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2020 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Lazarex Cancer Foundation

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Cancer, Children & Youth, Children & Youth Services, Health, Health Support

Mission: At Lazarex Cancer Foundation we improve patient access to cancer clinical trials. We the improve the outcome of cancer care, giving hope, dignity and life to advanced stage cancer patients and the medically underserved by providing assistance with costs for FDA clinical trial participation, identification of clinical trial options, community outreach and education. We are a resource for cancer patients who've been told they have no other options and are seeking life through FDA clinical trial participation.

Results: FROM INCEPTION IN 2006 TO DECEMBER 31, 2019: - Dollars expended on program services: $16,179,075 - Patients from all 50 states and 18 countries - We have served patients with all classifications of cancer in hundreds of clinical trials at 198 investigational sites nationwide - Patients ranging in age from 1 to 102 years, with diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds - Assisted over 5,000 patients with patient navigation and financial assistance for FDA clinical trial participation. ANNUAL STATISTICS - 2019 Dollars expended on program services: $$2,419,147 - 2019 Assisted 843 patents: 718 with Financial Assistance (471 and 241 through Lazarex CARE and Lazarex IMPACT programs), 125 patients with Clinical Trial Navigation - 2019 Community Outreach, Education and Advocacy: over 1,000,000 people (with website & social media, community outreach events, local & national media, press articles, LCF conferences, fundraising events, IMPACT and Community IMPACT partners) - 2019 Percentage of Donations applied directly to program services: 89% - 2019 Volunteer hours: 3,342

Target demographics: advanced stage cancer patients of all ages, from all walks of life, with all types of cancer.

Direct beneficiaries per year: As of June 30 2020 we have assisted 738 patients with financial reimbursements and navigation for FDA clinical trial participation.

Geographic areas served: the USA

Programs: financial assistance (directly reimbursed to the cancer patient) for out of pocket expenses associated with FDA clinical trial participation; assistance with identifying clinical trial options; community outreach and engagement.

Community Stories

227 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

3

Donor

Rating: 5

My company, Corda Solar LLC, is a donor to Lazarex Cancer Foundation. We support the charity because they are filling a terrible void in our nation's healthcare system that isn't really being addressed by other organizations. How can it be that so many worthy clinical trials that will help mankind advance our knowledge about effective cancer treatments have trouble recruiting a diverse group of participants, have trouble building awareness about their existence, and have trouble with being affordable to perfect trial candidates who do not have the means to participate due to travel and other costs not supported by health insurance?We have been impressed with how Lazarex is tackling these issues. We have also been impressed with how the organization is managed. We recently attended their first ever "virtual gala" that was created to make up for the physical fundraising gala that got cancelled due to the pandemic. The event was the perfect example of a non-profit organization firing on all cylinders: they took lemons and made lemonade. The event was well publicized, well-attended, creative, utilized staff member talent wisely in every event capacity (from education, to entertainment, to logistics), and effective. Somehow, at a fraction of the cost of a physical event, they managed to achieve their fundraising goals.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I had the pleasure to meet and work with the Lazarex team on the recent Gala. I cannot even begin to express my gratitude to this dedicated, passionate team. Everyone is Laser focused on helping people. That’s what they do every day. If you have family, a friend or a loved one with advanced stage cancer, LAZAREX is the team you want in your corner. ❤️

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

This is our story, a glimpse into my husband Lee’s cancer journey and how Lazarex made a difference in our life. First, I want you to know a little bit about Lee – he loved life. He enjoyed traveling throughout the United States and exploring new areas of the country. He valued the friendships he made over the years and throughout his career. He considered his many friends as one of the greatest blessing in life.
So how did we come to be a part of Lazarex? Well, once diagnosed it was determined that Lee had late stage advanced prostate cancer. No cure, just treatment to slow it down and to help manage his pain. Multiple rounds of radiation, chemo, all the traditional treatments. Then a ray of hope. Through a friend of ours we learned about a clinical trial that was open and actively seeking participants. After an in-depth study of Lee’s cancer - the cellular makeup, additional testing, and review of his treatment history, some good news. He met the criteria, was eligible and was selected to participate. It was a Phase I study but even with that Lee was all in. Maybe his involvement would make a difference. If not for himself for someone down the road. The challenge - the study was at the University of Colorado in Denver and we lived in Missouri. That meant frequent travel and at times on short notice. His cancer had taken a toll by then and driving was no longer an option. And on short notice flights are traditionally expensive. But we were determined to make it work. Then, through one of the sweetest and dearest nurses at our oncologist’s office, we learned about Lazarex. We reached out, shared the details of Lee’s journey and provided some information about ourselves. Within a short period of time we learned that Lazarex was ready, willing and able to help with some of our expenses. What a blessing!
Lazarex is making a difference. Thank you. And thanks to all of you who are supporting Lazarex. You are making a difference. Bless you!!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

