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Cancer Doesn’t Stop for Anyone!

Updated: Jan 26, 2022

Cancer Patient Support Foundation

Cancer doesn’t stop for anyone!

Cancer Patient Support Foundation provides cash for gas, housing, and utilities, and…. so so much more.

Seriously, we all know that anyone who has been diagnosed with cancer is scared, and that dealing with the stress and anxiety is overwhelming… well, add corona virus to that that feeling and everything becomes overwhelming.

Cancer Patient Support Foundation, now entering their 20th year of operation, is an independent nonprofit organization that provide an impressive array of financial assistance to cancer patients throughout the State of Vermont. They provide this support upon diagnosis, treatment and recovery. The Foundation's vision is that all who face cancer can do so with dignity, confidence and serenity. 

Sarah Lemnah is the Executive Director of the foundation. She is a former staff member of the American Cancer Society and brings with her a wealth of knowledge and experience about cancer. Having played an active role in the Relay of Life, she also was editor and author of a statewide newsletter focusing on cancer issues, "Walk Talk."

Cancer Patient Support Executive Director, Sarah Lemnah

The foundation supports all local families throughout Vermont- and currently they serve over 700 families in every nook and corner of our Green Mountain State. Youngest patient that they currently serve is 2 years old, and the oldest is 91 years old.

How does someone pay for gas to get to treatment, or pay for their monthly rent and utilities when they are the family caregiver and have lost their job? Many patients live over an hour to from the hospital and are required to come in daily for treatment. The cost of gas alone becomes difficult.

What happens when you have insurance, but discover that your out of pocket co-pay is $10,000 a month?


Did you know that CPSF will pay for anything from car payments to rehab appointments and from childcare to out of pocket co-pays? The list is IMPRESSIVE and so very needed here in our State of Vermont. The financial assistance is based on the NEED, not what the income was before the cancer diagnosis.

Their FOCUS to remove barriers to treatment and help families meet their needs so that they can have a decent quality of life while being challenged by cancer.

That's right… CPSF serves ALL towns in our entire State of Vermont including communities where the residents live in tents in the North East Kingdom to those who lost their job due to cancer and/or COVID.

HOW does this work - how does someone ‘apply’?

CPSF works directly with medical professionals including Social workers (currently 77 of them as well as countless other providers). Providers and social workers are vetted by the organization. The providers verify that their patients are in active cancer treatment and in turn submit a request on behalf of one of their patients for support.

Turn Around time for financial assistance is an astonishing 72 hours upon the request for funding. The top areas that people request financial assistance for are: Housing, Transportation and Utilities, but other areas include:

Property taxes, car repairs, car insurance, integrated massage, counseling, rehab, snow tires, phone minutes…. Etc.

IS there a message that you would like us to share with the public about CPSF?

There seems to be a misconception about CPSF in that they are not a division of UVM Medical Center in Burlington, Vermont. They are an independent nonprofit that serves all people and families in every county in our State of Vermont.

What are some of the challenges that CPSF is facing during COVID 19?

“The corona virus outbreak has been a challenge because the patients we serve are scared, Sarah explained. “They were scared before corona virus and they are scared even more now. Recently, over 20% of the requests we receive are from people who have been laid off during COVID 19 while they are undergoing cancer treatment.”

“We want them to know that they are not alone - that we are still here” she went on to say, “we encourage our families to BE VOCAL and to TELL their providers that they are being challenged financially.”

“If you are a cancer patient," Sarah shares, “Contact us - we CAN help you through this process, and never think for a second that an ask is too small.”

Do you have any other messages that we can help share?

“Yes, please-- if you are considering supporting us, it is important to know that the there is a huge misconception that if someone who has cancer and has insurance, that all should be fine. Insurance carriers do not cover everything!”

Not all medical costs related to cancer treatment are covered by insurance, and out of pocket co-pay can be extremely high and difficult or sometimes impossible for some a family to cover.

Many people who are diagnosed with cancer lose their jobs, and also lose their insurance!

You can help make a difference!

YOU can help support CPSF by donating to the Emergency Fund:

THANK YOU for all that you do!

Sail Beyond Cancer Vermont is proud to be collaborating with Cancer Patient Support Foundation as each of our organizations support those who are being challenged by cancer - every type of cancer, any age and anywhere in the State of Vermont!

“The Companion Way” shares our belief in the power of companionship in our COMMUNITY especially as it applies to people who are being challenged by cancer.

Each Blog we will share with you by highlighting people and organizations who are committed - as we are - to this kind of companionship and compassion. We will share how each unique organization is committed to serving and lifting those who are struggling with cancer in our community.

We want YOU to know about THEM as we value collaborating with other nonprofits in our community. Help us spread the word…

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