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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Bringing Hope Home

At the age of 32, while pregnant with her second child. Nicole Isenberg found out she had stage IV Hodgkin lymphoma.

“Nicole gave birth to Gabby and immediately started intense chemotherapy,” remembers her husband Paul. “But we were now faced with a whole new set of challenges, including caring for Nicole and making sure she was getting the best treatment, raising a newborn and a toddler, and the everyday tasks of getting the kids off to school, packing lunches, cleaning the house, and going grocery shopping, all while making sure the bills were somehow paid.”

Fortunate to have a strong support system, Nicole suggested that Paul and his friends, affectionately called the “Great Guys” have a dinner to show thanks, and raise money for cancer organizations.

“Our first Great Guys Dinner raised more than $13,000 for cancer charities,” says Paul. “We were just sales and business guys who wanted to do something good.”

After Nicole lost her 6-year fight with cancer, Paul realized there was an unmet need in the community to help those undergoing cancer treatment with emotional and financial assistance.

“Our research shows that if you get diagnosed with cancer – even if you have health insurance – it can cost anywhere from $20-25 thousand dollars,” says Paul. “While it is great to support larger charities, we wanted to focus on ways we could keep our charity’s dollars in the community, and on a local level.”

Bringing Hope Home

Now called Bringing Hope Home, the organization continues to raise money for families in need. Since 2008, the group has helped more than 1,200 local families battling cancer.

“Electric bills, mortgage payments, groceries and medications – these bills don’t stop when you have cancer,” says Paul. “Our mission is to ease the burden of financial stress by directly paying bills for families.”

Paul says their organization goes a step further – they don’t just pay the bills, they negotiate for a lower rate.

“Last year, we negotiated to get about 25 cents more on the dollar,” says Paul. “We make each dollar stretch because we know how much it means to families.”

Bringing Hope Home works with families at the Abramson Cancer Center and has provided more than $65,000 in direct financial aid to families at the Abramson Cancer Center.

“Families interested in getting support from Bringing Hope Home need to be nominated by their medical and care team,” says Paul. “We review applications and speak with the family directly to assess their needs and learn how we can help.”

The family is given a one-time grant from up to $1,500 that goes directly to the vendors that need attention. This year, Bringing Hope Home hopes to increase the average grant to families from $1,500 to $2,000.

How You Can Help

Help bring hope home to so many families in the Philadelphia region by supporting Bringing Hope Home.

On Wednesday, May 1, the annual Great Guys Dinner will be held at the Crowne Plaza in Valley Forge from 6-9PM. Tickets are $175, and all proceeds go to local families in need of financial assistance during cancer treatment.

Learn more about the Great Guys Dinner.

You can also make a donation to Bringing Hope Home, and help support local families with a one-time donation.

Follow Bringing Home Home on Facebook and Twitter for event information, or see their stories of hope. 

Help Families at the Abramson Cancer Center

The Abramson Cancer Center is grateful to Bringing Hope Home and other foundations who directly support our patients in need including the Paul R. Nardoni Foundation, Stomp the Monster, The Mary Anne Mazanec Ovarian Cancer Foundation, Sandy Rollman Foundation, Starr Foundation, Fox’s Fight, and Peggy Spiegler Melanoma Research Foundation, just to name just a few.

The Abramson Cancer Center also has a Patient Special Needs Fund to help provide support to patients and families facing financial hardship as a result of diagnosis. We are grateful to the many individual friends and organizations that directly support this fund. Please consider making a gift and easing the burden of cancer for our patients and families with a donation.

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