The real cost of Pediatric CANCER

How St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is helping families

Cancer sucks. We all know this. But we always think of the medical reasons cancer sucks, there is another reason cancer sucks and it’s the cost of treatment. When my son got diagnosed with Neuroblastoma in 2012 we were lucky enough to have insurance, yet even with a tip insurance company we still ended up with a lot of credit card debt paying for deductibles from his treatments. From simple checkup visits and blood work to MIBG Scan and surgeries. The one thing is clear is that money is the least of the worries when we deal with cancer, yet is a clear impediment or aid in the treatment of the disease. The most beautiful thing about St. Jude is that families don’t have to worry about spending a dime on treatment.

This is part of the alphabet displayed at St. Jude made by the patients.
This is part of the alphabet displayed at St. Jude made by the patients.

The idea of free treatment goes beyond monetary. St. Jude understands that families should only focus on treatment, on spending quality time together and be able to receive the best treatment, without having to worry about how to pay for that treatment. The relief a parent feels when he knows that there is something that he doesn’t have to worry about. That it doesn’t matter what the child needs, St. Jude will be there to give it, without expecting anything in return.

The cost of cancer is beyond what people think. We are talking about hundreds of thousands of dollars. And those are just the treatments that the child NEEDS. Not even optional or supplemental treatments. In our case, although we had insurance, the insurance didn’t cover the anesthesia for the MRI. My sons treatment consisted of MRI’s every month, for the first year. Because he was under 2 years old and the MRI was of his torso, he had to be sedated every single time. Every MRI was around $2,000+ just for the Diprivan (propofol). Imagine having to pay that on top of the MRI co-pay (if you have insurance) or the whole MRI? And then the bone scan, and bone marrow test, and chemo, or radiation. All the blood work required at EVERY SINGLE VISIT!

I can keep going on and on, but I think you got the picture. St. Jude is definitely a hero not only for the patients and their treatment but also their families. It eliminates such a burden. And this is why you and me are so important. All those donations you see St. Jude asking for? All the stores, restaurants, teams that partner up with St. Jude? The St. Jude Walk or Marathon? All those events, all those donations, go straight to those families. And I should also add, those donations don’t only help cover the cost of treatment for the patient, they also feed the families and help pay for housing and transportation and even education.

Last year at the NYC walk

Although we just welcomed the month of August, we don’t have to wait until September to do something to help these children and St. Jude to continue their mission. September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and also the St. Jude Walk. You can sign up and participate in your city, or just make a small donation.

If you want more information on St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and their mission you can visit their webpage here.

I am a proud St. Jude Blogger Ambassador.  


4 thoughts on “The real cost of Pediatric CANCER

  1. I can only imagine how stressful it was to have those bills on top of having insurance and trying your best to focus on your child’s treatment. It’s so wonderful to know that your son is fine now. I can only imagine what it’s like for families without any health insurance. It’s great that St. Jude is there for families and covers all the costs of their patients.

    • Gemarla

      Thank you for reading. Yes. That’s why St. Jude is so special. They really focus on the treatment so families don’t have to worry about anything. It’s truly a blessing.

  2. Stephanie

    This is SO moving – hearing your personal story and going to St. Jude with you was one of the most eye-opening experiences of my life. I absolutely LOVE everything about them and still continue to support them!

  3. I have so admired your strength Gemarla in sharing your son’s story and your overall positive outlook when speaking about this battle. So beyond glad that he kicked Nueroblastoma to the curb! And I so admire how you use your platform to share the life saving work that St. Jude is doing – we will continue to support them. Sending love.

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