoon when we got married. I wasn't able to pay for bills including rent, credit cards and other financial responsibilities. In conclusion, I had to resign from my position due to my condition and focus on getting better… I am seeking the assistance for this grant so that my wife and I can finally breathe and enjoy life."
  • Theresa B.

    survivor of Breast Cancer
    "Before my diagnosis I was on a fast track for a successful life, had a great job and being a productive member of my local community. The financial burden that cancer has stricken me with has made my life a daily struggle. I can barely pay my bills, and I have collection agencies calling me every day. If I were able to eliminate this stress, I could focus on my charity work... I am done living my life on a couch and worrying about how to pay my bills, and I am ready to start walking!"
  • Chad B.

    survivor of Testicular Cancer
    "I am a single father raising my 8 year-old daughter alone. I was not able to work for the 9 months that I went through treatment and not able to find another job for almost a year after treatment was over. My biggest financial struggle is to pay for vocational training that would make the future brighter for not only myself but for my daughter. I know that is where I am supposed to be, but lack the ability to pay for it."
  • Lisa B.

    survivor of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
    "Of all the things that I have grieved for or been angry and frustrated with throughout this journey, it is the lack of independence and sense of self-sufficiency. These are things that I always prided myself on and are part of my self-identity… My hope is to gain at least part-time employment. If I am able to do so, my fiancé and I can move out and have our own place to live, but this would only be possible if we also do not have to pay for my health insurance."
  • The SAMFund


    survivor of Lymphoma
    "My biggest challenge was making sure my family had enough money to pay our mortgage and child care expenses while I was out of work due to my cancer treatments. My wife and I are both school teachers in private schools, so we make just enough money to get by each month. Disability paid me less than $200 a week… The SAMFund will help me move forward because it will help me pay my doctors' expenses that my insurance did not cover and I won't have to worry about paying for my groceries on my credit card."
  • Daniel C.

    survivor of Testicular Cancer
    "If I receive a grant from The SAMFund it would give me that little bit of help that I need to climb out of this low point and excel in the future. With The SAMFund grant lessening the financial burden I will register for classes and complete my final year at college. My fiancé and I will be getting married in a few months and after I graduate with a job in the spring we will hopefully be able to buy our own house and start at family together."
  • Katie C.

    survivor of Colorectal Cancer
    "One of my biggest expenses comes from my monthly mortgage payment. My home is quite humble, but it’s been my sanctuary, a place of rest and peace through cancer and still provides that space for me today. Each month I worry that I may not be able to cover the expense and risk losing my safe place. Since my cancer diagnosis, medical expenses have gone through the roof in order to pay for my care and treatment. A grant from The SAMFund would allow me to stay in my home and help me get back on my feet. I’m 110% committed to continue to work hard to get there, but just need a boost in the right direction so I can move forward independently and live life to its fullest, cancer-free!"
  • Kamilah A

    Kamilah A.

    survivor of Breast Cancer
    "I have found that one is never prepared for the financial drain cancer has on your family. When you couple a young adult and the downturn of the economy with this devastation, being financially prepared for cancer is near impossible. Each of the requests we have made are due to the loss of unemployment our family experienced during my chemotherapy treatments. Our family’s largest financial challenge this year was trying to keep all the bills paid, but it’s not an easy decision to choose between utilities, gas to go to an interview, items your children may be in need of, and medical bills. With The SAMFund’s help last year we made it through the year. Although our financial situation has not bettered, we know that without The SAMFund it would have been much worse."
  • Jahcobie C.

    survivor of Nasopharyngeal Cancer
    "If I were to receive a grant from The SAMFund it would allow me to not have to worry about some necessities and be able to not only recover fully, but move forward in my hopes of find a job that does not compromise my health. It is hard to be a filmmaker and not be able to lift heavy equipment, be around hazardous materials, able to exercise extreme adrenaline and be on sets for almost 24 hours."
  • Marisa C.

    survivor of Breast Cancer
    "The last thing I expected when I turned thirty was a diagnosis of breast cancer. I was settling into my career, paying off my college debt and ready to move on to graduate school... I had to put off school and pretty much everything...By receiving financial help with my rent, The SAMFund will allow me the financial independence that I have been working towards since my diagnosis. It’s very difficult to put in words how much independence cancer takes away. Even as a survivor at times I feel like cancer still has a hold on me."
  • Gabrielle D.

