Easing Financial Burdens, Arm-in-Arm

Donors help cancer patients meet daily needs

Comprehensive cancer care in northwest Oregon.

The Armington Family stands Arm-in-Arm to celebrate the opening of the CMH-OHSU Knight Cancer Collaborative.

In the few months since the CMH-OHSU Knight Cancer Collaborative opened its doors, we’ve already seen twice the number of patients expected. Each of them has a story, many of which touch on the financial burdens that make the cancer care journey even more challenging.

Treatment is so important, but being unable to fund things like transportation, child care, household bills and medical costs not covered by insurance can make getting treatment almost impossible. The costs associated with treatment can create financial and emotional stress that is overwhelming. Many patients aren’t able to cover basic needs like food and shelter, and they don’t know where to turn.

Beyond traditional caregiving

The Armington family decided to do something about that. To commemorate the cancer treatment facilities now available, the family has created a financial resource for patients struggling financially.

“Cancer touches nearly every family. The Arm-in-Arm Fund is a practical way people can help those in our community in the midst of their cancer battle by providing funds for important items such as power bills and medication,” says William “Bill” Armington, MD.

Mary Armington, Dr. Armington’s mother, led the family effort. She was compelled to help cancer patients who may be unable to work while they undergo treatment and who struggle to pay for items not covered by their insurance. The Arm-in-Arm Fund reaches beyond traditional caregiving by helping patients cover gas, utility, medication, transportation and other expenses during a financially challenging time.

Inspired by the Armington family, the CMH Auxiliary donated $10,000 to the fund, and the Friends of Astoria Column’s Board matched every $5 contribution throughout the month of October, ultimately providing an additional $5,000 to support those needing financial assistance.

We all know someone

Willis Van Dusen, a member of the Friends of Astoria Column’s Board, says, “Everyone on the Column Board wanted to make sure our friends and neighbors have some help during treatment for cancer. We all know someone who has needed some help. It’s our privilege to join with the Armingtons to make sure there are resources available.”

The Armington family’s quiet assistance for those experiencing difficult times emotionally, physically and financially is truly inspiring, and everyone is deeply grateful for those who have contributed to help ease the most difficult challenge for the most vulnerable patients.

Read more from the Winter 2018 issue of the CMH Health Compass.