Friends Together Cancer Support Organization
We help people with cancer (and their loved-ones too).
Receiving a cancer diagnosis is one of the most emotional moments in a person’s life. Though advancements in treatment have made it possible for people to live longer with cancer, getting to treatment can be a significant barrier for some. As a rural community with nearly 20% of our population living in poverty, we face obstacles to receiving care other regions do not. Our six (6) county service area covers over 9,000 square miles; making transportation to appointments a common obstacle for many in NE Michigan. Getting to treatment and coping with the financial toxicity of cancer are two hurdles we help people overcome. Our vans have a volunteer crew of trained drivers. We logged more than 70,000 miles in 2019, alone - miles that literally saved lives. Without Friends Together, many in our community would be forced to refuse treatment for cancer.
The need for safe and reliable transportation is paramount. Our region is spread out over countless county roads. Persons coping with cancer have an unexpected and unrealistic burden of travel expenses in addition their healthcare costs. Our goal with this grant money is to purchase a new van to continue transporting people with cancer in 2021. Our transportation program offers more than a free, comfortable and safe ride. Regardless of destination of care, we are there to support people and make sure they are not alone as they travel the often scary journey that is cancer treatment. The transportation program not only provides rides, but distributes gas cards for those who have the means to get to treatment, but not the funds to fuel their car.
Our story is one of steady, mindful growth with the community’s need in mind. It started with a mother’s promise to her dying daughter that no one would face cancer alone, as they did. Today Friends Together is an independent non-profit 501(c)3 cancer support organization operating wholly on donations and non-governmental grants. We started with a budget of $75.00. This year we hope to provide services totaling $350,000. The thousands of persons and families we cared for in the past 24 years have received a community-wide embrace that comforts them as they travel the cancer journey. From our support programs to the thousands of miles given, each individual knows they are not alone. Their experience transformed from one of fear and the unknown to one of joy, hope and peace. All are welcome, free of charge. They are not alone. They have support. Friends Together’s transportation program has assisted hundreds of people who might not have otherwise been able to receive treatment.