    survivor of Colon Cancer
    "Due to my diagnosis, I had to leave law school despite having already taken out loans and paying for the semester… While I had a part time internship, I was unable to work or make enough money to live on. Therefore, I had to file for food stamps, use my college loans, and borrow money from family… In order to return to school, I will have to take out additional loans- adding to my debt. With rent supplementation I can take out a slightly smaller loan, thus decreasing my loan debt."
  • bobby g

    Bobby G.

    survivor of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
    "Cancer remains a large focus and presence in the financial debt that I have incurred as a result. When cancer struck, I vowed to beat it. Now that I have beaten the beast, it continues to beat me at the bank. Assistance from The SAMFund will allow me to get up to date on my bills and to stay there."
  • Shelley D.

    survivor of Wilms’ Tumor
    "Being able to make [student loan] payments doesn’t coincide with the part-time income I bring in. It has caused me to put things that should not be an option, like health insurance, on the back burner. Trying to endure the extreme fatigue and horrible back pain because of my cancers so that I can try and make whatever ends meet that I can, has begun to make me feel like I can barely keep my head above water... Assistance from The SAMFund would allow me some MUCH needed breathing room... I would be able to gain the medical attention I desperately need."
  • Joel D.

    survivor of Brain Cancer
    "I did not have a rainy day fund for cancer. I am a hard-working, ordinary guy, a father and a husband. Our household budget and benefits depended on me working hard, often times working overtime. I was caught off guard…blindsided by the cost of cancer. I have been unable to work due to my cancer and it’s painful to not be able to contribute financially... Having peace of mind knowing that this winter we could have some help would relieve some stress in my heart."
  • Cayci E.

    survivor of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and Thyroid Cancer
    "Cancer’s financial effects have made my life extremely stressful. Instead of focusing on getting healthy so I can get back to work and start a family, I am trying to keep the electricity on. Receiving a grant from The SAMFund would help me start to rebuild my financial foundation. I would finally feel like I have someone in my corner that is willing to help. I think it's important for us young adults to know that we won't be left behind or ignored because we aren't a majority."
  • Zenitha E.

    survivor of Breast Cancer
    "I had to turn in my vehicle because I was unable to keep up with the maintenance and payments… My biggest fear is falling behind on my payments again, enduring the calls from the finance company asking when I can make a payment. Alternatively, the fear of losing the car and having to stress about transportation deprive me of sleep and cause depression. A cancer survivor’s most stressful moment, other than the fear of death, is the aftermath of the unplanned medical financial obligations. No matter how much you plan for any health issue, as a single mother, I did not plan for such an illness…"
  • Mike F.

    survivor of Testicular Cancer and a Brain Tumor
    "Everyone tells me how proud I should be that I was able to still complete my degree after having to drop out of school and then enroll two years later. I have friends that are now talking about being almost paid off with their student loans. When I was getting ready to graduate in 2007 I was excited to start my next chapter in life in being a "grown up," but my version of being a grown up turned out to be cancer instead… While I have medical bills, my student loans are the most pressing… If I received this grant for my student loans I would be able to not stress anymore knowing that my loans are continually going out of control."
  • Amy F.

    survivor of Breast Cancer
    "A grant from The SAMFund would help keep me from the possibility of losing my car or my home. It's incredibly overwhelming to get one cancer diagnosis, let alone two, and on top of that, to have constant worry about how to take care of the most basic financial needs for your kids. It's a horrible feeling to want to work to provide for your kids, but to have to sit and recover and feel like you're doing nothing because the doctor hasn't cleared you to work. It makes you feel helpless to watch your bank account slowly plummet and to know that soon, there will be nothing coming in to replenish it."
  • Amber F.

    survivor of Neuroblastoma
    "My financial burden affects not only my quality of life, but also the well-being of the entire family. This year has been a challenge because I've had all these tests done so I can extend my quality of life. I want to be here to watch my two little girls grow up. However, the bills piling up has added stress. It feels like I am swimming in debt and there is no escape. Cancer has ruined my credit because of the debt I have accumulated. Until I can clear up my credit I cannot move forward as a family and get a house."
  • Shanna G.