My husband had chronic lymphocytic leukemia for about 10 years before we found about Lazarex. We had been driving to MD Anderson in Houston, TX at least every month for a long time and had stayed there for a stem cell transplant and then several other experimental protocols, all involving visits of months duration. At the time I heard of Lazarex from the American Cancer Society. I was desperate and we were on the verge of needing to file medical bankruptcy. We had insurance that covered the medicines, etc. but nothing for the trips or lodging. My husband was increasingly depressed, even suicidal, as we struggled to keep up with bills and cover all the extra expenses. Lazarex saved us by helping with the travel costs, even making it possible for him to fly, as opposed to us driving in a two day trip, to Houston as his treatments became more frequent and he became more debilitated. Eventually, he became so weak that he had to have someone with him to help out and Lazarex paid their travel also. We often discussed how after years of fighting his illness, we were at the lowest point of our lives when Lazarex came to the rescue. He died in 2013 shortly after returning from his final trip down where they discussed one more possible treatment. Thank you for providing help at a time when we felt so alone and without any more resources. Truly Lazarex provides miracles and my family will never forget your help. Bless you.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Lazarex Cancer Foundation continues to break down barriers to provide their patients access to cancer clinical trials that they would otherwise be unable to participate in. I have witnessed first-hand the positive, life-saving impact of cancer clinical trials throughout my time as a nursing student at Azusa Pacific University. Lazarex lightens the load for families across the country that are facing one of the most (if not the most) challenging journeys of their lives. I believe in the good work that Lazarex Cancer Foundation is doing and will help in any shape or form I can to spread awareness and help this non-profit organization do what they do best.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As an oncology social worker I have referred many patients to Lazarex Cancer Foundation. I have had numerous patients receive funding to help them pay for clinical trial travel and lodging expenses. Expenses are huge stress for many of my patients and Lazarex funding has greatly diminished this stress. Lazarex is a great organization to work with, the services they provide are widely needed and their staff is excellent to work with.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am currently employed at MD Anderson and have witnessed first-hand the amazing work Lazarex has done for countless number of our patients. Being on a clinical trial has been for many a last alternative in their cancer journey. Participating in a clinical trial requires extensive visits to MDA. This of course poses a barrier, as the patient now has to worry about the out of pocket expenses that will be incurred. It is not unusual for patients to be required to travel weekly when treatment is initiated. As one can imagine, this can be very emotionally overwhelming and taxing both physically and financially for our patients. Lazarex has been a saving grace for so many as it allows them to participate in a trial without having to worry about the financial burden. For many, it is contingent on whether or not they choose to move forward. I have witnessed the relief it brings to so many patients as it allows them to focus on their treatment and quality of life rather than how they will afford to pay for their out of pocket expenses. I have developed a wonderful and positive working relationship with the staff from Lazarex and can attest to how amazing, friendly, and helpful they each are. This is one organization that turns around and really uses their monetary donations for a good cause. They REALLY care, thereby giving our patients hope and a chance to be with their loved ones a little longer. I am so grateful for this organization and look forward to a continuous working relationship with them. You all are truly special!!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Hi my name is Gail . First off I want to thank the Lazarex Cancer foundation and all of its Great people that donate so thy can help so many. My story stated in 2012 enlarged lymph node biopsy can back as MCC a very rear and deadly cancer. Was sent to MD Anderson and all effected nodes removed Back to Springfield MO. for chemo & radiation . All was looking good till 6 months later started having trouble walking & x-ray showed tumor inside knee biopsy showed MCC returned CT scan showed several tumors so back on the Platinum chemo and more radiation extended the chemo but cancer was winning so was told to GO HOME & GET AFFAIRS in order I went home found 4 clinical trials 2 on east coast 1 on west coast & 1 in Oklahoma 300 miles away. I called was taken in and started on the clinical trial . After a couple trips I could see that the cost of travel, motel room and tolls were not finically going to work as the first to treatment had taken its toll on saving And on a trial I was not going to gamble every thing me and my wife of 40 years had made ( no programs to help folks with MCC) I contacted Lazarex Foundation and found the help to make it possible to stay in the study,almost 6 months later all the tumors gone from going on a immunotherapy trial drug. After almost 2 years of driving that 600 mile trip every other week The drug was approved to use in Missouri. its been 4 1/2 years and I am still in treatment and still tumor free. I will soon be 69 and it is all because of all you wonderful folks that have made this happen for me by donating to the LAZAREX CANCER FOUNDATION . just alittle more the clinical trial I was in I was the only patient in the 2 years so all the info. thy gathered from the trial will help future MCC patients this again was also made possible because and your help THANK YOU ALL for you are making a BIG difference

1 ashleykulp

Client Served

Rating: 5

My husband and I were joyously expecting our first child after trying to conceive for 6 years. It was an exciting time in our lives that was stunted midway through my pregnancy. It was a winter Saturday in February when I noticed some irregular bleeding. My husband and I had struggled over the last several years with fertility so every little ache and tinge through my first trimester was often over-analyzed by all potential scenarios. We hopped in the car and raced to the E.R. and after hours of poking and prodding, it was determined that I had a polyp on my cervix that was determined to be harmless.

2 weeks later, during a routine glucose tolerance test, a bomb dropped on my family and I. Alone in the exam room, my doctor advised me that my polyp was actually cancer. A very rare and aggressive cancer called Small Cell Neuroendocrine Carcinoma of the Cervix. She went on to explain that I’d have to choose between waiting to begin treatment until after my son was born or to have him 10 weeks premature so that I could begin chemotherapy and radiation right away to prevent it from spreading.

My husband and I welcomed our 30-week old son and at the same time I underwent a radical hysterectomy to remove the cancer. 2 weeks later I underwent 10 months of intense chemo and radiation. I was in remission for almost 2 years when the cancer came back. I was reclassified as stage 4 since it had spread to my liver and many lymph nodes. During my short window of remission, I sought out mutational testing on my original tumor. I wanted to be prepared in the event I had a recurrence. MD Anderson was able to perform mutational testing on my cancer. Because I had this mutation testing done, I used that information to find a clinical trial that targeted my specific mutation. I opted against chemotherapy when the cancer came back and took a chance on a phase 1 clinical trial. The trial was over 400. miles away and I knew it would be financially hard on my family. Each trip would cost me over $700 and I would be going monthly. This was not an expense our family would afford and I was afraid chemotherapy would be my only option until my oncologist told me about the Lazarex Cancer Foundation helping with my cost of travel and lodging. I immediately contacted them and within a few days I was given an allowance for my trial. I was pleasantly surprised on how easy the process was and how helpful the staff was.

The trial had been a shot in the dark with a less than 5% chance of having any effect on my tumors but in my gut it was right. Within 3 months of being on the trial drug, my cancer shrunk 10%, and within 2 years all of the cancer had disappeared and I am now CANCER FREE!! I am very lucky that the treatment I am on has minimal side effects and I am otherwise living a normal and happy life.

Receiving a cancer diagnosis is hard, having to fight cancer far from home on a small budget, is even harder! So many of us are faced this diagnosis and given so few options to fight. I am grateful that the Lazarex Cancer Foundation made it possible for me to find my cure. Without them, I'm not certain I'd still be here today being able to raise my son. THANK YOU LAZAREX CANCER FOUNDATION!!

