By Lina Kurdi
People living with cancer on low incomes received grants to ease financial pressure caused by their diagnosis, Covid-19, and the increase in living costs.
Charity Macmillan has found that high energy bills are one of the main expenses people living with cancer are facing this year.
Domestic energy prices increased by 50 per cent this month and will further increase in October.
Macmillan has £3.5 million of emergency funds available to help cancer patients pay escalating fuel bills.
The grants are a one-off, means-tested payment of £350 to help with the extra costs that living with cancer can bring.
Emma Tingley, Macmillan’s head of partnerships for London & South East regions, said: “Covid-19 continues to cause great challenges for the clinically vulnerable and now cancer patients are having to contend with a cost of living crisis that has seen prices for fuel and food rocket.
“So, if you are someone in need of our support, we will do everything we can to ensure you get the practical advice and help that can make life with cancer not simply about survival.”
Research by Macmillan found that across the UK, more than half of people diagnosed with cancer faced a financial impact as patients have to adapt their environment to suit their medical needs.
Last year, Macmillan Cancer Support gave £470,800 to 1,300 people living with cancer in South London.
Karen, from Worcester Park in Sutton, who was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2017, received a grant that helped pay for essentials, such as utility bills.
Karen said: “The grant meant so much to me that I sent an email to the top person at Macmillan to say a huge thank you to everybody that helped me, and for their continuous help throughout such a difficult time.
“I thought Macmillan was just a cancer charity, but they are so much more”
Kewcha, also from South London, was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin lymphoma in 2007.
A Macmillan grant helped Kewcha purchase a bed as at times she was too sick to leave her house.
Kewcha said: “My Macmillan grant brought some comfort when I needed it most.
“Cancer brings many challenges, but worrying about paying for essentials such as heating shouldn’t be one of them. I’d encourage anyone who is struggling with the financial impact of their diagnosis to contact Macmillan and access the help and support they can offer.”
Further information about Macmillan grants can be found on the website at https://www.macmillan.org.uk