    survivor of Breast Cancer
    "I feel like I've been in transit for the past two years and that my life basically paused when I was diagnosed. I'm stuck, living with family, and broke. It's made it impossible to truly move on. If I were to receive assistance from The SAMFund, it would ease the stress and allow me to finally pick up the pieces and get my life back. I would be able to repair my car and afford to actually use it, which would then allow me to finally move, get an apartment with my son, and have access to the follow-up care I need to be truly healthy again."
  • Sara G.

    survivor of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
    "I feel as though I have had little time to revel in the satisfaction of even beating cancer because of the financial burden that I currently call my reality... I am still just beginning to process having had cancer… I wonder if I will be able to face another day with another call from a collections representative from the hospital… Don't get me wrong - I am so happy to still be alive… Yet I seem to be literally paying for something I worked so hard to beat. I believe that a grant from The SAMFund would help me realize my goal of becoming a physical therapy assistant for oncology patients."
  • The SAMFund


    survivor of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
    "By the end of the year we end up with $3,000-$5,000 in medical costs because of my check-ups. In the past the hospital has been unwilling to work with us and sent us to collections and my wages were garnished. No one chooses to have cancer and before cancer I had an excellent credit rating; now it has been destroyed because of medical debt. If I could receive a grant from The SAMFund I would be able to make payments to the hospital and avoid collections."
  • Monica H.

    survivor of Breast Cancer
    "When you have to have someone help you with your basic needs you feel like less than a person. I have always had a job since the age of 15. Receiving this grant will allow me to continue my education and return to work force and help people who are in a difficult situation. This will be a step toward getting my independence back and not having to depend on others to survive."
  • Becky H.

    survivor of Breast Cancer
    "My experience with cancer took a significant toll on my financial well-being and on my ability to earn an income…. Leaving school to enter full-time treatment meant losing my financial aid, which was my primary source of income, and losing my student health insurance…. It has been a struggle to remain up to date on my bills, pay for general living expenses, live independently, and to afford the services that would aid in my recovery… If I received a grant from The SAMFund, first and foremost having the funds to go to therapy would facilitate my emotional healing and significantly help me to move forward with life."
  • Rafael H.

    survivor of Ewing’s Sarcoma
    "After not working for a year and a half during and post treatment, combined with a financial downturn and piles of debt, it's been very difficult to find relief. While the majority of my friends are planning on buying houses or arriving at a level in their careers where stability is the norm, I'm reminded by damaged credit reports, bills and debt collectors that my reality is drastically different. And while I've accepted this as part of my healing process, it's tough to not see a light to some sort of financial freedom or the outlook of someday buying a house. Still, I dream and visualize of a time where my financial situation is different and where I'll be able to give back to others who have been placed in similar circumstances."
  • Viridiana H.

    survivor of Ovarian Cancer
    "My greatest financial struggle this year has been saving money to move out. I have tried to save money from every paycheck but something always comes up. If it’s not paying for COBRA, it's doctors’ appointments, medicines, family emergencies, and the list goes on. If awarded a grant by The SAMFund I would finally be able to move out on my own, which I truly believe would increase my chances of not having a recurrence and assist me in living a healthy, positive life."
  • Kevin H.

    survivor of Leukemia
    "My ability to live independently has been very difficult to maintain. My independence is very important to me and to my recovery. After spending so much time confined in a hospital this freedom has done more for me than I ever could have expected. It forces me to do things for myself that otherwise I would not have to do… Not being able to work has hindered my ability to pay for rent; although I have made drastic cuts in my living situations it still remains very difficult to pay for rent."
  • chelsea m

    Chelsea M.

    survivor of Brain Cancer
    "All my money (the little I had) went to gas, basic necessities and making payments on bills to avoid collections. I had to completely set aside any resume boosting opportunities...This certification will allow for me to be taken seriously as a candidate to employers and verify I have the skills to be a successful employee. Not only will I be able to obtain a steady, good job that will help me pay off the debt I encounter yearly for various check-ups and appointments due to cancer, but also to be an example within the cancer community that you can be successful and your dreams can be attained."
  • christa s scaled