2 Karen Corn S.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was diagnosed with ocular melanoma in April 2019 and started a clinical trial in July at MD Anderson in Houston, Texas. My husband and I had just started a new business and funds were tight. I had COBRA insurance but it was running out midway through the trial. I found out from another patient about Lazarex. What a blessing!!! Lazarex helped me so much when I truly needed it. They helped pay for my hotel room and mileage to travel back and forth to San Antonio for my treatments every other week. I am so thankful for this nonprofit and it really helped relieve my mind to know that they were helping with the added financial burden of the trial. Lazarex is amazing and I hope and pray it is there to help other people like me forever. Every person who worked with Lazarex that I dealt with were so kind and caring too.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was diagnosed in February 2019 with stage 2 bladder cancer. I went through four rounds of two different chemos. I finished in June 2019 when I got healthy again for a bladder removal in July 2019. My path report was totally cancer free one of the best path reports my doctor had ever seen. He told me my cancer was gone and it’s return would be very unlikely but five months later i had a bad ct scan so she sent me for a pet scan and that came back bad too. So she sent me back for a biopsy of the lympth nodes in my chest. That came back that my cancer had returned. So my cancer doctor sent me to Seattle cancer care alliance in Seattle Washington. That’s where I saw a doctor that told me I now had stage 4 bladder cancer and I had a year and a half to two years to live. He then told me about a drug trail I could start with immunotherapy and they are seeing good things with the trai. But there was a fifty fifty chance of me getting in to the trail. So I took my chances and tried to get in and I did. I started the treatment and by the time of my second ct scan the cancer has shrunk 60 percent. The drug trail was working and was one of the best things that had happened in my life. Thanks to Lazarex that made it possible for me to be in this trail because otherwise would never be able to afford to do it without there help in my treatment I am so thankful for the people that donate to lazarex to make cancer trail research possible for people that otherwise couldn’t afford to be in one. Cancer is a very scary thing to happen to you but lazarex makes it a little easier then without there help. I am very thankful for all the people that donate to lazarex and make this possible for cancer patients everywhere. Thank you lazarex your one of the best things that has happened to since I found out I had stage 4 cancer.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Lazarex is a wonderful organization that helps cancer patients with travel expenses associated with clinical trial cancer treatments. When I was diagnosed with Stage4 stomach cancer in 2019, my dr suggested a clinical trial at UCSF. I am so thankful to Lazarex and their donors for providing help for my travel expenses. The process was so smooth and everyone was so kind and helpful. The help Lazarex provided helped reduce a lot of stress associated with travel expenses and I really can’t thank them enough!!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a cancer patient enrolled in my second Clinical Trial at MD Anderson. I have a rare bone cancer called Chordoma of which there is no known cure at this time. I live in North Georgia and have to travel to Houston frequently for doctor visits and to receive the life saving drugs that are part of this trial. During my first Clinical Trial I was required to travel to Houston every 21 days for an infusion. If it were not for the financial assistance provided by the Lazarex Foundation I would not have been able to financially sustain the immense expenses associated with my participation in these trials.
My wife and I live on Social Security. This disease has depleted our life savings. I will be 70 years old tomorrow, October 17, and with the continued support from the Lazarex Foundation I hope and pray that I will continue celebrating birthdays. I realize that my participation in these Clinical Trials benefit more than just me. I hope and pray that as a result of my participation not only will They find a cure for my cancer but others will also benefit from what is learned.
Thank you Lazarex. You are literally help save my life.

2 Terri A.4

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have donated to this organization for several reasons, however, their outreach and support for cancer patients and families touches my heart. Thank you Lazarex for all you do!!!!

2 Ana M.5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Lazarex continues to inspire our family to be part of their AMAZING community of professional, compassionate, and meaningful work! We love volunteering and look forward to all upcoming events!

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

When I was about 13 one of my childhood friends passed away from a very rare form of childhood cancer. My young self developed this understand of cancer, that it was this super-giant disease that had no cure that you just had to pray you didn't get. I think many people still believe this. When I was introduced to Lazarex Cancer Foundation, I realized the problem was not that there is no singular cure - the problem is an embarrassing lack of accessibility.

Cancer patients and clinical trials are codependent entities. If patients can't reach the trials, they will miss out on treatments that may save their lives. If trials can't get enough patients to participate, they cannot progress their research that may save many more lives than just the trial participants. If this cycle continues, we will never find a scalable, accessible, or equitable cure for cancers. Furthermore, if clinical trials continue to only be attended by those who can afford the travel, the room/board, the lost wages, etc, our healthcare will continue to reflect income inequality, and therefore will not address the healthcare needs of lower income communities (often communities of color, who are disproportionately exposed to carcinogens).

Lazarex Cancer Foundation has identified a necessary step in a patient's path to remission that our healthcare system continually ignores. Lazarex is helping families stay together. They are saving families from crippling health debt. They are not only saving lives, but they are progressing the science and the legislation necessary to eliminate cancer from our vocabularies. They are exposing the systemic problems with our healthcare system and actively combating it for a better future.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

I have participated in their fundraising events because their work and services are so important. The people they help and how they help is inspiring . A great local non-profit.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

I am a volunteer and donor for Lazarex Cancer Foundation and couldn’t be prouder to support this amazing organization. The Lazarex team’s commitment, integrity and passion to make a difference is unwavering. There is no greater purpose then to give hope to cancer patients and their families, who are suffering physically, emotionally and financially. Lazarex helps those who are underserved by helping them identify new treatments and viable FDA approved clinical trials, assisting them in navigating through those options, and providing funding to support these costs. Their determination to advocate for these patients and their families within the government is remarkable. Lazarex does make a difference!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am an 81 years old male married to Rebecca for 58 years . I have been going to Moffitt Cancer Center for more than 3 yrs. for Lung Cancer and Head Metastasis. About three ago. I was treated with a daily pill and head radiation as needed. My Doctors suggested i enter a Clinical Trial that could be the proper treatment for tha condition that I had.
About a year ago I enter the Clynical Trial #10042, that essentially consistd of a Daily Pill and an Avastin infussion every 21 days. My wife and I decided to fligt from Puerto ico to Tampa and back every 21 days for evaluation and ttreatment. I dont drive and my wife is also somewhat limited in their car driving.
With the help of our Social worker we were tremendously happy to get the economic assistance for Travel and lodging. We are very happy and greatful to Laxarex for all the guidance and economic assistance they have provided us for my treatment. Lazarex has been the unseen pillar of assistance and help for which I have been able to continue my treatment at a moment so crucial in my life. Thanks to Lazarex for helping us. God bless you all and everyone that is receiving your assistance. Best Regars and Success; Julio A Ruiz Rodriguez and Rebecca Torres Biaggi.

