The Young Family's Story
*Modified with permission from https://familyreach.org/financial-planning-for-cancer-provides-guidance-for-family-in-times-of-distress/
For families, early childhood is a time full of joy as parents watch their child develop both mentally and physically and begin to explore the world around them. Unfortunately, in 2018 that wonderful time was cut short for a Texas family when their 2 year old son, Eko, was diagnosed with leukemia.
As Eko began his treatment, his mother Naomi and the rest of their family focused on doing whatever was necessary to help him beat his disease, including taking Eko to treatments, ensuring the house was properly sanitized & cleaned, and incorporating the proper nutrients into his diet. The rest of their world faded into the background, including their finances. While they knew that cancer treatment was costly, they were also incurring costs from paying for gas and parking, buying take-out during hospital stays, filling prescriptions, and buying extra cleaning supplies. As a result, their bills began to pile up.
With their focus on caring and supporting Eko, Naomi and her husband didn’t have the time or energy to address their financial situation, let alone sit down and figure out a longer-term financial plan. They began living month to month, and while they were able to keep their family above water, being unable to adequately address their financial situation added additional stress to an unimaginable situation.
“I was definitely stressed about our finances,” Naomi explained. “When Eko was first diagnosed, I was completely clueless about the costs we would encounter and I barely understood our health insurance.”
When Naomi and her family connected with Family Reach, an FFP grantee, their stress began to lift. Family Reach paired Naomi and her family with Donna, a CFP® volunteer with their Financial Planning for Cancer Program, and over the course of several sessions, Donna and Naomi were able to review and address several financial issues. Together, they were able to figure out where Naomi could cut unnecessary payments, how to reduce certain bills and maximize the family income, how to refinance the family home, and determine which area of debt should be tackled first.
Today, Eko continues his brave fight against leukemia and is doing well. Thanks to Donna’s help in addressing their financial situation and helping them develop a long-term financial plan, Naomi and her family are now able to focus more fully on Eko, his treatment, and making sure he has a wonderful childhood despite his disease.
“I feel so blessed to have someone trustworthy who has our best interest at heart,” Naomi said. “It relieves a lot of anxiety knowing if we get in an unexpected financial bind, we have someone in our corner who offers feasible, practical, and tangible ways to take action.”
“It relieves a lot of anxiety knowing if we get in an unexpected financial bind, we have someone in our corner who offers feasible, practical, and tangible ways to take action.”
- Developed a long-term financial plan to ease financial stress and eliminate the pattern of living month to month.
- Determined which area of debt to tackle first.
- Found areas where they could cut unnecessary payments and reduce their bills.