Skip to content
CharitiesAidWelfare, Medical Health Aged Care

Rising cost of living hits blood cancer patients hard, sparking surge in requests for financial assistance / Wagga Wagga woman impacted

Leukaemia Foundation 5 mins read

Key narrative:

  • As the rising cost of living hits the nation hard, there is one cohort doing it arguably tougher than many – Australians living with blood cancer.
  • The Leukaemia Foundation is experiencing an unprecedented surge in requests for financial assistance from blood cancer patients and their loved ones, with a 37% increase in people reaching out for financial help in the last financial year, with many struggling to make ends meet.
  • Blood cancer is one of the costliest cancers to treat and the average out of pocket cost for blood cancer treatment ranges from $5,000 - $11,000compared with other cancers which generally incur around $2,500 in out-of-pocket costs.
  • Blood cancer treatment can be lengthy with 42% of patients taking over three months off work, 30% having to leave their jobs, and 50% not being able to return to work.
  • For many patients, financial pressures such as the rising cost of medical expenses, utility bills, and daily essentials, makes it increasingly difficult for them to focus on their health, getting through treatment, and surviving their diagnosis.
  • As the financial burden deepens, the Leukaemia Foundation is reaching out to the Australian public for help and urging them to get behind its new fundraising program, The Giving Cell.
  • By signing up to The Giving Cell, Australians can help raise crucial funds to assist blood cancer patients through what is for many, the most financially and emotionally stressful time of their lives.
  • Blood cancers combined are the second highest cause of cancer related deaths in the country making it one of the nation’s deadliest cancers. In Australia today, 53 people will be told they have blood cancer or one person ever 27 minutes. Additionally, 16 people will lose their battle with the disease with blood cancer claiming the lives of 5,950 people each year. The incidence of blood cancer continues to grow and impacts Australians of all ages. Over the past decade, the incidence of blood cancer has soared with an increase of 47%.

Wagga local impacted:

  • Jennifer (Jenny) Nixon – age 64, diagnosed with myelodysplasia – a rare form of blood cancer.
  • Jenny has endured a range of treatment since her diagnosis on Christmas Eve 2016, including two stem cell transplants (2018 + 2023). FYI, transplants are incredibly intense and taxing on your body – to go through it twice is significant and requires a lot of time off work.
  • Jenny has been in active treatment in hospital in Sydney since August 2022, meaning she’s been unable to work for over a year, significantly impacting her income and finances.
  • Prior to diagnosis, Jenny was self-employed in Wagga. Her income far outweighed her current income from Centrelink – in fact, she only receives a third of what she used to earn.
  • Due to her intense blood cancer treatment, its likely she’ll be in Sydney for at least another year. There’s a strong possibility she won’t be able to return to work due to the impact the blood cancer has had on her body.  Sadly, her chances of earning what she used to, are significantly diminished.
  • Jenny is single and has no partner to rely on or to help her financially during this difficult time.
  • Jenny’s returned home to Wagga twice since her diagnosis, but her travel expenses will increase post treatment as she’ll need to fly back to Sydney for appointments. Travel expenses will include flights, airport parking, fuel, plus meals and more.
  • She’s also out of pocket around $100 per month for ongoing medication.
  • The Leukaemia Foundation has supported Jenny with grocery vouchers and travel assistance, as well as through our blood cancer support coordinators who have assisted her from an emotional perspective.

Interviews:

  • Jenny Nixon:  is available for interview on Tuesday (pre-record) or Wednesday via phone or Zoom. 
  • Chris Tanti, CEO Leukaemia Foundation:  is available for an interview via phone or Zoom to discuss the financial impact of a blood cancer diagnosis and why the launch of The Giving Cell is so critically important.

 

MEDIA RELEASE - EMBARGOED 18 OCTOBER

As the rising cost of living hits the nation hard, there is one cohort doing it arguably tougher than many – Australians living with blood cancer.

 

Blood cancer remains one of the most expensive cancers to treat, and with incidence on the rise, the Leukaemia Foundation is experiencing an unprecedented surge in requests for financial assistance.

 

Leukaemia Foundation CEO Chris Tanti said that in the past year alone, there’s been a 37% increase in people reaching out for financial help, with many struggling to make ends meet.

 

“A blood cancer diagnosis creates a significant and sudden financial burden on those Australians diagnosed,” said Mr Tanti.

 

“They are often immediately thrown into lifesaving treatment, leaving little time to get their financial affairs in order or work out how they are going to support themselves or their family.”

 

With the ongoing cost of living crisis, coupled with the fact that the blood cancers myeloma and leukaemia account for two of the top five costliest cancers to treat[i], many patients are in dire need of more financial support.

 

“In the past three months alone, we’ve seen a 30% increase in people living with blood cancer utilising our financial assistance services compared to the same time last year.

 

“For many patients, financial pressures such as the rising cost of medical expenses, utility bills, and daily essentials, makes it increasingly difficult for them to focus on their health, getting through treatment, and surviving their diagnosis.”

