The Cancer Patient Fund has been a long-standing community tradition. The fund was originally created by the La Porte Hospital Foundation (LPHF) in the mid 1980’s to assist cancer patients facing financial difficulties with the cost of their treatment, prescriptions, transportation, and other needs related to their care. The Healthcare Foundation of La Porte (HFL) has faithfully maintained the fund over the last 5 years. For 35 years, the Cancer Patient Fund has helped our community members answer the question, “How am I going to get through this?” To grow the fund in order to support more cancer patients, LPHF created something magical: Tour de La Porte. For 18 years, our community rose to the occasion to benefit those within the community battling cancer with a cycling, running and walking event, hosted by the HFL. The proceeds have provided direct assistance and resources to patients after a cancer diagnosis. In its 18 years, Tour de La Porte raised $761,630.
“HFL and the former La Porte Hospital Foundations helped more than 2,000 community members and funded over $750,000 in direct patient assistance,” states Maria Fruth, President & CEO of the Healthcare Foundation of La Porte. “We are grateful for the many supporters of the fund, either through the Tour de La Porte, memorial contributions and outright gifts, giving the foundation the ability to assist community members battling cancer.”
One of those individuals was Jenny. At 40, Jenny was diagnosed with breast cancer. Working a part time job, she did not have insurance benefits. Her husband had been laid off for several months and they had been paying Cobra to ensure their insurance benefits were maintained. Jenny was devastated to learn of her diagnosis, and that she would have to reduce her work hours significantly over the next six months to allow for her chemotherapy. Because of the generous support of Tour de La Porte underwriters, the cancer patient fund assisted by paying her COBRA insurance benefits during her treatment.
HFL will be more focused on its vision; to be among Indiana’s top 10 healthiest communities by 2030, through grantmaking in the health and wellness arena, scholarships, helping not for profits with capacity building and a more active convener of organizations trying to solve major health related issues. This includes the transfer of the Tour de La Porte to the La Porte County YMCA in 2019, and now the transfer of the Cancer Patient Fund balance of $100,919 to the NewDay Foundation in La Porte. The NewDay Foundation will oversee all cancer patient applications and requests.
The NewDay Foundation is a non-profit organization, founded by Connie and Scott Marhanka in 2003. During her seven year fight, Connie exhausted every available treatment to fight breast cancer. Her wish for her fortieth birthday was to build a foundation to offer cancer patients hope and comfort as they began treatment. The NewDay Foundation is passionate about keeping Connie's legacy alive and continues to pursue her dream of supporting those who are fighting cancer. NewDay helps cancer patients with rides to and from treatment, living expenses, health insurance premiums, medical costs, as well as caregiver educational materials.
“The NewDay Foundation is thankful for the opportunity to grow our outreach with the support of the Healthcare Foundation of La Porte. We are excited about the impact that we will be able to make on the lives of so many members of our community through the transfer of the cancer patient fund” comments Katrina Langford, NewDay Foundation Executive Director.
NewDay has three main sources of fundraising throughout the year; the NewDay 5K, the NewDay concert, and the corn maze at Coulter’s Farm. NewDay is run by a staff of volunteers so all donations to the foundation go directly to assisting cancer patients in La Porte County. Through September of 2020, NewDay has assisted 78 La Porte County cancer patients with $58,000 worth of living and medical expenses.
NewDay accepts applications for cancer patient assistance online. To support the NewDay Foundation and its mission, visit https://newdaylaporte.org/ and select DONATE or email@example.com. To contact NewDay about applications, email firstname.lastname@example.org