2013-2014 Recipients

In 2014, we awarded a total of $200,000 in grants to young adult survivors all over the country.

Grant Distribution Chart


  • Shelby C SmallShelby C.

    survivor of Sarcoma
    "Our greatest financial challenge this past year would be living in fear. Fear that we won't be able to make it for the month, fear that if something major happened we would not be able to pay for it, fear of my health since I cannot afford to go the doctor, and fear that my social security disability will be taken away from me… Receiving a grant from The SAMFund would help ease some of those fears. I believe in having goals in life. Having and achieving goals make life worth living. Our financial situation has clouded those goals for me. I would love the opportunity to be able to focus on my new goals in life."
  • Roxanne M SmallRoxanne M.

    survivor of Breast Cancer
    "Cancer depleted my emergency fund, my retirement accounts, and all my savings. It ultimately led me to file bankruptcy this year as a last resort to save my home and consolidate my medical bills. My greatest financial challenge in the past year has been recovering from cancer treatment and working to regain my financial stability in cancer survivorship. Nothing could prepare me for the financial burden that I faced due to a cancer diagnosis. In fact, I strongly believe financial ruin should be listed as one of the possible side effects of cancer treatment. I am desperately trying to regain financial stability and believe I can do that with your help. A grant from The SAMFund is just what I need to help me get back on my feet. Though my financial distress is great, I am determined to never give up, just as I did during my battle with cancer."
  • Chastity C SmallChastity C.

    survivor of Hodgkin's lymphoma
    "I thought my life was going in the right direction and was very proud of what I was accomplishing all while being a single parent. Cancer, of course, changed my whole life… I have depleted my 401k, retirement and savings. Honestly, your family and friends can only help you for so long and then the struggle begins-- trying to maintain all your bills you had before cancer and now the additional expense of medical bills..."
  • Chad B SmallChad B.

    survivor of Testicular Cancer
    "Cancer forced me to be out of work for an extended period of time. This situation hurt me financially to the point where it is a struggle every day to just put food on the table, even working over 50 hours per week. As a SAMFund alumni, I now know where I am supposed to be in life and have some courses completed with help of my grant last year. Once I take the remainder of my classes to get my certification, I can start looking for my new career."
  • Whitney B smallWhitney B.

    survivor of Breast Cancer
    "Once my medical bills started coming in we begrudgingly watched our hard earned savings go towards chemotherapy and radiation rather than building our family. We also knew that it would now be dangerous for me to be pregnant and begun working towards adoption. Cancer impacted me financially because it not only put my life on hold while fighting off a dangerous disease but it delayed our ability to have what we wanted most--a family."
  • Jennifer D SmallJennifer D.

    Survivor of Hodgkin’s lymphoma
    "Unfortunately, it’s impossible to talk about cancer without talking about money. I didn't expect that "survivorship"--being in remission for three years--would continue to impact me financially. This grant from The SAMFund adds momentum to those small steps that I need to take toward full independence. A SAMFund grant says, “We believe in you. We just want to give you a little push.” I’m ever grateful that I have been given the opportunity to rebuild my life with that push."
  • Lauren M SmallLauren M.

    Survivor of Leukemia
    "While many of my graduate school colleagues worried about passing their exams or getting married, I spent my mid-20s with the nagging thought I was dying. From ages 22-24, I traveled in and out of hospitals (and occasionally classrooms), wondering if acute leukemia got the best of me. 2009 was the first diagnosis, with relapses in 2010 and 2011. But perhaps the biggest way cancer has impacted my finances is in the form of medical insurance. Although my financial future is important to me, treating my disease and having health care are my main priorities right now. As I sit here typing this essay, the glasses that The SAMFund paid for are sitting right beside me. Being able to get these with last year's grant enabled me to devote my money to so many other things, including paying off my credit card, a relatively small, but worthy goal. I am asking for a grant this year because although my health has certainly improved in the past twelve months, the binding situation of needing money and work is still not outweighing the need to stay on my step-father's insurance so I can get cheaper prescriptions and go to various doctor appointments. In sum, my health continues to have a direct impact on my financial situation."
  • Shelley M SmallShelley M.

    Survivor of Hodgkin’s lymphoma
    "I was a cancer survivor of 14 years until I was diagnosed again with early stage breast cancer. I am unable to work full-time due to frequent doctor visits and tests. With my recent diagnosis of breast cancer I would love to have my mind, body and spirit all connected and balanced. Touch therapy alone will help me with symptoms of depression and anxiety and provide me with long-term relaxation. I know if I am granted the funds from The SAMfund it will help with my physical and emotional well-being."
  • Lauryn D SmallLauryn D.