    Christa S.

    survivor of Endometrial Cancer
    "The financial impact of cancer has been a huge issue. Although I have a career and insurance, cancer left a substantial burden on an already tight budget for a tough economy. A SAMFund grant would help more than words can express, with even a little bit able to make an impact on my situation."
  • christine r

    Christine R.

    survivor of Peritoneal Cancer
    "We are trying so hard to catch up on our credit card debt accumulated while I was on chemotherapy and out of work. It seems that every cent of our paychecks is given directly to the credit companies… I have to choose each month which credit card or car payment we will be late on because we have to buy groceries or pay rent and can't afford both. We just need some help to get ahead and I know that we would be able to create the future we imagined for us."
  • danny e

    Danny E.

    survivor of CML
    "My missed days at work do to the regulation of my cancer up-front and my testing afterwards have made me fall behind all of my bills. We have missed rent, paid utilities late, put off purchases for normal things that are getting worn out (clothes, car maintenance, carpet cleaning, etc.). Not only is it a financial stress, but it's an emotional and physical stress as well. If fighting cancer weren't enough, we're always constantly stressing and worrying about how we're going to be able to pay bills that are piling up. A grant from The SAMFund in any or all of these three areas would free me up to focus my resources on the other ones and hopefully start to make a dent on everything."
  • dawn l

    Dawn L.

    survivor of Neuroblastoma
    "I was so young when I had cancer that I don't remember my treatments but I do know the effects the treatments have taken on me… It is hard from me to find and keep a job due to my hearing loss… My teeth have been greatly impacted by my cancer treatments; not only do I not have most of my adult teeth roots, but also the teeth I still have are deteriorating... Being able to move forward with the dental implants would give me hope and relief."
  • emily m

    Emily M.

    survivor of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
    "June 18th, 2010 should have been a day to celebrate, but instead it was a day when the reality sank in. Yes, I was cancer free, but I was also broke. From that point forward, every bill has been a struggle to face… The hospital calls regularly to urge me to pay more. I always pay what I can, but that leaves me with nothing to help re-build my savings account, to visit friends, to buy a pair of shoes or get ahead. Monday to Friday, I give my students my all. Even while going through treatment, I managed to work full time. However with the added stress of bills, I took on a part time job. It has been exhausting and leaves my life less rewarding. I need to take my life back but I can't when I have the bill collectors calling me."
  • erin k scaled

    Erin K.

    survivor of Leiomyosarcoma
    "Cancer is a financially draining process… my health, and very life, became the most important job I had. Seeking proper treatment takes time and money, and time is money! Taking it was necessary for my life and health, but it did not come without consequences. My financial challenge with cancer has impeded any fiscal control over my life, which bleeds into the realm of emotional health. Receiving money from The SAMFund… may prove to be one of the most important things I can do for my life right now."
  • kellie c

    Kellie C.

    survivor of osteosarcoma
    "Due to the many medical bills my family and I were paying it was not feasible for me to go straight into graduate school as I had hoped to do…. After 8 years in the workforce I finally decided it was time to apply… I have to work another job part time on top of going to school part time. I also help out by babysitting when needed to get a little extra money for food and daily living… The SAMFund will assist me in living and paying for my school books. This way I can stay healthy and stress-free when I do not have to work a part time job in order to barely get by."
  • niki c

    Niki C.

    survivor of Breast Cancer
    "Cancer, and its financial calamity, was not expected. The cancer-related debt placed not only onto me, but also my two sons, infuriates, stresses and saddens me… A grant from The SAMFund would first allow me to unload some of the immediate and pressing medical debt so that I could get my financial bearings back in place. Second, it would support me in doing some deep emotional work on my sudden and unexpected diagnosis and the changes my body has endured over the last two years. This grant would help me get back to me; whoever this post-cancer 33 year old woman is. Cancer has taken much, but my will to fight, coupled with my attempt to be a better mom and person, is unyielding."
  • mireille n scaled

    Mireille N.

    survivor of Ovarian Cancer
    "During my treatment, caregivers took very good care of me... This strongly affected my decision to go back to school and become a nurse. I would like to share my experience and take care of other people. To go back to school, I need to work hard and learn English because it's my second language. Since I'm trying to learn English, I'm facing many difficulties. I can't do my homework because everything has to be done online and I don't have computer. If I receive a grant from The SAMFund, that computer would help me do my homework."
  • meghan m