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Lazarex Cancer Foundation 07/31/2019

Thank you Julio for the review. It is good to know that you are able to get the treatment you need. We are happy to be able to help you. All the best to you and Rebecca.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am 47yo and fighting pancreatic cancer. Having to travel over 2500 miles from my home and pay living expenses while I fight this battle would have been impossible without the help we received from Lazarex. Worrying about the financials associated with fighting cancer is something patients should never have to worry about and because of the assistance Lazerex has afforded my family we have had much less financial stress. What a wonderful group of people. Thanks so much for all the foundation does.

Comments ( 1 )

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Lazarex Cancer Foundation 07/31/2019

Thank you for this review! Lazarex Cancer Foundation was started for this very reason. We are so glad you are getting the treatment you need. Blessings to you and your family.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My name is Stephanie and I started a Phase 1 trail at MD Anderson in 2017. I have been diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer with metastatic brain tumors. I go every 2 weeks for treatment and get scans every 3 months which takes 2 days. I live in Arkansas and MD Anderson is 9 hour drive in Houston, TX. There is no way i would be able to still keep going if it wasn't for Lazarex. This foundation is truly saving lives. Lazarex is helping me with travel and lodging expenses. I am very grateful to this foundation and it's sponors

Comments ( 1 )

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Lazarex Cancer Foundation 07/31/2019

Thank you Stephanie! We are glad to help and will keep helping you however long you are on a trial. All the best you!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

After being diagnosed with my second brain tumor in three years at the age of 38, I was devastated. I have two children, a loving husband, and a career as a school social worker and began to imagine what would happen if this brain tumor took that away from me. The diagnosis was ogliogdendroglioma grade II - a reoccurring cancerous tumor that will plague me for the rest of my life. Then came my second awake craniotomy surgery. Then, UCSF offered me some hope with a clinical trial for immunotherapy that can train my body to attack the cancer cells. It would require me to fly from my home in Idaho to San Francisco more than a dozen times with hotels and other expenses. This is something that would have been out of reach on my social work salary. The Lazarex Foundation helped me afford the travel and hotel and has given me a chance at life. They have helped me with the financial part of travel and hotel which has taken the stress of financial off of me and allowed me to heal and spend time with my family. I cannot thank them enough. Their staff is kind and understanding and have shown my family compassion during a time we needed it.

Comments ( 1 )

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Lazarex Cancer Foundation 07/31/2019

Thank you Becky! This is a tough life experience and we are here to help make sure you can continue with your treatments. All the best to you and your family.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Linda was diagnosed with Pancreatic cancer December 2018 and referred to the Clinical trials at Honor Health in Scottsdale Arizona. They in turn referred us to Lazarex Foundation for financial assistance as we were 4 hours from our home in Kingman Arizona living in an RV park. The staff was extremely helpful in getting us set up and into their program assisting us with mileage and some of the RV rent. They are a pleasure to work with and always willing to talk to you on the phone if only to find out how you are doing. We really have come to appreciate the help they give in a trying time.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was diagnosed with Mantle Cell Lymphoma in July 2018 and traveled to MD Anderson to become a patient of a top expert on MCL there. After I was on "watch and wait" for about 6 months, my doctor told me about an opening in a clinical trial that had been ongoing for 2 years with a 96% success rate of complete and partial remission for MCL. Based on all of my Internet research, these were the most promising results that ever occurred for MCL. Yet I wouldn't have been able to afford the travel back and forth from New Mexico to MD Anderson if Lazarex hadn't given me a grant to reimburse travel and hotel expenses. Lazarex is a great organization, and everyone I dealt with was compassionate and upbeat. The application process was not difficult and was based on financial need. I am so appreciative and grateful that Lazarex made it possible for me to take part in this trial!

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

Rating: 5
I enrolled in a clinical trial because there was no other treatment in my area for my stage 4 metastatic endometrial cancer. For the trial, I have to fly from Rochester, NY to Boston every 2 weeks. The airline and hotel costs are a big expense for me. Lazarex enables me to afford to participate in the clinical trial. The staff at Lazarex have always been extremely helpful, caring and responsive. I wouldn't be able to stay in this trial which has been very effective for me If it wasn't for Lazarex. I will always be grateful to Lazarex. Thanks for everything that Lazarex has done and continues to do for me !!

