NewDay Foundation to carry on tradition of helping cancer patients

 

Pictured, from left, are Katrina Langford of NewDay Foundation and Maria Fruth, CEO and president of HFL.

 

A time-honored tradition of providing direct financial assistance to cancer patients will continue — only now under the auspices of the NewDay Foundation of La Porte.

Originally created by the La Porte Hospital Foundation in the mid-1980s, the Cancer Patient Fund was designed to help patients struggling financially to meet the cost of their treatment, prescriptions, transportation, and other care-related needs. For the past five years, the Healthcare Foundation of La Porte has maintained the fund.

Now, the HFL has transferred the Cancer Patient Fund balance of $100,919 to the NewDay Foundation, which will oversee all cancer patient applications and requests.

The NewDay Foundation is a non-profit organization founded by Connie and Scott Marhanka in 2003. Connie had exhausted every available treatment during her seven-year battle with breast cancer. Her wish for her 40th birthday was to build a foundation to offer cancer patients hope and comfort as they began treatment. The foundation is committed to keeping Connie’s legacy alive by supporting those who are fighting cancer.

When the hospital foundation was operating the fund, it sought to grow the fund in order to expand the number of cancer patients it could help. To that end, the Tour de La Porte, an annual walk/bike/run event typically held in August, was created. Through the years, the event has garnered widespread community support. In its 18 years, the Tour de La Porte has raised over $761,000 to assist patients following a cancer diagnosis.

“HFL and the former La Porte Hospital Foundation helped more than 2,000 community members and funded over $750,000 in direct patient assistance,” said Maria Fruth, HFL’s CEO and president.  “We are grateful for the many supporters of the fund, either through the Tour de La Porte, memorial contributions and outright gifts, giving the foundation the ability to assist community members battling cancer.”

One of those individuals was Jenny, a 40-year-old diagnosed with breast cancer. Working a part-time job, she did not have insurance benefits. Her husband had been laid off for several months; to avoid the loss of health coverage, the couple paid high premiums under COBRA. When Jenny received her cancer diagnosis, she was devastated; she also realized that she would have to reduce her work hours significantly so she could received chemotherapy over the next six months. Because of the generous support of Tour de La Porte underwriters, the Cancer Patient Fund was able to help Jenny by paying her COBRA premiums during her treatment.

The HFL’s goal is to make La Porte County among Indiana’s top 10 healthiest communities by 2030. To that end, the HFL provides grants to organizations in the health and wellness arena, offers scholarships in the healthcare field, provides help to not-for-profits for capacity building, and generally brings together organizations trying to solve major health-related issues.  To that end, the HFL transferred the Tour de La Porte to the La Porte County YMCA in 2019, and is now transferring the Cancer Patient Fund balance to the NewDay Foundation

“The NewDay Foundation is thankful for the opportunity to grow our outreach with the support of the Healthcare Foundation of La Porte,” said Katrina Langford, NewDay Foundation executive director. “We are excited about the impact that we will be able to make on the lives of so many members of our community through the transfer of the cancer patient fund.”

Run by a staff of volunteers, NewDay Foundation has three main sources of fundraising throughout the year: the NewDay 5K, the NewDay concert, and the corn maze at Coulter’s Farm. All donations to the foundation directly assist La Porte County cancer patients.

Through September of 2020, NewDay has already assisted 78 patients with a total of $58,000 in funds for living and medical expenses.

NewDay accepts applications for cancer patient assistance online. To support the NewDay Foundation and its mission, visit https://newdaylaporte.org/ and select DONATE or email klangford@newdaylaporte.org.

To contact NewDay about applications, email applications@newdaylaporte.org.

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