    Meghan M.

    survivor of Brain Cancer
    "Because I had to have a craniotomy and radiation to the max, I developed grand-mal seizures when I was 17. About 5 years later I developed two rare movement disorders causing me to quit work and go on disability. I had to have jaw, nose, and chin surgery, preceded by braces for four years, due to damage from the brain surgery and radiation… I don't get a lot from SSDI and my therapist will now cost more per visit, because she is moving to a new facility. I need to follow her because my case is very complicated and it has taken me along time to find someone who can understand my situation."
  • christine a scaled

    Christine A.

    survivor of Multiple Myeloma
    "The lack of energy and pain that I face everyday has been barriers in my ability to work again. With the help of a grant from The SAMFund, I am hoping to find a successful way to manage and improve the constant pain I face every day. By receiving aid for a gym membership and alternative healing, such as massages and yoga, I hope to alleviate the pain and fatigue I experience daily. I believe that if I can properly manage my Graft vs. Host Disease symptoms, I will be able to return to work and improve my financial status."
  • ernesto g

    Ernesto G.

    survivor of Colon Cancer
    "This past year my greatest financial problem has been losing my job, my car, and trying to repay all the medical bills. It has been a little hard to get back on my feet, though I am blessed to have my family who always helps me. But I cannot depend on them always... With this grant it will be such a relief and joy just to know someone offers the opportunity to pay off bills and help with other financial needs... Not a lot of people help a stranger get back on their feet."
  • gaby g

    Gaby G.

    survivor of Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma
    "I have been blessed to be a recipient of a SAMFund grant before. I received a laptop that helped me be successful in school and finish my career—the same computer that I am now using to finish my application and do homework this semester. I decided to reapply because my financial situation has not improved and I have nowhere else to turn. Thank you for the amazing community service you do!"
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    Garrick S.

    survivor of Leukemia
    "When thinking about finances, one usually thinks about things like education, jobs, security, savings, and possibilities. A diagnosis of cancer means the opposite. It introduces uncertainty, instability, and serious doubt. The reality of living on the margin, with the need for anything more than the basics introducing debt, burden, and worry…is daunting. Crisis moments crop up on me often, and it makes me realize how far behind cancer has left me. A grant from The SAMFund would help push me through a lot of those moments."
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    James H.

    survivor of Leukemia
    "My SAMFund grant helped me accomplish my short-term goals and begin to consider my long-term goals. The funds assisted me in paying for my residual medical expenses that were already in collection, a constant reminder of the bad parts of my cancer journey. Due to the SAMFund grant I was able to continue my education, buy books for my coursework, attempt to be independent by obtaining my own place of residency, and move forward with my life. I'm thankful for The SAMFund's mission to help young adult cancer survivors be productive members of society once again."
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    Jennifer P.

    survivor of Ewing's Sarcoma
    "My cancer has affected my ability to pay for my current medical bills because surviving it means that you have to keep up with monitoring your body after treatment. Yearly exams, scans, and follow-up appointments are necessary…I haven’t made these appointments because I am just too worried about all the bills that will result from it. Receiving a grant from The SAMFund would help me pay off my bills and be better prepared for the ones to come!"
  • jessica v

    Jessica V.

    survivor of Breast Cancer
    "I truly believe that receiving a grant from The SAMFund would help me move forward independently by allowing me to catch up on other medical debt and medical bills I have recently acquired… It would give me a little bit of "breathing room" in my finances. It would relieve some of the stress and burden I have carried with me for five years… Although it is scary to be on your own, so young, and to face these financial burdens alone, I have faith that it will get better for me."
  • jhaysonn p

    Jhaysonn P.

    survivor of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
    "I was living in South Korea when I was diagnosed. I came home and was uninsurable, so we started finding programs for indigent patients through hospitals… I thought I might be able to work but even after the first chemo regimen I started it was obvious that wouldn't be possible. Then came 4 more regimens and an allogenic bone marrow transplant and work is still quite a ways off. The physical therapy is a surprising tonic for my neuropathy. I try to do as much as I can on my own…"
  • karen m

    Karen M.

    survivor of Colon Cancer
    "Cancer has totally changed my life financially, mentally, emotional, and physically. Before my diagnosis my credit card debt was 0. Bills started to accumulate when I was diagnosed and quickly became unmanageable when I was being treated and out of work, unpaid. A SAMFund grant would be a giant step forward in catching up with bills since the interest charges that accumulate each month are barely covered by my payments."
  • Drew A.

