Since the beginning of 2022, Leukaemia Care has provided over £70,000 of financial support to people affected by leukaemia, MDS or MPN. These grants seek to provide financial support for those who are struggling with increased bills, hospital travel costs or paying for food. Leukaemia UK previously committed to an additional £20,000 grant towards the cost of continuing Leukaemia Care’s Financial Hardship Fund, which was exhausted due to high demand. As a result, we’ve been able to offer 464 grants to families affected by leukaemia, MDS or MPN.
Demand for financial grants has been amplified with the UK’s recent cost of living crisis, we have seen a 400% increase in the number of applications to our existing fund. We are entering a difficult winter where people who were already struggling financially due to their leukaemia diagnosis are now also facing additional cost of living pressures. 43% of patients report a financial impact, either due to an increase in costs or a reduction in income, or indeed both. This increases to 55% for acute leukaemia patients.
To help address this need, Leukaemia Care and Leukaemia UK have come together to launch a new Cost of Living with Leukaemia Fund.
Zack Pemberton-Whiteley, CEO of Leukaemia Care said: “We know how devastating the financial impact of leukaemia is to people affected, and the recent cost of living crisis has only increased this pressure further. Because of this, Leukaemia Care are pleased to be working with Leukaemia UK to launch the Cost of Living with Leukaemia Fund to provide additional financial support to people affected by leukaemia and other blood cancers.”
Fiona Hazell, Chief Executive of Leukaemia UK, said: “Whilst many in the UK are struggling financially, we know that a leukaemia diagnosis adds extra financial pressures, on top of the emotional and physical challenges. Leukaemia UK and Leukaemia Care want to do everything we can to improve the lives of those with leukaemia and so are extremely pleased to be able to launch the Cost of Living with Leukaemia Fund together.”
In addition to setting up this new fund, Leukaemia Care and Leukaemia UK have jointly written to the Chancellor Jeremy Hunt MP, ahead of his Autumn statement on Friday 18th November. The letter highlighted the need for much wider measures to address the cost of living crisis for leukaemia patients, such as increasing benefits in line with inflation. The charities also asked the Chancellor to consider spending more on the health and social care workforce to improve the care of leukaemia patients.
If you are in need of support, you can apply for the Cost of Living with Leukaemia Fund here.