ED FRIEDMAN PATIENT ASSISTANCE FUND
Even while fighting pancreatic cancer, Ed considered himself lucky that he had economic resourses and the support of his family and friends.
Over the years, working closely with Sinai Hospital’s Development office, doctors, nurses and social workers at the Lapidus Cancer Institute, The Ed Friedman Patient Assistance Fund has provided a myriad of support from television screens for the infusion cubicles to wigs for chemotherapy patients. A significant portion of the funds have gone to provide rent and utility assistance to patients facing eviction during their treatment. In addition to a semiannual accounting of how our funds are spent, Sinai Hospital regularly shares patient stories with us:
We have been treating a 10 year old patient off and on since the child was 2 years old. His single mother struggles to keep a secure home for her child. Because of the bitter cold winter, the family’s electric bill was three times what it normally would be. When the patient’s mother received a shut off notice, she called asking if there were any resources to help her pay this bill. She was overjoyed when she learned that the Ed Friedman Patient Assistance Fund existed, and was extremely relieved to know that she could keep her son safe and warm.
The Ed Friedman Patient Assistance Fund recently helped a 52 year old patient diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer (which has metastasized to the brain, liver, bones and lung) with rent assistance. The patient said that knowing other people helped her and her family, and knowing that others care about her, makes her feel "Alive, alive, alive!!!"
The Ed Friedman Patient Assistance Fund paid two months rent for a 53 year old patient of Dr. Martinez with stage IV cancer who was the sole provider for his wife and two young children. The patient was in the hospital for over a month before he passed away. Being able to pay their rent provided some stability for their 6 and 8 year old children, and allowed time for his wife to find a job.
The insurance had lapsed for one of our newly diagnosed pediatric patients. The child is just 5 years old and needed oral antibiotics at the time of discharge. Being able to use the Ed Friedman Patient Assistance Fund to pay for his prescriptions made the difference between the patient finally being able to return home and not having to spend another night in the hospital. His grandmother said the child's face lit up after receiving the news that he could finally go home.
We paid the rent for the family of a 10 year old patient. He had been hospitalized several times in 1 month due to complications from his medical condition. His mother missed multiple days from work to be at his bedside; she didn’t get paid for the days she didn’t work.
The Ed Friedman Patient Assistance Fund recently helped a patient who has been coming in weekly for chemo, but who found himself homeless during the chemotherapy process and had been living with friends. He literally had nothing but the clothes on his back. After a few weeks, his nurses realized that he was wearing the same clothes and that they were not being washed. At his next appointment, they surprised him with brand new clothes purchased with our funds. He now wears them proudly to each of his chemo sessions and tells everyone that the Orioles shirt he wears is “the best present I’ve ever gotten".
We paid the fuel oil bill for the family of a 15 year old patient. His father sets the thermostat extremely low when the child isn’t in the home to make the oil last longer.
A 13 year old patient being treated by Dr. Fixler for Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia lives with his mother and sister, and has had multiple inpatient and outpatient appointments. The family moved to a new residence during the holidays, where they found the primary heat source is oil. Their oil tank was empty when they moved in, and the Ed Friedman Patient Assistance Fund had the tank filled immediately.
We paid 2 months rent for a patient of Dr. K. Miller, a 53 year old being treated for breast cancer with metastases to the brain, liver and lungs. She is a special education teacher, and is the sole provider for her family of 6. She continues to work despite her diagnosis and treatment.