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

In 2017, I was linked with a clinical treatment trial for my rare salivary gland cancer. I am located in Buffalo, NY and the closest trial to me was in Manhattan, NY--over an 8 hour drive away from me! The treatment protocol requires me to travel every other week for infusions. Moving closer or to Manhattan was not an option for me or for my family, so the financial burden we experienced became immense almost immediately. While researching options for patient assistance, I came across Lazarex Cancer Foundation. My application was reviewed in a very timely manner and the initial staff who contacted me was very kind and compassionate, truly listening to my story. Since then, all staff I have interacted with have been so encouraging, respectful, and kind--a completely different experience than many providers I have met throughout my now 9 year journey with cancer. Lazarex assistance has made it possible for me to access this literally life-saving treatment. Without their help and support, I would not have been able to link with (or continue treatment) this study. Lazarex is a wonderful organization with a mission that is too important to be overlooked. My family and I appreciate them more than we can put into words. Thank you!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

My wife was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer at a time when I had lost my job and ended up retiring early. We were having trouble making ends meet before the cancer diagnosis and the added expense of travel and lodging in the Houston area was really taking a toll on our finances. Lazarex approved us for travel reimbursement and lodging and it really has helped us out! We are so grateful for what they do!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have been battling with cancer for 9 years. Although most of the medical care was being paid by insurance, the travel costs were becoming increasingly difficult. When I reached the end of "standards of care", my only choice was to find clinical trials. I found them but they all required extensive travel. I was not going to be able to do it. It was frightening and sad for everyone. My doctor's nurse mentioned Lazarez to my wife and she pursued it. Wow! She has been totally impressed. As my care giver, they make her job so much easier. And, of course, helping with the travel expenses was a huge help. I have been able to get the care I need and our family's sacrifices have been lessened. We could not have done this without Lazarex. My wife tells me they are so caring and helpful that she is simply amazed. The reimbursement process is so simple and she surely appreciates Ryan Noonan! Thank you, Lazarex!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

My doctor had run out of treatment options but my Stage 4 cancer continued to progress. It is a fairly rare cancer and no real effective treatments. My doctor suggested I see a specialist in Santa Monica, CA who suggested a drug trial. The trial required that I travel to Santa Monica 4 weeks out of 6. I am a teacher, so you can guess that I don’t make a lot of money. Before Lazarex had the funds to help me with travel, I had used nearly all of my savings, just on travel, hotel, and meals (which were mostly hamburgers to keep the cost down.) I was running out of money fast and worried that I was going to have to give up the treatment, which had stopped the progression of my cancer. The help Lazarex has provided has allowed me to continue the trial and extended my life.

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Lazarex Cancer Foundation 07/31/2019

Thank you for taking the time to write this review. It's great to learn that you are stable with no disease progression! We are here to support you through your clinical trial treatments and wish you all the best.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Lazarex has made it possible for us to travel to mdanderson for treatment. Having stage 4 lung cancer was devastating. Now with lazarex and mdanderson we have hope. I am in a clinical trial and doing very well. I travel to Texas every 3 wheeks for treatment. Without help from lazarex my story would be very different. Thanks to all at Lazarex for your support. Richard Collins

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Lazarex Cancer Foundation 10/29/2018

Thank you for the review Richard! We are blessed to have the support from our donors, grantors and sponsors that allows us to assist you. Hope is good medicine too!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a 76 year old widow and live on a fixed income. To be diagnosed with cancer is something very scary and stressful. To be able to receive reimbursement from Lazarex is a great blessing. Having to travel to MD Anderson every 28 days truly puts a hardship on my budget. But receiving this monetary help relieves me of worrying about my monthly trips. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Sincerely,
Mary Chapa

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Lazarex Cancer Foundation 10/18/2018

Thank you Mary! We are honored to be able to help you through this cancer experience to have the best chance at getting well.

1 Irma L.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer at 39 in 2013 and given 18 months to live. I've gone through all the cancer drugs that were available. April of 2016, I was told that there was only one place that had a drug to keep me alive, but it was from Milwaukee to Boston away. I've had to make a number of trips for the best and only drug that has worked to control my cancer. Although I believe God is the ultimate control, He has used Lazarex Cancer Foundation as one of His angels. Bless you Lazarex for making this travel possible for me!

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Lazarex Cancer Foundation 10/11/2018

Thank you Irma! We are blessed to have donors and supporters who make it possible to help people like you who are fighting for life. Your participation in a trial is not only helping you - it is advancing cancer treatment for others. I'd say you are an angel as well.

2 Kayla Rhayne R.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My dad was diagnosed with CLL and had to travel 1,000 miles to MD Anderson to get the treatment he needed. He has been disabled for twenty years and can barely make ends meet, much less pay for the cost of travel halfway across the nation. Lazarex saved my dad’s life by providing assistance with travel related expenses for the both of us. They truly made it possible for him to participate in an amazing clinical trial. He is in remission now, and we thank Lazarex from the bottom of our hearts.

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Lazarex Cancer Foundation 10/10/2018

Thank you for the powerful review Kayla. We are privileged and honored to be part of helping your Dad get the treatment that helped him beat cancer! This is good news to share with our donors and supporters who made it possible for us to offer this assistance.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I enrolled in a clinical study because there was no other treatment in my area for my stage 4 metastatic colonrectal cancer. For this study I have to drive from Pennellville, NY to Washington, DC every 3 weeks. The car rental, gas and hotel cost is a big expense for me. Lazarex financial assistance enables me to afford to participate in the study. The staff at Lazarex are always very helpful, very professional as well as very caring. If it wasn't for Lazarex I wouldn't be able to afford to continue on this study. I am forever grateful for Lazarex. Thank you for everything the Lazarex foundation has and continues to do for me.
Thank you again Lazarex!!!!!!!!
jpietrowicz

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Lazarex Cancer Foundation 10/10/2018

Thank you! Thanks for taking the time to write the review and share your experience. We are honored to help you get the treatment you need and we wish you the best possible outcome.

1

Client Served

Rating: 4

I enrolled in a clinical study because there is little other beneficial treatment for my stage 4 cancer. For this study I need to fly from Fairbanks to Seattle every 3 weeks for the next 2 years for treatment. The treatment is keeping my disease stable!

The transportation costs are exorbitant! Lazarex Grant's enable me to afford to participate in this trial!! I remain healthy,active and preparing for my son's wedding!! Thank you, Lazarex!!

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Lazarex Cancer Foundation 10/10/2018

Thank you for sharing your story and the good news! Blessings to you and your family. Congratulations for your son's wedding.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I would not be financial able to travel from Fort Worth to Houston every 3 weeks for treatment at MD Anderson without the financial assistance from Lazarex. Participation in the clinical trial has kept me alive for the past two years and the tumors are slowly decreasing in size. No new growth either. The ease and uniqueness of the grant requirements make it easy to apply and receive funding. I am forever grateful.

