Childhood Cancer

Your Child in the Hospital

Financial support

Helping a family keep track of finances while a child is sick or injured can be a great gift. Even fully insured families can spend up to twenty-five percent of their income on copayments, travel, motels, meals, and other uncovered items when a child has a long-term, serious illness or injury. Uninsured or underinsured families can lose their savings, or even their house. Friends and family can find many ways to help.

• Start a support fund.

• Share leave. The federal government and some companies have leave banks that permit people who are ill or taking care of someone who is ill to use coworkers’ leave so they won’t lose pay.

• Collect money by organizing a bake sale, dance, or raffle.

• Give the family gift certificates from restaurants that deliver meals.

• Handle hospital bills. Keeping track of medical bills can be time-consuming, frustrating, and exhausting. If you are a close relative or friend, you could offer to review, organize, and file (or enter into a computer) the voluminous paperwork. Making calls and writing letters about contested claims or billing errors can be very helpful.

My husband’s coworkers didn’t collect money, they did something even more valuable. They donated sick leave hours, so that he was able to be at the hospital frequently during those first few months without losing a paycheck.