Being Cancer-Free Doesn't Mean That Cancer IS Free


The deadline for our 2014 grant cycle recently passed, and in the many hundreds of applications received, we heard a similar story: being cancer-free doesn't mean that cancer IS free.

The deadline for our 2014 grant cycle recently passed, and in the many hundreds of applications received, we heard a similar story: being cancer-free doesn’t mean that cancer IS free. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Being a young adult in today’s economy is challenging in itself, but add the financial stress of cancer, the ongoing bills, and the drained savings accounts, and it feels nearly impossible to move forward. Many applicants are having trouble putting food on the tables for their families. Many others are making decisions between paying for health insurance and paying for rent.

The message that is consistently reinforced? #cancerisntfree.

Although we are only able to open the grant cycle once annually, we know that the financial struggles of cancer continue throughout the year. We also know that young adults with a history of cancer face many of the same challenges: needing adequate health insurance, having stacks of medical bills, trying to keep themselves healthy through diet and exercise, and many more. However, they often lack the resources necessary to pay for these things.

So, in 2011, with support from our partners at Expect Miracles Foundation, we launched a new program: a free webinar series called “Moving Forward with Your Financial Health.” It is our goal to provide guidance, information, and resources, totally free of charge, to help young adults overcome some of the obstacles in their way and begin to move forward towards their goals. We have had the privilege of partnering with financial professionals, cancer organizations, and other experts and are proud to provide this resource, free of charge, on our website and YouTube channel.

Over the past three years, The SAMFund has produced almost 20 webinars on topics like the ones mentioned above. We’ve also addressed common questions such as, “Will I ever be able to get life insurance?” and “How can I afford to keep myself healthy through diet and exercise when I’m on such a tight budget?” Through these webinars, we strive to provide participants with information relevant to the needs they face as young adult survivors. We’ve hosted speakers from organizations like Cancer and Careers, The Health Care Rights Initiative, and National Collegiate Cancer Foundation, and we’ve learned a tremendous amount thanks to their support and expertise.

The best part? All of our webinars are available on our YouTube Channel, SAMFund TV, so you never have to worry about missing out!

We’ve received great feedback on the webinars we’ve done to date. Check out what these participants had to say:

“I was so impressed that you want to help us so much—it’s so nice to have a hand up when things seem so down right now. It’s hard not to get depressed looking for survivorship information because all I really want to do, is forget I ever had cancer. Because you know what it’s like to go through all this, your website and programs offer so much more hope than negativity, and that means so much. Thank you for being there for us. I hope one day to be able to give back so effectively.”

“My COBRA payments had increased to $1200 a month and my out-of-pocket expenses had doubled. Just when I thought I’d lose everything—from where I lived, to the food on my table—I heard about The SAMFund’s webinar on health insurance. During the webinar, I learned all of the options for health insurance in my state. I am now enrolled in MHIP and my insurance will only cost me $400 a month. Without The SAMFund, I never would have known this existed. The importance of webinars like these cannot be measured. That single one changed the course of my life. So thank you, and keep up the good work.”

We are always looking for new ideas for our next topic. If there’s something you would love to see a webinar about, please shoot us an email at

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