Make 2nds Count launches Covid-19 Hardship Fund and new community services to support secondary breast cancer patients during the crisis.
Edinburgh based charity shines the spotlight on the impact of Coronavirus on secondary breast cancer patients.
Patient-led cancer charity Make 2nds Count has launched the UK’s first Hardship Fund aimed at supporting patients with secondary breast cancer, whose households face financial uncertainty as a result of Covid-19.
Patients who have been financially impacted as a result of Covid-19, can apply to the Hardship Fund for a one-off grant of up to £750, to help cover the cost of household bills or the extra costs that living with cancer can bring.
Also known as metastatic or advanced breast cancer, secondary breast cancer occurs when initial breast cancer cells spread to other parts of the body. Although in the UK, secondary breast cancer affects an estimated 55,000 people and kills 1,000 patients every month, this incurable disease fails to gain the necessary awareness and research funding.
For stage IV patients, there is no end to the treatment cycles or hope of remission. Cancer is a daily battle and of course patients are vulnerable to Covid-19 and must shield themselves for 12 weeks, adding additional mental toll to those whose quality of life is already compromised.
Crucially, the global pandemic is also impacting patients’ treatment and scan schedules causing further anxiety and risk. Recruitment for clinical trials into new cancer drugs is also currently on hold due to Covid-19 which further takes away options for patients and will undoubtedly impact future patients for years to come.
Make 2nds Count was founded in 2018 by secondary breast cancer patient Lisa Fleming, age 36 and is dedicated to giving hope to those living with secondary breast cancer. It’s mission is to fund vital research that will help advance quality of life.
During the current pandemic the charity has identified the need to urgently support patients by launching in the Covid-19 Hardship Fund, as well as a dedicated Coronavirus Facebook Group 2nds Together and peer-to-peer video call service, Tea & A Chat. The new community support services ensure patients can benefit from much needed (digital!) contact during isolation, at a time when other services and support groups are unavailable. With a 100+ sign-ups on day one, Make 2nds Count is offering patients a much needed space.
Lisa Fleming, Founder, commented: ‘Living with stage IV breast cancer means every second counts. Covid-19 has disrupted everyone’s lives, but incurable secondary breast cancer patients need support now.
“Money worries are often an additional burden for those living with secondary breast cancer. Add in the uncertainty that Covid-19 has brought for everyone, and anxiety is exacerbated. Living with incurable cancer is frightening enough, let alone when an invisible killer is on the loose. Make 2nds Count is delighted to be able to help patients in these challenging times, both financially through the hardship fund and with an amazing online community."
Joanne Lacey, Chair of the Board of Trustees, Make 2nds Count, added: “The uptake of the new services clearly demonstrates demand. The Board is delighted the charity has been able to respond so rapidly to patient needs in what are incredibly difficult times for UK charities. We are grateful to all our volunteers and donors who enable us to do this. The Make 2nds Count Covid-19 fundraising appeal will allow us to continue to give hope to those living with secondary breast cancer and raise awareness of both the immediate and long-term impact of the pandemic.”
Patients can apply for a M2C Hardship Grant at www.make2ndscount.co.uk/support/coronavirus-hardship-fun
If you’d like to help support these new services, you can donate here https://www.justgiving.com/Make2ndsCount or for further information on Make 2nds Count visit www.make2ndscount.co.uk.