    Survivor of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma 
    "As of February 10, 2014 it will be one year since my last radiation treatment and I'm looking forward to April 1st, which will be my first year cancer-free. Although I am still experiencing some side effects and I'm battling lymphedema from my first cancer surgery, I'm beyond thankful to be here today. I've heard of other cases of lymphoma where the outcome was not as fortunate as mine. I would like say a huge thank you to The SAMFund for the grant, which was such a blessing to myself and my husband. Thank you for being a positive factor in my road to recovery. My husband and I are looking forward to many more years together."
  • The SAMFundAnonymous

    Survivor of Breast Cancer
    "Having breast cancer at the age of 26 was emotionally and financially devastating. Going through treatment while trying to finish graduate school made it difficult to stay employed and provide for my family. A SAMFund grant would help push me towards the goal of being financially independent, including being debt-free. I cannot express how grateful I would be to receive [that] help."
  • Shannon A smallShannon A.

    Survivor of Kidney Cancer
    "I can say that I feel much better but the expenses are extremely high. I am struggling to pay the hospital and doctor's office the money I owe them, but I am striving to pay them every penny. It's just been a hard task to perform with so many other bills as well… I would finally be able to catch up on my rent and to finally give my landlord what is owed to her."
  • Tracy B SmallTracy B.

    Survivor of Breast Cancer
    "Cancer broke me emotionally and financially. As our friends were buying houses and having more children we were trying to keep me alive. Without insurance we would be filling bankruptcy right now since financially everything was used for my treatment. The greatest challenge over the past year has been not knowing where the money will come from to pay our bills. But right now, keeping a roof over our heads is my first priority. I started a Breast Cancer Survivors support group after I finished chemo because like The SAMFund, I wanted to ease at least one survivor’s burdens."

    Survivor of Breast Cancer
    "Cancer has affected my strength and ability to have the energy to work longer hours and have my second job which I depended on to support myself… Receiving such assistance would help me catch up on bills, along with assisting me to be able to afford healthier choices at the grocery store… This grant would allow me to live a healthier lifestyle, living with less stress and anxiety on my body."
  • Niki C SmallNiki C.

    Survivor of Breast Cancer
    "Receiving the 2012 SAMFund grant was such a lifesaver. Having my medical costs paid directly to my hospital was an immediate stress-reliever. It provided space to breathe. And above and beyond that, getting a 6 month yoga pass was personally and physically a transformative experience... so little time since I've been diagnosed has been dedicated to emotional healing, which is why yoga was such an amazing gift to be given. And it had the added benefit of making the pain and swelling in my left arm become so much improved. I have decided to apply for a scholarship from The SAMFund again this year… I can see a time in the future (maybe 3-5 years down the line) where I won't financially struggle so severely due to my cancer diagnosis."
  • Patricia C SmallPatricia C.

    Survivor of Breast Cancer
    "While I'm grateful that there was a cure for my illness, I feel like I am looking over my shoulder and waiting for the other shoe to drop. A grant from The SAMFund would mean that I could work out regularly and hopefully shed this weight that is on my body... and hopefully get healthier. It would mean so much to me to make a dent in the repayment of my back rent. I want to start to move on with my life and a grant could absolutely make that start to happen. I want to have a long and healthy life and exercise and wellness is part of that equation."
  • Arieana C SmallArieana C.

    Survivor of Hodgkin’s lymphoma
    "A grant from The SAMFund will help me move forward towards my goals of becoming a nurse. This grant will allow me to attend the RN exam review course which will help me pass the exam soon after I graduate. It would be wonderful to reduce my financial stress and allow me to better focus on my studies and future goal of becoming an oncology nurse."
  • Shelley D SmallShelley D.

    Survivor of Wilms Tumor
    "I am a two time cancer survivor living without health insurance for the past 5 years. Not being able to cover my rent or student loans makes a hospital visit seems like a splurge. There were times when I had health insurance and was able to seek help and have my medication changed when I wasn’t feeling right post-treatment, but those days are far behind me. [The financial effects of cancer] has caused me to put things that should not be an option, like health insurance, on the back burner. There are many things that I’d like to be doing as a cancer survivor. However, my financial health has hindered much on my list."
  • Sharde FSharde F.

    Survivor of Lymphoma
    "Cancer has impacted every aspect of my life, but the hardest and most omnipresent dent it has made is in my pockets. This year has been a mental and physical struggle, to say the least; however, receiving this grant has shed a light over my troubles and renewed my faith in humanity by reminding me that there are still people out there who genuinely care about the young adult cancer community. This grant is truly a blessing; I feel as though a weight has been lifted off my shoulders!"
  • Heather H smallHeather H.

    Survivor of Ovarian Cancer
    "I have had a surgery every 2 to 3 months for the past three years. This has impacted me and my family financially with me unable to get back to work. It's been a struggle trying to pay medical bills related to my cancer along with my regular bills. Cancer is so expensive… The SAMFund has given me an opportunity to gain muscle and confidence with my gym membership. I love to help in any way I can so that more young adult survivors can receive grants."
  • Amanda M smallAmanda M.