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Lazarex Cancer Foundation 10/10/2018

Thank you for sharing your experience and the great news! We are honored to be able to help you fight the good fight and are grateful to our donors who make it possible to do so.

1

Client Served

Rating: 4

When my son's lymphoma returned we had to live in Seattle for 4 months of treatment. Insurance paid while he was a transplant patient, but when he transferred over to a clinical trial he was no longer covered. Ready to do anything for my child I just assumed I'd put rent etc on my credit card. I was stressed out thinking of the possible debt but thankfully he qualified for a grant from Lazarex. Having to watch your child fight cancer is hard enough without having to worry daily about expenses. They have been so helpful and any time I've had a question they quickly get back to me with an answer. Can't begin to express how grateful I am to Lazarex for all their help!

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Lazarex Cancer Foundation 10/10/2018

Thank you so much for the good review and for sharing your experience. Our intention is to give your son the best chance to get well and be cancer free.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am battling a very aggressive sarcoma. No treatments seemed to be working. I was fortunate enough to squeak into a clinic trial at MD Anderson in Houston, Texas after being rejected for a previous trial. My treatments require I be in Texas every 21 days. Needless to say traveling and staying for treatments is rather expensive from Washington state. Being on a fixed income,I truly don't know what would have happened to me. I can honestly say because of their assistance they have saved my life. I did not know where else to turn and they turned out to be a God send; for which I am unbelievably grateful. They have been incredibly easy to work with and communication far exceeds any rating I could give. 5-stars seem inadequate at this time. Most Sincerely, Doug

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Lazarex Cancer Foundation 10/10/2018

Thank you Doug for this review and for sharing your experience. The patients we serve inspire and motivate us everyday. Blessings to you for a most beneficial outcome with your treatment.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a retired engineer and I have been battling brain cancer since 2012. I have had 2 craniotomies, one in 2012 and one in 2016, 2 months of radiation therapy in 2013. Then in November of 2017 my routine MRI showed a cluster of 12 new tumors on my brain. My oncologist and neurosurgeon from Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) spent some time reviewing my images and discussing the few options left for me to battle cancer once again. For many reasons they ruled out further surgery and radiation treatments. But instead recommended that I meet with another oncologist/hematologist at MGH who was leading a clinical trial on the use of Pembrolizumab to treat specific brain cancers. This however was a good news bad news situation. My prior craniotomies placed 14 titanium plates on my skull and the radiation treatments left me with encephalomalacia (a scab like mass of the remnants of the radiated remains from my first tumor) which combined left me with an acute sensitivity to the cold. So my wife and I moved from Rhode Island to Naples, Florida. The good news is that I had the required genetic defect PD-L1 in my cancer that is required for the Pembrolizumab to be effective. The bad news is that I had to travel to MGH in Boston every 3 weeks to receive my treatments. The expense and strain of traveling that much is terrible. Then one of the hospital staff gave me some contact information for Lazarex. After about 6 months of waiting for an opening I was accepted to receive their financial support. This has given me new hope instead of having to trade spending all of my retirement savings on the hope of surviving for some limited time or just giving up the fight. Travel and boarding expenses in Boston every 3 weeks for the foreseeable future are well beyond my ability to pay.

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Lazarex Cancer Foundation 10/10/2018

Steve! Thank you for taking the time to write the review. We are sorry about the wait - it's all about the funding. We have to make sure we have enough funds set aside to continue to help the patients in our program while considering how many new applicants we can accept. We are so glad to be able to help support you on this trial. Keep us posted! We'll continue to send you good vibes.

1 Hasmig Joy K.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am writing on behalf of my son, A.M., who is bravely battling Glioblastoma. If it werent for the generosity of the people at the Lazarex Foundation, I don"t know how we would have been able to travel every month to participate in a clinical trial at Duke Cancer Center. Out of all the foundations that the social worker suggested for us to apply to , THESE ANGELS WERE THE ONLY TO RESPOND.
GOD BLESS THE LAZAREX FOUNDATION.

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Lazarex Cancer Foundation 10/10/2018

Thank you for your review and kind words! This foundation is the legacy of a family member (of our Founder) who had pancreatic cancer. A clinical trial gave him a longer and decent quality of life until he passed. That experience was the "ah ha" that led to creating Lazarex Cancer Foundation. We exist to help patients overcome the obstacles to participating in clinical trials. It is our honor to help your your son and we wish him all the best.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Please
Fund this so my dying gerbibal who suffers from

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Lazarex Cancer Foundation 08/08/2018

Please remove this spam.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My husband was diagnosed with MDS in November, 2016. He was 89 years old and I, his caregiver, was 81 at that time. We used a doctor in Beaumont, Texas until Spring, 2017. He was referred to MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas, at that time. That was a 198 mile round trip. He was usually too tired to make the trip in one day. We often had to stay in a hotel. Hotel bills and parking added up. We signed up with Lazarex in May, 2017. We sometimes had to stay in a hotel for five to seven days while he received treatment. He had to go to Beaumont, Texas three days a week for blood tests. He was diagnosed with Leukemia in October. He passed away on November 21, 2017. Because of Lazarex we were able to afford the treatment which gave him a better quality of life.

1 Carlie V.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My mother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in the fall of 2011, and by a miracle it was found on the cusp of stage two. This and the hard work of her oncology doctors gave us an additional six years with her. The Lazarus Foundation gave us the last 15 months of those six years. Through their reimbursement plan my mother was able to take the money that was fundraised to help with the travel for clinical studies to last. This program allowed my mother to accomplish part of her wish, "Spare one more family from this pain. I know I am going to dye but if doings this trial can help just one family I will be happy." She has just passed away and the family agreed that instead of having donations to the American Cancer Society to go this foundation instead, to help my mothers wish come true.

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Lazarex Cancer Foundation 10/18/2018

Thank you so much for the review Carlie. Our condolences to you and your family for your mom's passing and our deep appreciation for her contribution to fighting this disease. It is so kind of you to steer donations our way in her memory so that we can help others.

