Who We Help
The breast cancer patients we support possess a wide range of personal circumstances…single, married, divorced, widowed, living on social assistance, patients on disability pensions and even a married dad.
Patients we support have been diagnosed with all different stages of breast cancer - from the earliest stage and many who are living with metastatic disease.
Many of the patients we support tell us that the financial crisis in which they find themselves is often more stressful than the diagnosis and treatment.
Julie was first diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer in 2008. She had been a successful self-employed consultant but when she was diagnosed with a recurrence in 2010 with metastatic breast cancer she was unable to work because of the aggressive treatment. In fact, Julie’s cancer kept advancing while on treatment. We provided Julie with funds for food and medication.
Denise, aged forty, is a single mom who was working part-time as she completed her first year as a mature student when she was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer. She is unable to make payments on her tuition loans, is not eligibile for sick benefits and unable to work because of her treatment. We have provided financial support to Denise by helping her with some of her expenses relating to food and shelter.
Tara is 42 years old, mother of Matt, and the wife of Allan. She is self-employed as a commercial graphic artist and painter. She loves her work, but had to dramatically cut back when her Stage IV breast cancer spread into her lymph nodes, bones and liver. She had a radical mastectomy, and has been in treatment for one and a half years. She takes drugs to control the pain caused by her cancer, which have side affects that include anxiety, confusion and hot flashes. Despite this, Tara does not let cancer rule her life. With her family, she has tried to maintain an active lifestyle.
Tara wanted to help us help others and was willing to share her story. Tara is one of the many young mothers we support.
“Stress that is alleviated is the best medicine”
“I never thought I would be at risk for breast cancer. I always led a healthy, athletic lifestyle. So imagine my surprise, at the age of 41, receiving the diagnosis of Stage IV aggressive breast cancer. As a new mother who was planning to have more children, this diagnosis hit me like a bus. My husband and I were devastated, and our dreams of a large family were replaced with fears of me losing my life.
“I was rushed into surgery, and chemotherapy was started soon after. During this confusing time, I asked myself, ‘How will I beat this? I am responsible for so much. How will I be able to raise my four-year-old son, and keep working when I am so ill?’
“I am now a year and a half into treatment, and I am managing it pretty well. I am hopeful. I work hard every day to correct this disease.
“But without my income, our home, car, everything is at risk. Facing losing control over our finances and trying to beat cancer is a harsh burden.
“The Canadian Breast Cancer Support Fund has been a true Godsend for myself and our family.
“They kindly provided assistance when we were falling behind with our bills.
“Without your support, I don’t know what we would have done. It is such a welcome comfort to know there are people who care, and strive to help the individual person fight breast cancer. The stress that is alleviated is the best medicine.
“I am so very thankful.
“Looking to the future, when I am well again, I hope to give back to the CBCSF!
This is Tara Perkins with her husband Allan and son Matt, before she was diagnosed with cancer. Tara says, “My family is my rock. They support me through every up and down. I get inspiration from my son Matt. I want to be his mom for as long as possible.”