    Survivor of Melanoma
    "Cancer robbed me of the ability to work and provide for myself at the same time I was incurring significant debt, causing a debilitating financial strain that is seemingly impossible to recover from. The introduction of a higher deductible, out-of-state doctors, and expensive treatments have nearly tripled an already exorbitant financial obligation. Now, I sacrifice necessities such as prescriptions, supplements, groceries and car maintenance because a history of cancer means every doctor appointment, whether near or far, is of the highest priority. A grant will allow me the opportunity to get ahead in very specific areas of financial struggle while redirecting any income towards other debts that have been pushed to the wayside. My ultimate goal is to catch up on all bills and begin to replenish my savings for the future. The SAMFund can make this not just a possibility but a reality."
  • Olivia M SmallOlivia M.

    Survivor of Hodgkin’s lymphoma
    "The SAMFund has been an answer to my prayers, the grant I received was awarded to me during a second cancer diagnosis so it was extra special to receive. The grant has allowed me to breath a sign of relief actually, I have been able to pay my medical off (YES!) and also put some towards my dental bill. The SAMFund has given me much more than just money, they have given me a continuing sense that everything in my life will work out and eventually gets taken care of in time. Surviving And Moving Forward..."
  • acarter smallAmanda C.

    Survivor of Leukemia
    "My greatest financial challenges are my past and recurring medical expenses. I am not sure people understand the enormity of making enough to get by, but not enough to keep up. If this grant could help me put even the smallest dent in paying off these medical bills, it would be life changing. I don't intend to give up. I have always been about picking myself up by my bootstraps, moving onward and upward. I have a new lease on life, and I don't want finances to be a brick wall that I keep running into, on my journey to become a better version of who I already am."
  • Sarah C SmallSarah C.

    Survivor of Breast Cancer
    "I truly feel if we could just get this little bit of help it would give enough breathing room to catch up. Again I want to express my extreme gratitude for creating this organization. Just knowing there are foundations like this out there builds on my hope. Hope for kindness, hope for others struggling and hope that all will work out. Getting help from your generous foundation would give us a much needed jump start, a chance to breathe, a chance to relax for a bit and reflect on the last two years and concentrate on healing mentally and physically."
  • Suyin C smallSuyin C.

    Survivor of Lymphoma
    "The [insurance] payments that I make… could be enough to help me move out and be on my own again instead of living with my parents. Being able to live independently would be a wonderful and would help my relationship with my parents as well… I wish to move forward and gain my momentum back so I may feel like the adult that I am. I hope to be on my own and apply to medical school so I may serve those who are ill. I feel stuck and cannot seem to gain ground with these bills holding me back."
  • Jahcobie C SmallJahcobie C.

    Survivor of Nasopharyngeal cancer
    "My greatest financial challenge is not having an apartment, a home, a stable space to rest my head; to be able to get healthy food that I could cook at home. Having a place to live would help set me up for success because I could really spend all the time it takes me figuring out where I can park my car without getting arrested or what shelter to go into and put that toward job searching, getting more freelance clients, getting check-ups and doing recovery treatment. [A grant] would help give me another opportunity at my life, dreams and goals. It would allow me to be able to be safe and put my all into picking up the pieces of my life that have not yet been recovered since my cancer treatment. "
  • Patrick C smallPatrick C.

    Survivor of Testicular cancer
    "During my illness I wasn’t able to move forward in my life. I couldn’t seek employment or make career choices for my future not knowing what the outcome of my cancer might be. I had limited resources at the time and I gradually watched them deplete with every chemotherapy treatment, medical imaging scan, and hospitalization. The little money I had in savings was gone before I finished the last round of chemo. I had to put my life on hold, but that isn’t what happens with the bills. Many times I am confronted with the decision to put gas in my car and eat or pay my last $50.00 towards an outstanding balance. I often look towards my financial future with hopelessness. The SAMFund grant opportunity could give me a fresh start financially."
  • Jody H smallJody H.

    Survivor of Sarcoma
    "I am on disability and my monthly payments barely cover my utilities, food and rent. Both my prior jobs seem impossible for me to perform now and rent is my largest financial worry and bill at the moment… Assistance from The SAMFund will be able to help me pay my current and future bills. SAMFund assistance will also help me afford the care I need to be able to get to a recovery point in which I could hopefully perform at my prior work in some capacity and be able to pay for my monthly living expenses myself, stress-free."
  • Devon L smallDevon L.

    Survivor of Angiosarcoma
    "I think that my greatest financial challenge from this past year has been how all of these unexpected illnesses and side effects stemming from my CML and my treatment are impacting my job security and, in turn, my financial stability. It isn't always easy to "keep calm and carry on" especially with the health issues and bills that seem to keep on coming. I don't want these financial burdens to keep me from moving forward and staying positive, so would appreciate any help immensely. I still have hopes and dreams that I can teach again someday one way or another, I just may have to think outside the box and carve my own unique niche."
  • Jessica L smallJessica L.

