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A diagnosis of childhood cancer is devastating for the family. Childhood cancer is treated aggressively, often with a combination of chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery, at a time of life when bodies are growing and developing. Treatment has a significant long-term impact on a child's endocrine, heart, and cognitive functions. Additionally, parents of children with cancer are often young, with a limited income, and other children. Often, one parent needs to give up a job to take care of the child being treated for cancer.
The needs are great, and Variety - The Children's Charity of Northern California has established the Children's Compassion Fund, a primary provider of essential funds often required by families of children with cancer. The Fund supplies basic household and family expenses, such as food, electricity, telephone, rent bills, clothing, and toys, as well as helping during emergency situations such as unexpected travel expenses, special tutoring, and, sadly, funeral planning and costs assistance.
The Children's Compassion Fund (The Fund) provided by Variety fulfills a crucial need to provide financial assistance to children and their families facing day-to-day hardships during the period of treatment and recovery from cancer. The fund is intended to help families whose children have been diagnosed with cancer and who do not have adequate financial resources to cope with the costs specifically associated with fighting a cancer diagnosis.
Variety -The Children's Charity of Northern California has established a special bank account specifically for the Fund. The Head of Pediatrics, Vice Chair of Pediatrics or Director of Social Work at the hospital will designate a minimum of two social workers to be responsible for accessing and dispersing the funds. These persons must agree on the need, and document the use of the funds to Variety. Individual disbursements will require a written explanation of use and receipts where possible. Any disbursement over $250 will require the prior written approval of Variety's Giving Committee.
Beneficiaries should be advised that Variety might ask them to discuss the benefits of the Fund. If they agree to such they should sign a media release form produced by Variety. (This is not a requirement to be eligible for assistance.)
The following guidelines will be in place to ensure that great care is taken in spending the money donated by contributors:
Variety is to be provided documentation as follows for each use of the Compassion Fund:
Residents of the greater Bay Area with a child 12 or under with a cancer diagnosis are eligible, pursuant to the following:
The Compassion Funds assists with transportation for active treatments (chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, or medically administered injections). Transportation costs include consultations, periodic checkups and psychotherapy appointments. All vouchers include return trips. In special situations, additional funds are available upon written requests. To be eligible, a patient must have treatment dates confirmed by the treatment facility, a receipt of treatment received, and no transportation or limited funds for transportation.
If you and your child are staying as an outpatient while taking treatment and you don't qualify for a Ronald McDonald House or other comparable facility, then the Compassion Fund can cover the costs of accommodation. If your child requires a short-term in-patient stay and you don't qualify for family facilities, then the Compassion Fund could cover your accommodations.
To alleviate the financial pressure of finding inexpensive food at mealtimes during extended stays at the hospital or family facilities, the Compassion Fund will assist with daily nutrition and meals.
Diet supplements for those requiring a total diet by tube feeding or enzyme therapy that is not coverage by insurance or government assistance will be reimbursed. A doctor's note is required, stating the need for a total diet by tube feeding or enzyme treatments.
All approved dressings that are not distributed by the medical facility or insurance company will be approved accompanied by a doctor's note.
Wigs that cannot be obtained through dedicated organizations would qualify for assistance. Communication
The Compassion Fund provides financial assistance for communication costs associated with the use of public telephones, mobile phones and phone cards, including e-mail dial-up service, internet cost and moderate cost of rental equipment.
Additional clothing for use in the hospital during treatment or recovery to help increase esteem and well-being is also covered, up to an amount to be specified per case.
Educational and special interest tutoring is provided to children to help them readjust and catch up after long periods away from school as a result of illness and subsequent treatment.
Costs associated with flying an immediate family member to be with the child, including parent or guardian, grandparent, or sibling, within the domestic U.S. When possible, discounts should apply from all major airlines or air transport companies.
In solemn situations the Compassion Fund will assist families in need with funeral and burial costs.