    Drew A.

    survivor of Spinal Cord Cancer
    "My cancer stole my ability to walk. I've fought to learn to walk and run again in the course of 12 months and am still learning to this day… I have large amounts of co-pays due to insurance changes and sometimes an out of pocket expense. I am afraid I will be cut off of my current payment plan soon because the balance is getting so high."
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    Josh D.

    survivor of Thyroid Cancer
    "Being diagnosed with cancer at the age of 18, right at the time when I was entering college, caused me to reconsider my career plans and prompted me to pursue a new calling. The enormous financial strain… forced me to forfeit my music scholarship. I have since found funding for my tuition through various outside resources, but it is increasingly difficult to afford the living expenses of college and the medical expenses... A grant from The SAMFund will help assist me in catching up from my missed work time... I’ve had to give up working several times throughout the past four years due to my cancer diagnosis, surgery, and treatments."
  • karl m

    Karl M.

    survivor of Brain Cancer
    "The surgery destroyed my life and it's easy to see why. I was three semesters away from being licensed as a Marine Engineer. The starting salary of a Licensed Marine Engineer is $75,000. Instead, I am on Social Security Disability and collect $785 a month... I did find a job and it paid $9.26 an hour. Unfortunately, after working full-time for over nine months, the government no longer sees you as disabled and kicks you off SSDI. At that point, I lost my rent and had to move home. I have not found work since… If I can get a grant to help pay for a CAD program, I am hoping to get a full time job."
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    Kate H.

    survivor of Hodgkin's Lymphoma
    "My SAMFund grant propelled me forward into the independent life that I am living now. The SAMFund empowered me to live my own life and stand on my own two feet. Even after cancer, I felt so strong!"
  • kimberly m

    Kimberly M.

    survivor of Osteosarcoma
    "After completing chemotherapy and having several reconstructive surgeries, I still suffer the long term side effects... The chronic pain from four knee replacement surgeries has left me struggling to maintain 40 hour work weeks for the last 12 years. It has inhibited my ability to function at a “normal” level. I struggle regularly to attend work consistently due to the chronic pain, fatigue, and other long term effects of my cancer treatments… My daughter and I have been trying to move on with our independence and would like to see ourselves in our own apartment. A grant from The SAMFund would help us on our way to becoming more financially independent."
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    Kristie M.

    survivor of Endocervical Cancer
    "I don't think anyone can be prepared to hear the words, “you have cancer.” I did not have time to think…”what is this going cost.” The greatest financial challenge has been the ability to pay all of my bills that I once took for granted. Having health insurance is a necessity and one of the single most important bills that I must pay every month. Terminated from my full-time employment…and inheriting new bills that need to be paid every month has doubled what I used to pay."
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    Laura S.

    survivor of Ovarian Cancer
    "Fighting cancer with the best options available to you is an expensive undertaking. My husband and I were struggling financially before my diagnosis, trying to balance the cost of childcare, two monthly car payments, student loans, and owning a home with a high interest rate mortgage and severely depreciated property value. While we both work hard and have good jobs, we've never been able to get ahead. Adding thousands of dollars of medical bills has crippled our already shaky financial footing. Thank you, SAMFund, for giving us one less medical bill to worry about."
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    Lauren M.

    survivor of Leukemia
    "Since I had cancer three times over 2.5 years, my ability to maintain steady employment was severely limited… I am currently a part-time faculty member at a university, but that income does not meet all my needs, as adjuncts are only paid by the credit hour. Perhaps more significantly, because of GVHD, I am unable to hold steadier employment, despite being done with active treatment…. Getting help with the bills I currently have would hopefully help me move toward my biggest short-term goal: moving in with my boyfriend and out of my parents' house."
  • lisa r