    Survivor of Breast Cancer
    "For me, 'getting my life back' means working, supporting myself financially, nurturing the non-cancer parts of my life, building a life with my loving partner, and pursuing the dreams I had prior to my first diagnosis with breast cancer in 2007-- being a primary care physician caring for the underserved and starting a family. My second cancer derailed these plans. Although our plans to start a family have to be on hold for now, I’m proud to report I’m starting to move toward my other goals… My main obstacle right now is stamina and side effects of treatment. They both limit my earning ability for the time being. I can feel myself gaining stamina and I’ve made a lot of progress in figuring out how to live better with my lasting side effects of treatment… But right now I am in need of a boost again to get me through."
  • CayciE smallCayci E.

    Survivor of Hodgkin's lymphoma
    "As a SAMFund alum, I can say that receiving a grant last year was one of the happiest days of my life. It helped me to move forward with my goals by starting to get some savings prepared if I needed it again. Being able to network with other survivors has also been important to me. Unfortunately, this is my third battle with Hodgkin’s lymphoma and it's taken much longer than I ever expected to deal with the financial effects. Getting medical bills paid off only to rack up thousands more dollars a month means getting ahead seems impossible. While I have no doubt that I will continue to fight this cancer, I have doubt that I can do it without putting my family in a very difficult spot financially. I am grateful I can turn to The SAMFund for help once again."
  • Amira J smallAmira J.

    Survivor of Hodgkin's lymphoma
    "I’m trying to regain the life I once had and look forward to the bright future that I’ve fought so hard for... In order to attend school and focus on my studies and health, I need financial help. I am more overwhelmed now than ever. With the pressures of being back in school; rent, utilities, food, and car payments, bills are pressing down with more weight than ever... Having cancer stole many things from me; this grant will help me to move forward with my second love and goal of becoming a teacher."
  • G Becker smallGerald B.

    Survivor of Hodgkin's lymphoma
    "I was unable to return to my physical job from all of the heart, lung and neuropathy damage… I am very hardworking and want to return to work to support my family. I won't let cancer take that away from me… I know that I am capable of working a job that is not physical so that I could once again support my family as I did before cancer struck me. If I had help… I know we could make going back to school a reality so that my family and I can get back to a normal life."
  • Aurelio G smallAurelio G.

    Survivor of Brain cancer
    "I am requesting help in a purchasing a computer because I am no longer able to write legibly, since brain cancer surgeries in '09 and '11, and treatment (including radiation and chemotherapy). A computer would give me a way to communicate by learning to re- type and help my right hand by teaching my fingers to focus on the letters from slipping out of place. Having a computer will give me an opportunity to move forward. Thank you SAMFund!"
  • Robin M smallRobin M.

    Survivor of Nasopharyngeal carcinoma
    "Having undergone radiation and high dose chemo treatment for stage 2 cancer at age 28, my world was thrown for a loop medically, emotionally and financially. Even five years out, I still have a hard time trying to find the new normal in my life, as I have many long term side effects, with new ones showing. I don't have extra money available for alternative therapies or to pay for scans doctors request every 3 months, as they continue to find spots on scans or irritation in scopes. I am requesting funding for massage and alternative therapies, as I had the opportunity through the The SAMFund a couple years ago to have massage 1-2 days a week, and saw a world of difference. With the support of The SAMFund, I will be able to resume weekly therapies and finally feel relief again from the pain I feel daily due to cancer treatments. Who knew that cancer treatment and post care would be so expensive. And, when you live off of one income with children, it is hard, adds stress to your life, and doesn't help when you need to seek out alternative treatments to lessen long term side effects like I have."
  • Kristie M smallKristie M.

    Survivor of Cervical Cancer
    "April 6th, 2011 forever changed my life. I did not expect to hear the words you have cancer ever in my life. I was healthy just turned 30 and was starting to get into the groove of my career and starting to think about settling down. The devastating diagnosis changed everything, the first thing I was told is that I could not have children after treatment and that treatment would begin immediately. As a SAMFund alum, my grant was one of the greatest opportunities I have received since my cancer diagnosis. The SAMFund is one of the only organizations that have helped me during my time of need. My goal is to return the favor to those in need when I am I financially able to so. Cancer is expensive and there are many things that we do not think of until we are directly affected by it. With further assistance from The SAMFund I can continue to move forward and reach my goals of getting my career on track, completing my Master’s degree, getting married and starting a family. This is why I have applied for a grant once again to help alleviate some of the financial stress from my medical bills and overall cost of living. I want to embrace this second chance at life and I am thankful for it each and every day."

This is a partial list of recipients.