After a cancer diagnosis, many details will need to be considered before a treatment plan can begin. Often, patients may need to travel from long distances to the location of the nearest cancer center for treatment. All this can be a heavy burden for patients amid a major illness like cancer.
The Jefferson Regional Foundation is making a difference in the lives of some of these patients by providing housing and gas cards for those who travel from hours away for treatment. Tommy Montgomery, from Crossett, was the first to stay in the foundation’s comfortable new apartment. The apartment has been dedicated for cancer patient use and has been in high demand by patients.
“I didn’t know what to expect, coming from so far away for treatment, and going back and forth. The staff told me they would come up with a solution. ‘We’re going to find somewhere for you to stay,’ they told me. I didn’t know what to expect,” Tommy said. “When I walked into that apartment I was looking around and I said, ‘Wow!’ I didn’t want to leave.”
Tommy stayed in the apartment for about two and a half months during his initial radiation treatments. He was going to have to find transportation from Crossett to Pine Bluff for his daily treatments. He had become too weak to drive himself. “I stayed in the apartment until I finished with radiation. I would have enjoyed staying longer because it was really nice,” he said. “But the best thing about it was it’s right up the street from where I was having treatment. If it hadn’t been for the apartment, I don’t think I would have made it this far.”
Tommy was diagnosed with Stage 3 Lung Cancer last year. “They caught it just in time. It was really looking bad, but I do appreciate all the good treatment I received. I don’t even have a word for everything they’ve done for me,” he explained. “It’s about a two-and-a half hour drive from Crossett and I wouldn’t have made it without the help. I appreciate it all, including the gas cards.”
He is a patient of Brian Campbell, MD, an Oncologist at the Jefferson Regional Jones-Dunklin Cancer Center. Tommy was also very complimentary of the treatment he’s received at the cancer center and of Dr. Campbell. “I told Dr. Campbell, there are no words for everything that they’ve done for me. I would not be here if it hadn’t been for their help.”
Financial navigators at the center identify those patients who have special financial needs and direct them to the help that is available.
For more information about the Cancer Center please call (870) 541-3230.