How long has BCSF been a registered charity?
Founded in 2011, BCSF has been distributing funds to breast cancer patients since April 2012.
Who does BCSF support?
While we acknowledge that every person who is diagnosed with breast cancer experiences a financial impact, our mandate is to provide financial assistance to patients who do not have the financial resources to cover the costs of basic necessities such as food and shelter, as well as medical and additional expenses related to their treatment.
Furthermore, we prioritize applications according to income and frequently find that patients who financial assistance are living at or below the poverty line.
Who is eligible to apply for financial assistance?
Breast cancer patients (male and female) who are in ‘active’ treatment or are within two months of completing ‘active’ treatment. (“Active’ treatment refers to surgery, chemotherapy and radiation).
How do breast cancer patients apply for funds?
Individuals must fill out our comprehensive Application Form including submitting financial information (such as copies of Income Tax Forms and CRA summaries, mortgage statement or lease agreement, original receipts for expenses and medical reports about their diagnosis and treatment.
Additionally, the Application From must be signed by the patients’ oncologist, primary care nurse or a social worker at the hospital where they are being treated. This process ensures that the advisory committee members who review and assess the applications can be responsible stewards of the donations distributed by BCSF on behalf of its donors.
What kind of expenses are covered by the BCSF?
We will reimburse patients for costs associated with food and shelter, hospital parking, wigs, turbans, breast prosthetics, specialty bras, garments for Lymphedema, medications (related to treatment), child care, restorative therapies, and other living expenses. (See the Application Form for complete list and details).
What expenses are not covered by BCSF?
We do not reimburse for the cost of tamoxifen or aromatase inhibitors (Arimdex, Aromasin and Faslodex) or for expenses of patients who are on longer-term treatments such as Herceptin, or bisphosphonates. The ONE exception to this policy are patients who have been diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer.
We also do not reimburse patients for the following: credit card payments, cable, phone, property taxes/condo fees, Insurance(s), restaurant receipts, medications not related to treatment and costs associated with accommodation. (Patients can contact the Canadian Cancer Society for assistance related to accommodation and travel expenses, if patients have to travel a long distances for treatment).
How are we funded and how patients use our support?
What can I do to help?
Donate. In Canada, 25,000 people will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year; up to a quarter of those patients will face a financial crisis. Your donation will help patients cover the cost of basic necessities (food, shelter, medications, wigs, prosthetics, hospital parking, child care and restorative therapies) so they can focus on fighting the disease.
Giving monthly provides BCSF a consistent and reliable source of funding that allows us to plan ahead and support more patients across Canada.
Fundraise. Help raise awareness and funds for BCSF through individual fundraising events. These events can range from hosting a bake-sale at the office, donating funds from a garage sale or fundraising as part of a personal challenge (walk, run, cycle, etc).
Spread the word about your events through social media (Facebook and Twitter) to family, friends and colleagues and encourage them to donate to your cause of choice.
Read our How to Help page for more information.