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Lazarex Cancer Foundation has helped my wife and I to get the best cancer care I can receive through clinical trials at MdAnderson hospital in Houston Texas. I am on my fourth clinical trial and must go back to Houston for treatment every two weeks. It is 909 miles by road and a two day journey by car and at times we will travel and stay a few months or when my treatment dictates. Lazarex helps to defray the costs of travel and I have been able to be close to my large family who has recently lost a brother and a sister to cancer. I can not exclaim enough how much their support has helped us not to worry financially about getting the best care that I can get. I am a stage 4 melanoma patient that currently has a 69% reduction in my disease. They not only give financial support but also pray for us.
May God Bless their foundation and their support for those who are sick

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Lazarex Cancer Foundation 10/10/2018

Beautiful! Thank you for sharing your experience and good news. Our condolences to you for the loss of your brother and sister. It is our honor to help you have what you need to fight this cancer. We could not do it without the support of our donors.

2 Jacqueline Xi C.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Lazarex is a great organization that really aims to help the others! The staff members are all very friendly and welcoming. They are very nice and patient people and they are very passionate about what they are doing.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a 70 year old grandmother of three who was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer in November 2016. As I have never been a smoker and overall I am in excellent health, I was totally blindsided by this diagnosis.
My primary tumor was tested and they found that I had a rare mutation which is best treated by targeted drugs as traditional chemo is not very effective. After four months of trying the most commonly prescribed drug, I had to discontinue taking it due to liver side effects even though the drug was effective.
There aren't many options for treating this mutation, but my daughter found a clinical trial phase 2 at a Boston Hospital. I was accepted to participate in the trial in May and as part of the trial protocol, I need to travel to Boston from Wisconsin every 21 days for follow-up and testing. I am happy to say that since I've been on the new drug, my primary tumor continues to reduce in size and metastasized nodes have either reduced in size or are no longer detected on scans.
Even though I feel I had budgeted ample funds to meet my normal living expenses, I never imagined that I would need significant additional funds to cover travel and lodging expenses for a medical issue. This is where Lazarex has been a lifesaver as their support is allowing me to be part of this clinical trial.
I can't thank Lazarex and its contributors enough. Their generosity is allowing me to continue my fight against this devastating disease.



3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a volunteer with Lazarex, after having spent 45 years practicing law in the San Francisco Bay Area. I volunteer a couple of mornings per week, as well as assist in outreach and fundraising activities. I put off retirement from legal practice for several years because I feared that I would have a difficult time replacing the meaning and prestige that came from representing my clients. Given that work has been my hobby for the last 45 years, I was concerned about losing the intellectual stimulation and sense of purpose that had come from from work and association with other lawyers, judges, and clients.

After volunteering at Lazarex for several months I have found a new passion and meaning in my life. While I enjoyed practicing law for all of those years, the satisfaction that comes from helping patients who have been given a dire diagnosis that they are terminally ill with little chance of recovery, to once again find hope is far more rewarding than anything I experienced as a lawyer. When I have the opportunity to interact with patients they uniformly express their heart felt gratitude for what Lazarex is doing for them.

I consider it an honor to work with such a selfless organization, which is dedicated to helping the patients extend their lives, and in some cases even find a cure that allows them to return to living a full and meaningful life, free of the ravages of the disease. Moreover, it extremely gratifying to be involved in some small way in the effort to locate a cure for this dreaded disease. Lazarex's motto is that " a diagnosis of cancer isn't a death sentence" even to those who have failed the traditional treatments. It is privilege to be able to be involved in the work of Lazarex and to have the opportunity to work with some of the most generous and self-less people I have ever had the opportunity to meet.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our family's journey with Lazarex began nearly 9 years ago with a diagnosis of our family member, Dan, of stage 3b non small cell adenocarcinoma of the lungs. Dan was an ultra marathon trail runner, non-smoker and all around healthy 43 year old guy. He was having difficulty catching his breath while running, which ultimately led him to the diagnosis. He was given the news with the caveat of "get your affairs in order." Lazarex was in the beginning stages of their mission. We were fortunate enough to know Dana and our first and only call was to her. Literally in less than 1 month from diagnosis, Dana and her team at Lazarex had identified a clinical trial, got Dan accepted, and put him and his mom on a plane! Because of the cancer, Dan couldn't work, which lead to his medical benefits being in jeopardy. Lazarex took the financial concern and pressure of trying to fight this disease completely off the table. They financially supported Dan's participation in the clinical trial and recognized the importance of having a family member present through this journey. The impact of participation in this clinical trial was immeasurable. Yes, clinical trials will no doubt lead us to a cure for cancer. Enabling the brave warriors, or VIP's as they're known at Lazarex, to find and participate in these studies, is the road to a cure, but we also saw another side of this gift from Lazarex. The gift of hope. Fighting through this diagnosis and disease is incomprehensible, but because of Lazarex, Dan never lost hope. The constant support and encouragement from Dana, Tami, Karen and the entire team at Lazarex empowered him and gave him the will and the courage to keep fighting. There is no doubt that because of Lazarex supporting Dan in the clinical trial, we were given more time with him. This time was quality time filled with love and hope. We are eternally grateful to the amazing team at Lazarex and are proud and honored to support their mission.

2 cjkav

Donor

Rating: 5

09/19/2017 I have been a donor and a volunteer for Lazarex since they began. The commitment of the Lazarex team to serve their clients is unwavering. Over the years I have witnessed firsthand the clients lives ( and the lives of their families ) that have been touched and saved because of the efforts of this organization. It has been an honor to donate and support Lazarex and impact these courageous warriors who are fighting and winning their battle against cancer!

2

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been a donor and a volunteer for Lazarex since they began. The commitment of the Lazarex team to serve their clients is unwavering. Over the years I have witnessed firsthand the clients lives ( and the lives of their families ) that have been touched and saved because of the efforts of this organization. It has been an honor to donate and support Lazarex and impact these courageous warriors who are fighting and winning their battle against cancer!

