What Covid-19 Cost Our Young Adult Cancer Survivors


Imagine facing a cancer diagnosis in the middle of your 20s, forced to grapple with the fear and uncertainty—as well as the bills—that accompany a life-threatening illness. Young and eager to start your life, a diagnosis renders you unprepared for the difficult financial road ahead. Imagine those same fears heightened tenfold by a global pandemic and an unprecedented economic downturn. This is the reality of young adult cancer survivors everywhere.


In order to understand the financial effects that Covid-19 has had on this population within the cancer community, our very own Samantha Watson and Michelle Zeitler teamed up with researchers at Memorial Sloan Kettering and Stanford University to examine this compounding economic distress. Knowing how financially vulnerable this population was before the pandemic, the results of their research (which were published in Cancer), were unsurprising and alarming: the pandemic has exacerbated the financial toxicity that young adult survivors cope with every day.


Struggling to pay for daily living expenses—groceries, car payments, and rent—in addition to facing the prospect of unemployment, many are forced to make unimaginable choices. In order to cope with the financial burden that both a cancer diagnosis and a pandemic bring, young adult survivors have found themselves postponing critical hospital and doctor visits or even skipping or delaying crucial treatment or medications altogether. Unfortunately, these unfathomable decisions can ultimately compromise their health and wellness going forward.


The results of this study affirmed the need for last year’s Samfund Covid-19 Emergency Fund as well as have reminded us of the necessity of continuous aid in the cancer community. Expect Miracles Foundation is dedicated to providing additional resources to this vulnerable population and is proud to continue supporting them through our grants program. We recognize that cancer isn’t free, especially during such an unprecedented time, and that no one should have to choose between paying for rent or paying for cancer treatment.


We’re thankful to the tenacious researchers and clinicians in the medical community who advocate for our young adult survivors and are grateful for their invitation to partake in this research.


Read the full article here: Economic distress, financial toxicity, and medical cost-coping in young adult cancer survivors during the COVID-19 pandemic





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