Over the years, we have developed some very special relationships with social workers at CF Centers where there is a great need for additional family support. One of those is the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta whose social worker Judy is always on the lookout for a family in dire financial straits and is responsive and compassionate about finding them some assistance. To date, we have received and processed many referrals and the stories are both heartwarming and sometimes heartbreaking. The city of Atlanta and surrounding areas has a median income for a family of 4 of $53,843, as stated by Data USA and costs associated with cystic fibrosis can soar up to as high as $10,000 per medication not to mention hospital co pays, missed work, travel to and from the CF Center and care for other healthy siblings. You can read more about this in an article on Georgia Health News that discusses the effect of low income regarding missed opportunities for advanced screening and cost of care.
A recent family that was referred to us by CHOA is Brian’s family. Brian is 15 years old, has 1 sibling and shares his time between his mother and father. Brian has recently developed Cystic Fibrosis Related Diabetes which makes his treatment regimen even more complex and his blood sugars now need to be monitored constantly. In 2018, Brian experienced 4 long term hospital stays of at least 14 consecutive days in Atlanta and one recent stay at Cumberland Hospital in Virginia due to additional specialized care he needed that was not available at his center. Cumberland Hospital is a 2 to 3 hour drive each way from his home near Atlanta causing a huge financial strain on a family that was already struggling to make ends meet.
The entire family is affected by cystic fibrosis from emotional needs to financial needs and everything in between. We were honored to make a connection with this family and provide assistance with bills that were neglected so they could handle what was right in front of them. The stress relief they experienced after having their outstanding debt paid and being current on all of their bills made such a difference. Thank you to all who support this important program! As always, we know and are constantly reminded that our program is valuable and is making an impact on families and young adults living with CF.
Brian’s mother writes: “Due to our son being admitted at a hospital out of town, funds were very low after making sure he had the necessities he needed. Claire’s Place helped us pay our past due bills and get caught up. I am personally grateful and honored that I was awarded assistance. Without your help, I wouldn’t be able to travel to see my son or for work. This really was a true blessing that came right on time. Forever thankful “