    Lisa R.

    survivor of Leukemia
    "My greatest financial challenge has been a sheer lack of funds with an infinite amount of debt. I’ve put so much money into getting my leukemia in remission that I feel horrible that I can't follow my doctor's orders to ensure that I have the best possible odds for staying healthy. There are times where I am putting off refilling medications because I cannot afford it and there are greater financial needs that have to be met. A grant from The SAMFund would allow me to take the medications as directed, stay healthier, and have better control over my side effects."
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    Lauren P.

    survivor of Breast Cancer
    "I conquered the battle with cancer (chemo, a bilateral mastectomy and radiation); however, I was not prepared for the side effects of menopause at a young age. I run every night after work, go to the gym, take yoga classes at the gym; however, nothing is working… This gym membership will allow me to change my work out routine while under the supervision of a coach because I am afraid to lift weights after multiple surgeries. This will ensure I am not putting myself in a position of injuring myself... My current health insurance is perfect for a healthy person; however, my oncologists continues to require follow up appointments every other month with a doctor’s appointment and blood test, which typically cost me $750 per visit."
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    Laurie S.

    survivor of Bone Cancer
    "During the past year I have depleted what little savings I had to pay my bills. I have worked as a substitute teacher, but without work in the summer and restricted hours due to recovery, it has seemed futile. I am not sure how I will be able to keep a roof over my head, keep my car insured, my loan fulfilled, and keep up on utilities... I have recently been seeking work as a teacher as I feel I would be capable of performing the duties with my physical limitations and have recovered enough to work full-time, but jobs in my area are very scarce."
  • manuel m

    Manuel R.

    survivor of Brain Cancer
    "Financially, cancer has had a huge impact for me. It stopped me from working and generating income for almost a year. The expenses of medical bills and medicines are very difficult to handle when a person is not fully able to work. It hasn't been easy to afford even regular expenses and at the same time try to move forward academically. A SAMFund grant would help me focus on school so I can reach my personal goals."
  • renita w

    Renita W.

    survivor of Breast Cancer
    "My SAMFund grant paid my car insurance for the year and lifted so much weight off of my shoulders. The SAMFund has been a blessing to my life, enabling me to move forward by aggressively paying down my credit card debt with the extra money. I cannot thank you enough and am so grateful for your assistance. You changed my life and lifted my spirits."
  • roxie m

    Roxie M.

    survivor of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
    "The treatments that were needed to save my life had a huge effect on my financial situation. Even with medical insurance, it has taken all of my salary during the last 5 years to pay for my living expenses, treatments, transportation expenses, and medical debt. A grant from The SAMFund would help me to move forward and not stay in the shadow of cancer for several years to come."
  • sashie l

    Sashie L.

    survivor of Leukemia
    "Receiving a grant from The SAMFund will help me receive what I need to aid me in my recovery and allow me to return my focus on growing my business. This will in turn allow me to be more financially stable and able to stand on my own."
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    Stacey S.

    survivor of Leukemia
    "I have received two grants from the SAMFund and they have been incredibly helpful in paying off my residual medical debt. I was able to pay off one bill entirely and cut another in half. The SAMFund grants have taken my medical debt from an overwhelming obstacle to a manageable bill. I truly appreciate all of your support."
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    Stephanie I.

    survivor of Lymphoma
    "I am grateful and proud to be a cancer survivor and SAMFund alumni. Receiving a grant last year really brightened the holidays around my house! It helped relieve my stress for a couple months, step back and apply for a job, and get it!"
  • suyin c

    Suyin C.

    survivor of Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma
    "As an eager pre-med student, whom had just graduated college and was applying to medical school, getting cancer was the last thing to cross my mind. However, all my rigorous preparations and momentum came to a screeching halt when I noticed a lump in my neck. It was cancer - in my neck, chest, and abdomen…and it was growing aggressively. Surviving cancer has given me a new perspective on life, but has also challenged me financially, physically, mentally, and emotionally. Before cancer, I accumulated much student loan debt during my pre-med undergraduate career. I wish to continue my dream of becoming a doctor so I may help future patients while incorporating the positives from my challenging cancer experience."
  • tanesha h

    Tanesha H.

