American Childhood Cancer Organization (ACCO)
(formerly Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation)
ACCO is one of the largest grassroots, national organizations dedicated to improving the lives of children and adolescents with cancer and their families. We are strong advocates for our families in Washington D.C., we produce the highest quality materials on childhood cancer, and we have over 40 local affiliate organizations across the country providing direct services to the families in their communities.
Childhood Cancer Treatment Centers – Childhood cancer is best treated at a pediatric facility that has extensive experience in the treatment of these cancers and that includes a multi-disciplinary team to support all facets of treatment. Lists of appropriate treatment centers are available on a Candlelighters web page on this site:
Many families of children with cancer experience financial difficulties. Even if the family has full medical insurance coverage, they can spend a large portion of their income on co-payments, travel, motels, meals, and other uncovered items. Professional advice can be helpful to negotiate with insurance companies to cover treatment expenses. Families dependent on two incomes or single parent families are likely to experience financial difficulties if a parent must quit their job to care for the child. Help is available for the high cost of bone and stem cell transplants. Chemotherapy drug assistance programs are available. Numerous resources to help families through financial difficulties are listed below:
- American Childhood Cancer Organization Affiliates – Contact your local American Childhood Cancer Organization Affiliate group for financial assistance options.
- Financial Assistance Programs on the Ped-Onc Resource Center – This site lists organizations that may help with aspects of financial and insurance problems, airline assistance, assistance with drugs, and governmental assistance program.
- Patient Advocate Foundation – A non-profit organization that is a liaison between patient and insurers, employers and creditors to resolve insurance, job discrimination or debt crises.
- Ronald McDonald Houses – Provide free lodging for families of children being treated at many hospitals. This site tells a little about the history of RMD houses, a search database to find a local house, and how one can support the cause.
- Kelly Anne Dolan Memorial Fund – This organization is dedicated to the non-medical uninsured needs of families caring for terminally, critically and chronically ill dependent children through advocacy, financial assistance, education, and informational resources. Because of limited funds they are only accepting applications from social workers in the mid-Atlantic region. However, there is good information on the site information on how to obtain a video called Financial Management During Crisis.
- Airline Assistance – Resources and information for parents of children with cancer by parents of children with cancer.
- Cancer Fund of America – Provides assistance to defray cancer-related expenses not covered by insurance.
- The National Transplant Assistance Fund – Provides experts to help with fundraising for uninsured expenses related to BMT’s.
- The Student with a Brain Injury: Achieving Goals in Higher Education – Single copies of these papers are free-of-charge and can be obtained by visiting the HEATH web site.
- Cancer Care – A national non-profit organization whose mission is to provide free professional help to people with all cancers through counseling, education, information and referral and direct financial assistance.
- Consumer Credit Counseling Foundation – A national, nonprofit consumer credit counseling agency that provides 24-hour toll-free telephone credit counseling. Provides help with budgets, payments, and debt collection.
- American Financial Solutions – Nonprofit credit counseling agency that offers free debt management and educational programs to help financially distressed families.
- The Sparrow Foundation – Promotes youth compassion by establishing and supporting Sparrow Clubs to help local children in medical crises. Provides a grant for the ill child that local children/schoolmates/friends earn by doing community service or fund raising.
- National Children’s Cancer Society – Financial assistance programs include: meals during treatment, transportation to and from treatment, long-distance telephone cards, lodging during treatment, health-insurance premiums, and medical expenses not covered by insurance.
Med Solutions – Information and assistance in utilizing Patient Assistant Programs and other health resources to access free medication programs in financial need situations. The program provides information, and applications to apply to over 170 programs offering more than 1,000 brand name medications.
Needy Meds – An information source in trying to help obtain medications.