American Cancer Society and Skaggs Foundation provide gas cards to cancer patients in need

Published: Jun. 7, 2022 at 5:05 PM CDT
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BRANSON, Mo. (KY3) -The American Cancer Society and the Skaggs Foundation provide gas cards to cancer patients. The program helps those in Stone and Taney Counties.

Many people are looking for ways to reduce travel, but that hasn’t been an option for cancer patients like Steph Townsend. She says without the gas cards, she couldn’t make it.

In December of 2020, Townsend was diagnosed with stage four colon cancer. Twice a month, she and her husband make the 52-minute drive from their home near Reeds Spring to Springfield for chemotherapy treatments. Four times a month, she travels to Branson for care. Since she’s been sick, she hasn’t been able to work.

”The gas cards have been a tremendous help,” said Townsend. “I wouldn’t be able to afford to go to Springfield two and three times a month with gas being almost five dollars right now.”

She says the added help of these gas cards means she also doesn’t have to worry about spending money on food for her family. Skaggs Foundation Director of Community Relations, Mindy Honey, says transportation is the most significant barrier for care patients.

”People in Stone and Taney Counties, it might take them an hour or more just to get to Branson for treatment,” said Honey. “Sometimes those treatments are five days a week, so that really adds up.”

Honey says you have so much on your mind when you’re fighting cancer already, and being sick is very costly. Especially if you’re out of a job during your treatment period. She says eliminating any additional barriers for patients is crucial to them.

”Your health insurance doesn’t pay for your gas, and we know fuel prices are just getting more and more expensive,” Honey said. “So it’s just one thing we can take off their plate, so they don’t miss treatment.“

”It’s been a blessing,” Townsend said. “Without them, we would totally be in the dark.”

Honey says in addition to fuel cards, patients can talk to an advocate at the cancer center about cab rides too.

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