‘Change In 24’ raises funds for patients battling cancer

Three out of four cancer patients say travel costs are a barrier to their care. This effort will help them.

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The Sanford Health Foundation is hosting Change In 24, a 24-hour, online giving event on Thursday, Dec. 13 to raise funds for Sanford Roger Maris Cancer Center patients. Every gift will directly benefit patients and their families who need help with transportation, lodging and other financial costs related to cancer treatments so they can focus on healing.

Donations will help patients like 3-year-old Oliver (pictured) and his family. He was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in 2017. For more than a year, his family has traveled more than four hours one way between their home in Minot, North Dakota, to Roger Maris for treatments.

“It seems most everyone has been impacted by cancer in some way — whether directly or through a friend, family member or acquaintance,” said Nancy Demarais, executive director, Sanford Roger Maris Cancer Center. “By taking part in Change In 24, we hope to alleviate some of the financial strain associated with cancer treatments.”

Barrier to care

On average, more than 300 patients receive treatment at Roger Maris every day. About half of these patients travel more than 50 miles one way for this lifesaving care. Around 78 percent of cancer patients say travel costs are a barrier to their care. To attend appointments, many patients and caregivers miss work and experience lost wages.

This is the third annual event, and organizers encourage anyone who wants to support those fighting cancer in our region to consider donating. The process is simple, through a secure online portal.

“We’re thankful for the generous individuals, groups and businesses in the community who made a gift last year,” said Colleen Hardy, development officer at the Sanford Health Foundation. “Together we raised $20,000, which helped provide assistance to many patients. This event is just one way for our community and the surrounding region to support people going through such a difficult time. Every dollar makes a difference.”

Posted In Cancer, Foundation, Minot, News