 

The average out of pocket cost for blood cancer treatment ranges from $5,000 - $11,000, compared with other cancers which generally incur around $2,500 in out-of-pocket costs.[ii]

 

Additionally, treatment can be lengthy with 42% of patients taking over three months off work, 30% having to leave their jobs, and 50% not being able to return to work.[iii]

 

As the financial burden deepens, the Leukaemia Foundation is reaching out to the Australian public for help and urging them to get behind its new fundraising program, The Giving Cell.

 

“As a charity that receives no on-going government funding, we heavily rely on the generosity of Australians so we can assist blood cancer patients and their loved ones during their darkest days.

 

“The introduction of the Leukaemia Foundation's regular giving platform, The Giving Cell, will enable us to continue the critical financial assistance and additional support and services we provide for Australians diagnosed with blood cancer.

 

"Most importantly, the ongoing financial contributions made by those who sign up to regularly donate through the platform will ensure that we can be there for blood cancer patients every day of the year so that they can focus on what matters most, which is surviving their disease.”[KH1] [PC2] 

 

The Leukaemia Foundation offers a variety of services for blood cancer patients and their loved ones including emotional support, information on treatment, assistance with transport, accommodation near major hospitals, help with finances and financial assistance, and more.

 

“In this cost-of-living crisis, it's clear that people with blood cancer desperately need our help.

 

“By signing up to The Giving Cell, Australians can help raise crucial funds to assist blood cancer patients through what is for many, the most financially and emotionally stressful time of their lives.”

 

The Leukaemia Foundation believes that every financial contribution made by Australians via The Giving Cell can create a ripple effect of hope and relief for those affected by blood cancer.

 

For more information and to sign up to The Giving Cell to help raise vital funds for Australians living with blood cancer, go to leukaemia.org.au or call 1800 620 420.

 

-END-

 


[i]  State of the National in Blood Cancers in 2023

[ii]  State of the National in Blood Cancers in 2023


About us:

About the Leukaemia Foundation: The Leukaemia Foundation stands with Australia to help cure and conquer blood cancer – with care. Together we are attacking every blood cancer, from every direction, in every way we can. We stand beside every Australian to be their voice and their someone-to-turn to, fighting to get them access to the best care. We also accelerate research that is delivering rapid advancements in blood cancer diagnosis and treatments. Plus, we provide services and support that empower people living with any blood cancer to live well after diagnosis. You can learn more about the Leukaemia Foundation and blood cancer at leukaemia.org.au


Contact details:

To organise an interview with Jenny or Chris, please contact Leukaemia Foundation media team at media@leukaemia.org.au or 0473 154 079.

More from this category

  • CharitiesAidWelfare
  • 26/02/2024
  • 11:16
Oxfam Australia

Oxfam Trailwalker Melbourne: A grand finale to a 25-year journey to end poverty

More than 4,000 people are set to embark on the final Oxfam Trailwalker event in Melbourne this weekend, as the event comes to an end after 25 years in Australia. The endurance event will see more than 1000 teams take on either a 33km, 57km or 87km course over 40 hours, as they raise funds for Oxfam's work tackling poverty and inequality in communities around the world. Since its launch in 1999, around 100,000 Australians in various capital cities have tackled the challenge, collectively raising more than $100 million for the anti-poverty organisation. The trail wends its way through the…

  • Contains:
  • Medical Health Aged Care
  • 26/02/2024
  • 10:55
Arthritis Australia & Monash University

Millennials Face a Painful & Stiff Future – New Report Forecasts Generations Hit Hardest with Arthritis

MEDIA INTERVIEW/FILMING OPPORTUNITY Tuesday 27 February 2024 8.00 – 9.00am New forecasts by researchers at Monash University’s School of Public Health & Preventive Medicine, to be released by Arthritis Australia, reveal millennials are on the front line of a painful and debilitating future health crisis in 2040. It predicts, 1 in 6 millennials will be suffering from arthritis by 2040 as they step into what would be their most productive and fulfilling decades. What aging means for this generation will be redefined as they grapple with the challenges of today’s world and become the generation impacted the most by arthritis…

  • Medical Health Aged Care
  • 26/02/2024
  • 09:00
Dementia Australia

Dementia Australia supports Longreach and Winton

Are you concerned about your memory or worried that someone you know may have dementia? Dementia Australia is offering support in Longreach and Winton between 11 March to 15 March. It is estimated there are almost 84,000 people living with dementia in Queensland. Without a medical breakthrough this number is expected to increase to more than 168,000 people living with dementia by 2054. These Dementia Australia sessions are an opportunity for people living with dementia, their carers, family, and friends to attend free education to better understand dementia and to discuss the support and services Dementia Australia can provide. Please…

  • Contains:

Media Outreach made fast, easy, simple.

Feature your press release on Medianet's News Hub every time you distribute with Medianet. Pay per release or save with a subscription.