    survivor of Hodgkin's Lymphoma
    "My current salary is less than my salary during treatment. Each month I have to strategize between which invoices I can make a payment on without affecting paying for necessities. I have to neglect paying some necessities here and there to ward off bill collectors and further risks of wage garnishments… I currently live pay check to pay check… I am no longer in active treatment but the medical expenses continue to accrue."
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    Tayler S.

    survivor of Thyroid Cancer
    "Cancer ruined months of careful financial planning. A grant from The SAMFund will liberate me from the unexpected stress of trying to make ends meet…giving me the time and energy to focus on graduating while working to pay my bills. Going through the cancer experience showed me how much I want control over my own life back. Once I lost control of my health, I realized how important it was for me to gain control of my happiness, my career and my finances."
  • tiffany w

    Tiffany W.

    survivor of Hodgkin's Lymphoma
    "One of my goals as a young adult survivor, now a year and a half out of treatment, is to feel like a normal young woman again. My hair has grown out, my eyelashes have grown in, I don't feel physical pain anymore. I might have scars all over my body from surgeries, biopsies, and ports, and tattoos from radiation, but the ability to go to the gym has given me a healthier body. I would be so grateful for the support of the SAMFund to continue this journey."
  • tracy l

    Tracy L.

    survivor of Leukemia
    "I'm sustaining by living with friends and family, and trying not to become a burden. I would love to get on my own feet and become a useful member of society. I would greatly appreciate a push in that direction so that I can help others the way I've been helped. Receiving assistance would be a great help in getting back to school and work."
  • tyesha d

    Tyesha D.

    survivor of Brain Cancer
    "Last year I applied for a grant for clothes, massage therapy, and fare for public transportation. I was able to go shopping, go to school, and go to the doctor. I was also able to set aside some of my financial aid for emergency situations (like our family car breaking down) because I didn't have to pay for some of my clothing or transportation. After trying massage therapy for the first time I was able to confirm what I had been thinking all along - massage is not only calming and relaxing but it's a solution to pain and poor circulation. I'm applying again this year mainly because I genuinely need the help."
  • vanessa w

    Vanessa W.

    survivor of Lymphoma
    "Cancer has affected my financial health by causing me to be unable to work due to treatment and its side effects. Temporarily disabled, my savings quickly drained throughout my experience. A cut in my state’s general assistance funding left me without sufficient resources to cover my rent. A grant from The SAMFund could make a world of difference in my life by providing a lifeline while I get myself back up on my feet financially."
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    Veronica S.

    survivor of Brain Cancer
    "The reason for my first request of books and supplies is because last year I was not able to afford to buy all my books, and had to check them out from the library… I had the money, but my mother needed it for a deposit for a new home… I am currently enrolled at a gym, but because my family is low on money I will have to discontinue my membership in 1-3 months. I would like to keep going as I feel much better… Cancer has affected my ability to pay for these things in that I have memory loss, and am unable to concentrate and work and study at the same time."
  • The SAMFund


    survivor of Leukemia
    "I have not been able to work since I was diagnosed back in 2008… We have bills in collections, we fell behind on our car payments and our car was repossessed… Six months after being diagnosed my social security disability kicked, in but we continued to struggle because at that point we were completely behind and in debt. Still to this day we are struggling. With the medical bills and prescription costs, we can't seem to catch a break."
  • The SAMFund


    survivor of Breast Cancer
    "While I was on treatment and disability we placed many of our household expenses and bills and other necessary expenditures on credit cards. Now I am back to working but I am unable to work steadily from Monday to Friday due to post-treatment issues. Right now I pay all the necessary bills and use the rest to pay the credit card debt slowly. We do not have any savings or emergency funds... If I receive a grant from The SAMFund, it would really help my family and me to reduce our financial and emotional stress."
  • The SAMFund


    survivor of Brain Cancer
    "Unfortunately, my income was drastically reduced when I went on disability... I had to downsize to a small apartment and had to try and get by for the next few years. I sold most of my personal items to help pay for the medical expenses and am now out of options. I am planning on going back to work hopefully in 2013 if my side effects improve. I want to make a full recovery and be able to work full-time… The SAMFund will hopefully be able to help with my financial obligations."

This is a partial list of recipients.