How We Help
Patient Aid Program
We understand the financial strain a childhood cancer diagnosis brings. Our Patient Aid Program provides emergency bill-pay assistance when a pediatric oncology family is having difficulty paying their bills when they are unable to work full time due to their child's cancer treatment or care. We believe NO family should risk losing their home, utilities or dignity because they are unable to work while their child has cancer. Megan's Wings is here to help those families who need it. Patient Aid Assistance must be applied for by a Medical Social Worker from the hospital or clinic the child receives treatment. Aid is meant to help get the family through a difficult financial crisis or catch up with bills they’ve gotten behind on due to missed work caring for their child. A list of possible one time aid includes but is not limited to: groceries, medical costs, utility bills, house payment, transportation expenses such as repairing a vehicle used to bring a child to treatment or a car payment, alternative therapies or supplements not covered by insurance, and funeral assistance. We will review each request carefully, and award aid based on sufficient documentation of need and availability of funds. Limitations and restrictions will be used to ensure assistance is not abused.
Monthly Assistance Program
We understand the longevity of a childhood cancer diagnosis and many family face extreme financial hardship when parent/s can't working full time during their child's treatment. Our monthly assistance application must be submitted by a Medical Social Worker. our monthly program is meant to help a family who is experiencing extreme financial hardship and their total household income has been or is expected to be reduced to half of their regular income or more due to their child's cancer needs. It is also meant for families who have lost income due to their child's medical needs that will not be replace with FMLA or unemployment benefits. Here are some situations that could qualify a family for monthly assistance: work disruptions resulting from recurring disease or treatment complications that lead to a long hospital stay. Caring for young siblings at home during transplant or a long hospitalization and one parent needs to be in the hospital and the other at home. One vehicle family's and the breadwinner needs to take the child to appointments and is missing significant amount of work that causes financial hardship. A hospice situation and both parents need to be at bedside with little income coming in. Megan's Wings will review each request carefully and if monthly aid is awarded, the family can receive partial house payment or grocery assistance for up to 3 months. We require sufficient documentation of need, and aid will be awarded based on fund availability. Limitations and restrictions will be used to ensure assistance is not abused.
Gas Assistance Program
In Southern California, many pediatric cancer families live far from the hospital their child receives treatment, and need to come in multiple times each month for chemo, radiation, biopsies, blood draws, etc. Unexpected high fevers send families to the hospital in the middle of the night. High gas prices in California are a hardship for many low to moderate income families trying to get their child to regular treatment. Megan's Wings believes NO family should have to choose between paying the utility bill or filling the tank. Missed appointments due to transportation issues is a problem that can compromises treatment success. We started our Gas Assistance Program in 2018 and it has became a keystone program for MW's assists 80-100 families yearly with fuel to keep their child on track with their treatments. A parent, guardian or Medical Social Worker can apply for our Gas Assistance Program for a family who is experiencing financial hardship due to transportation costs. To qualify, a family must travel a minimum 20 miles (one way) to treatment 4 times a month, or 45 miles twice a month. The program is open to pediatric patients in treatment at SoCal Hospitals or Cancer Centers. Based on travel distance and treatment frequency, families receive a $50 or $100 gas card for up to 4 consecutive months. Applications are reviewed weekly and gas cards are mailed direct to the family's home. Megan's Wings notifies the social worker if the family qualifies and the family will receive notice of approval in the form of a letter or email from Megan's Wings.
Megan's Wings works with businesses like Southern California Edison who partner with us to surprise kids with cancer on their birthday with a birthday gift! We understand how disappointing it is to be in the hospital on your birthday or have a compromised immune system so your unable to have a birthday party. We partner with businesses and individuals who have great ideas for a fundraiser to raise money or collect gift cards for kids. Birthday gift cards are mailed or delivered to our Cancer Kiddos during their birthday week. Click on the apply button below if you have a child who wishes to join our birthday club. Any child in active treatment for cancer in Southern California may join! If your business, club or employer would like to partner with Megan's Wings to fundraise and help supply birthday gift cards for our Birthday Club, click on the link below to signup. It's a fun and easy fundraiser that everyone in the office can be apart of.
Adopt a Family Program
Megan's Wings offers Hope for the Holidays through our Adopt a Family Program! We work with SoCal Children's Hospitals to identify pediatric oncology families, in active treatment and struggling with their child's cancer diagnosis who can benefit from some hope and cheer for the holidays. AAF applications must be submitted by a medical social worker on behalf of a family. All applications are due by early November to be considered for our December Holiday Program. We partner with local businesses, individuals and families who adopt our oncology families and provide gift/s for the patient and their siblings, and cover the cost of gas and grocery gift cards for the family to help offset the expensive month of December. Donors are able to shop online and ship gifts to their family or and delivery process this year.
Families will provide (1) wish and (1) need idea for each of their children (under $50/child). We require a description or Amazon link for each item so our donors can easily find it on Amazon or a store that offers free delivery. Megan's Wings will create Amazon Wishlists for each family and assign them to our vetted donors who purchase the kids gifts online from a store that will deliver the gifts to the family's home. Each family also receives much needed gas/grocery gift cards in a holiday card letting them know who adopted their family. Click below if you are referring a family for adoption or a donor wanting to adopt.
Megan's Wings collaborates with other non-profit organizations who offer emotional support services for families dealing with cancer. We help guide families to other resources we are aware of and can help with the referral process to get them connected faster. We also have parents of pediatric cancer survivors, who are finished with their child's treatment, and offer to mentor a newly diagnosed parent or sibling of a child in treatment for cancer. We recently started a Parent Grief Mentorship to connect parents, further along in their grief, with newly grieving parents. Megan's Wings believes connecting families who've had similar childhood cancer experiences can be helpful for both families.
Mentors, who have shared experiences going through the trauma of their child's cancer journey, can provide a newly diagnosed parent or newly grieving parent better understanding of what's ahead, advice on what worked for them, and reassurance they are not alone. We believe similar experiences can create deep bonds of friendship and support. Just knowing you have someone to talk to whose been there, can often help lighten the load. We are not trained mental health counselors and our Parent Connect Programs are not meant to replace mental health services,. They are offered to help support and bond families going through similar experiences.
Siblings of kids with cancer can feel isolated and alone too. We work with an organization that matches siblings with a mentor whose walked in their shoes with their own loved ones cancer journey and can offer friendship and someone to attend fun activities with (both in person and through zoom). Sometimes kids just need to know they are not alone.
If you are a parent of a child with cancer, seeking a Mentor or if you are a parent with childhood cancer experience interested in becoming a Mentor to another family, message us below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.