Gateway to Hope for breast cancer patients with no insurance
Mar 24, 2011
Two doctors saw a problem in the way that breast cancer treatment was inaccessible to certain people, at the cost of their lives, and together decided to form an organization called Gateway to Hope.
Dr. Marlys Schuh and Dr. David Caplin started the nonprofit organization in St. Louis, Missouri, in 2005 to offer free, donated breast cancer healthcare service to patients who do not have health insurance, usually because they are self-employed or contract workers, but make too much money to receive government aid.
This is the only program of its kind in the United States, and Gateway to Hope has to date helped more than 175 people and referred 480 others. They arranged treatment for 21 new patients just this year.
The doctors say that this is the method they have found as an alternative for patients who are unable to pay for $200,000 to $400,000 cancer treatments. They are waiting for the government and the national health care program to figure out a way to help all those who need treatment.
About one in eight women is diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in her life in the U.S. The disease is becoming increasingly prevalent as survivors live longer due to overall life expectancy increases.