Mesothelioma Patient Support Options
There are many resources for mesothelioma patients receiving treatment. Travel accommodations, community support, financial assistance, and end of life help are available.
Patients face many financial and emotional burdens when they are undergoing treatment. There are many different organizations that help mesothelioma patients who are receiving treatment for mesothelioma. These organizations can help both patients and their families with any unexpected costs and they also provide a sense of community and support.
Patient Support Options
Patients commonly travel to the best mesothelioma specialists for treatment. There are organizations that give free flights to patients with mesothelioma and other forms of cancer. When patients receive treatment at hospitals, there is often discounted housing available for families and nearby hotels usually offer reduced rates.
Patients and their families can receive support from counseling services along with support from the community around them and support groups. There are many community events that bring awareness to mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma treatments can often be overwhelmingly expensive. Luckily, there are many different financial support opportunities for mesothelioma patients to explore. Patients may be eligible for government assistance or can use the legal system to get compensation.
How to Get Support for Mesothelioma
If you’re wondering how to get support for your mesothelioma diagnosis, we can help you access the many options available. These three steps will help you and your family:
1Determine the type of support you need. Some patients require travel grants and assistance in finding treatment. Others may need help finding housing options for out-of-town medical care, emotional support in the form of counseling, or legal guidance. These aren’t exclusive, and most people benefit from multiple forms of support.
2Research your options. Look up some of the nationwide cancer support organizations, or find one specific for people with mesothelioma. Hospitals and cancer centers also have support resources.
3Ask for help. You can contact our patient advocate team to explain what you need. Our organization is dedicated to supporting people with mesothelioma, and reaching out to us is one of the quickest ways to access support.
Many patients with mesothelioma have to travel in order to receive the specialized treatment they need. However, this constant travel can become very expensive. Patients should not have to worry about how they are going to pay for flight or hotel accommodations. There are a few organizations that help to alleviate this stress by providing free or discounted air flight tickets.
Corporate Angel Network (CAN) provides free flights on corporate jets to cancer patients who need transportation to treatment across the country. CAN connects patients with companies who offer seats on their private jets. Patients receive their treatment as well as travel privately. CAN does their best to find a flight headed to the location of treatment.
Angel Flight is a not for profit company that was founded by pilots who wanted to volunteer. They provide flights to or from the Midwest. Those who benefit from their services are anyone who requires medical treatment in specific areas, like Shriner’s Hospital in Galveston, Texas or MD Anderson in Houston, Texas. The organization is supported through grants or the private funding of the pilots or special interest groups.
There are several housing options for patients who need to travel for their mesothelioma treatments. It is common for hotels near hospitals to offer special discounted rates for patients and their families. Some hospitals even have low cost housing, often sponsored by charities, for people in need.
In 1991, the first Fisher House was built to house the family members of patients who were receiving medical treatment at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.
The idea was simple: to provide family members of veterans with a home away from home. There are now over fifty Fisher Houses across the US. As 1/3 of all mesothelioma patients are veterans, the Fisher House Foundation is a valuable commodity.
Each Fisher House is located on the property of major medical military hospitals and veteran clinics. According to the Fisher House Foundation, there is at least one Fisher House at each major medical military center. For example, the Fisher House at the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System is less than 2.5 miles from the UCLA Medical Center, which has an extensive mesothelioma treatment program. Veterans should start by filing their VA Claim, which we can help with.
Housing Assistance at Cancer Centers
Many cancer centers offer housing for families of those receiving treatment who have traveled out-of-state, such as Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Abramson Cancer Center. Many offer a complete living area, including a shared living room, bedroom, full kitchen, bathroom and laundry facilities.
These options are generally very affordable compared to hotel rates. For usually around $30 a night, families are comfortable knowing they are close to their loved ones who are receiving treatment. If housing is full, a good hospital will work with local hotels to get similar rates for families.
Counseling and Support
The attitude and mindset of a patient and their family may be one of the most important factors in the treatment and recovery process. Dr. David Sugarbaker stated the following:
“Sharing a difficult time is often much easier than going it alone.”
There are multiple ways in which patients and their loved ones can receive a listening ear or support as they battle cancer:
Support groups are a great way for patients and caregivers to connect with people who are dealing with the same issues. They help patients realize that they are not alone and give them the opportunity to learn from patients who have been through similar treatments. These support groups are available online, in person, and over the phone.
Counseling services are offered to mesothelioma patients by many hospitals and support organizations. A professional counselor is a trained listener and an expert at helping people cope with difficult situations.
Hospice care is an important support option for mesothelioma patients to consider. Hospice is much more than just end-of-life care. Through hospice programs patients can receive important caregiver, pain management, and counseling services.
Learn more about support options in our free Mesothelioma Guide.
Mesothelioma Financial Assistance
There many important financial resources available to mesothelioma patients. These resources assist patients with receiving money that they deserve and need to pay for treatments and other expenses.
Legal claims help mesothelioma patients receive compensation from the companies that may be responsible for their asbestos exposure. Many of these companies have put billions of dollars in trust funds for mesothelioma patients to claim.
One third of mesothelioma patients are also veterans. Through the VA, these patients are eligible for disability and/or pension compensation. The VA also offers caregiver support and benefits for dependents.
Mesothelioma patients are often eligible for assistance from programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. These programs provide assistance to senior citizens, people with disabilities, and those with low incomes.
Getting the word out about mesothelioma is important. There are many community efforts that are attempting to do this.
The American Cancer Society holds events every year called Relay for Life. These events are held in multiple locations at different times of the year. While Relay focuses on all cancers, mesothelioma patients, survivors, and family members are encouraged to attend to raise support for mesothelioma. Relay raises money for finding a cure for cancer and aims to celebrate, remember, and fight back against cancer.
Common Questions About Support Options for Mesothelioma Patients
What are some of the support resources for people with mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma patients and their families do not need to fight this cancer alone. Some of the notable support resources for mesothelioma are:
- Travel grants for transportation
- Financial assistance
- Online and in-person support groups
- One-on-one counseling
- Low- or no-cost housing during treatment
Can mesothelioma patients get travel and housing assistance?
People with mesothelioma can receive financial aid to cover the costs of plane tickets, hotels or temporary housing. Corporate Angel Network and Angel Flights are two non-profit organizations that help cancer patients with flights. AirBnB, among others, provides help for housing accommodations. You can also stay at hospital-run housing if it’s available.
How can I help someone with mesothelioma?
If your friend or family member has mesothelioma, you can help them in several ways. Even if you’re not a professional counselor, listening and providing emotional support is invaluable to a cancer patient. Additionally, you can be a caregiver by preparing meals, helping them with activities of daily living and attending doctors visits.
Are there any events that I can attend to support people with mesothelioma?
The American Cancer Society holds an annual event called Relay for Life to raise awareness and funding for research. Some of the top cancer centers across the world accept donations, and non-profit organizations host 5K races and other events to raise awareness and funding.