BY JAMES TWOMEY
A charity provided cancer patients with more than £155,000 to help with their extra costs of travel and treatment.
Macmillan Cancer Support gave £155,440 in grants to Bexley, Greenwich and Lewisham cancer patients during 2018 from donations they had received.
Doug Harper, a dad-of-five from Plumstead who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012, said: “When I was diagnosed after being made redundant, I was so worried about money – how I would pay my bills, put food on the table, keep the house heated.
“Even the cost of getting to hospital for my treatment sessions really took a toll; I became too ill to drive to my radiotherapy appointments, but my finances just wouldn’t stretch to expensive taxi fares.
“So when Macmillan gave me a charitable grant for my hospital travel costs, it was a huge sense of relief.
“Financially I was struggling before the diagnosis, but the extra burden was almost impossible. However, my Macmillan grant was a massive help and cut my worries down at a very stressful period.
“It was so reassuring to know that Macmillan was right there with me, when I needed them most.”
Approximately £24,930 was given to residents of Bexley, Greenwich and Lewisham who couldn’t cover hospital appointment travel expenses with about £67,370 provided to help residents pay for heating and clothing.
The financial impact of living with cancer on average is £570 a month.
Ed Tallis, Macmillan’s head of services for London, said: “Half of us will get cancer at some point in our lives so it’s reassuring to know that last year alone, Macmillan awarded around £1.4million in grants to Londoners who were struggling with the financial hardship that cancer can bring.
“Cancer can affect so many parts of your life and our Macmillan grants, funded by our supporters, covered essentials like heating bills and hospital travel costs for around 3,919 Londoners in 2018, helping to make money one less worry.
“Cancer is really tough on people’s finances but grants are just one way that Macmillan is there for people with cancer thanks to the public’s support and I’d urge anyone with cancer to get in touch to find out how we can support you.”
To find out about the financial help Macmillan offers, call the Macmillan Support Line free on 0808 808 0000 or visit macmillan.org.uk/moneyworries.