“For it is in giving that we receive.” – St. Francis of Assisi

This holiday season, Melinda Holm & Associates made a donation to the SAMFund in honor of Lauren Wollenberg, a young cancer survivor and the sister of our very own Lyndsey Wollenberg. SAMFund is a grant program that helps to support young adult cancer survivors by providing financial assistance to help them recover from the monetary impact of receiving treatment. They also provide online resources and education to help survivors truly move forward with their professional, personal and academic goals.

Lauren shared her story with us to show how the SAMFund has made an impact on her life:

On April 1, 2007 I was diagnosed with Chronic Myeloid Leukemia at the University of Chicago Hospital. I was able to keep my disease under control with oral chemotherapy drugs (Tyrosine-Kinase Inhibitors) until the day I was told I needed a bone marrow transplant. I was extremely blessed to have my sister, Amy, as my 100% HLA- identical match. I had my bone marrow transplant in October 4, 2010.  I tolerated my transplant well, but I was really feeling the financial burden of my treatment. I was seeing the doctor upwards of 16 times a month and had stacks of prescriptions to fill. I was unable to work and thought to myself, “How am I going to make it?”

I received a call from a research nurse who told me about a grant program called the SAMFund. They provide financial assistance to young adult cancer survivors.  Since I was in the right age group, a cancer survivor, and out of treatment, I was the perfect candidate. I had no idea there was any organization out there like this! The nurse sent me the link to apply on July 6, 2011 at 2:39pm with the deadline at 5pm that evening. I hurried to get the application completed, and I did! It felt like a weight was lifted. It blew my mind to know that some strangers in Boston might help me to pay off a part of my medical debt.

On December 30, 2011, I received a call from Michelle Zeitler. She let me know that my application was accepted and they would pay off $963.00 of my medical debt. I was so relieved! These people who knew nothing about me other than my cancer story and financial challenges helped me in a way I never thought possible. It was one of the best days of my life!

Since then, I have discovered that SamFund does more than just help pay off debt; they have all the resources that any cancer survivor would ever need. They offer great webinars, social media support, and awesome parties to get to know other SAMFund recipients. I feel truly blessed to be part of the SAMFund family! And I’m so grateful to Melinda Holm & Associates for making a donation in my honor! They are giving cancer survivors like myself an opportunity to move forward! #CANCERisntFREE

Please feel free to visit SAMFund’s website to learn more or make a donation.

Warm wishes for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from your friends at Melinda Holm & Associates!