3 emvg01

Client Served

Rating: 5

No other foundation reimburses patients for expenses associated with participation in clinical trials. This is one of the main reasons why they choose to not participate and thus give up a chance to extend or even save their lives. Based on my experience with Lazarex they offer hope at a time when it is needed most. These are people who truly care!!

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3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My husband Mike was the inspiration for this foundation. He was diagnosed with Pancreatic cancer at 44 yrs. old and passed away when he was 46, leaving behind 3 young children and myself. Our experience with a clinical trial gave us hope and time that we would not have had. My awesome sister started Lazarex to help end stage patients and their families find and participate in clinical trials. As far as I know Lazarex is the only organization in the USA that does what they do. It has been a great blessing to be able to help others who are in a similar situation. Go Lazarex!!

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Lazarex Cancer Foundation 08/15/2012

Dear EMVG01 Thank you for your review and sharing some of your personal experience. Mike and you inspired us in so many ways. It's a wonderful legacy.

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2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have been on a clinical trial for almost three years that requires me to drive about 250 miles every two weeks from Northwest Ohio to Cleveland. I am exceedingly grateful to be on the trial, which covers many, but not all, costs. Meals on the road, the hotel night we need every three months when there are early morning appointments, wear and tear on the car, gas, tolls, copays, meds for side effects. I don't think anyone really thinks about the costs of being on free trials - except for Lazarex. We appreciate more than anyone can know the help we've received from this excellent organization.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

Ten years ago, we became aware of Lazarex through a friend. We have been a supporter of their efforts to connect patients with therapies that offer hope for them and for all of the people that might face this challenge in the future. Lazarex has supported friends, family members and anyone who has reached out to them when everyone else has given up. We know that there is a cure out there and Lazerex offers crucial pathways towards that cure.

1 Debra98

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was diagnosed in 2013 with an aggressive uterine cancer. Contacted Dana from Lazarex to find out if she knew of any clinical trials and ask her to find out what she could about my cancer. She was awesome and timely getting back to me. I didn't need any further services from Lazarex as I was completely covered by my insurance fortunately. But I tell everyone I can about this wonderful organization. I am an oncology nurse and am cancer free going on 3 years!

1

Donor

Rating: 5

After having donated to this organization, I was fortunate to get to know some of the people who make up the team who work so hard to make it happen. These people are truly dedicated to their cause and work tirelessly to bring so much aid to as many cancer sufferers as they can. They fill a gap in the fight against cancer that few groups try to tackle. The assistance they provide to the cancer patients that have run out of options, and to link them to companies running clinical trail, is a daunting challenge for anyone to take on. This is a worthy effort that, like many others, could use your help.
David King

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I am proud to be a continued donor to an organization that provides the needed funds that are not covered by medical insurance or the pharmaceutical companies. Without this organization, many people already suffering from the horrors of cancer, would not have the opportunity to participate in a possible life improving clinical trial

1 adelenader

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've volunteered and attended numerous events for Lazarex because I truly believe in what they do. They are such a unique foundation in that they guide their patients through the process from Step 1. You are not just a number when you call, they know all their clients (and their families) personally. It's such a comfort to know you have such a strong support system in the cancer fight. I will continue to be an advocate for Lazarex - it is a one of a kind organization run by one of a kind people!

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General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

When I learned about Lazarex, I was immediately drawn to the organization because of their background and story. Their tenacity and passion for giving not only treatment, but hope to their patients is one of the most important things their organization does. The whole team at Lazarex is full of warmth and love. Lazarex is an invaluable organization that gives so much to those who need support in their time of need.

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Lazarex Cancer Foundation 08/15/2012

Thank you for sharing our passion with others. A big thank you for writing a review!!

1 Katie164

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered for Lazarex in the past. This is an amazing organization that prides itself in putting the needs of patients and their families first. I admire their philosophy. They give hope to people who still have so much they want to accomplish in their lives. As a daughter of a cancer warrior, Lazarex gave me hope. They gave my mom hope. I will be forever grateful to the women and men that make Lazarex possible to so many people.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

This is the only organization that has the patients voice! Taking care of late stage cancer patients get help in getting into a trial and staying in the trial is life changing! LCF does this and more

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Approximately 2 1/2 years ago, I was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive Stage IV cancer. After two recurrences using chemotherapy and radiation treatments, I went to MD Anderson in the hopes of enrolling in an immunotherapy clinical trial. (I was unable to get into any trials at local hospitals.) I wasn't sure how I was going to afford the expense of traveling back and forth between Michigan and Texas every two weeks, but then I was referred to Lazarex. They specifically help patients who need to travel for clinical trials. Lazarex's assistance not only helped alleviate some of the financial burden, but also lessened the stress I was feeling. They have been so kind and easy to work with. I am very grateful that I have been given an opportunity to extend my life by being able to travel out of state to other hospitals that can help me.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Two years ago, on the day before my 69th birthday, my Arizona surgeon told me the results of my annual CT scans. My liposarcoma had recurred, and was inoperable and metastatic. I had shared my body with this very rare tumor since the original diagnosis in 2001.
The Arizona surgeon told me that the then current standard treatment involved a chemotherapy that was effective only 20-30% of the time. When I asked for a prognosis if the chemo failed, he told me, "Two years."

My husband and I went to M. D. Anderson in Houston to find out about potential clinical trials. I was quickly enrolled in a Phase I targeted therapy trial that required traveling between Phoenix and Houston every three weeks. The costs of air fare and hotel reservations were overwhelming. Fortunately, my husband discovered the Lazarex Foundation.

I applied for and was accepted into the program. Without Lazarex, I wouldn't have been able to participate in this life-saving trial.

Initially, the tumor shrank, but it began to grow after 13 months. I was transferred to an immunotherapy therapy trial in July, 2015. So far, it has kept the disease stable. And, Lazarex continues to assist me with costs.

Here I am, 30 months after I was given a two-year prognosis, alive, doing well, and feeling great. I live a normal life, except for trips to Houston.

Thank you, Lazarex for giving me two years (and counting) of happiness, fun, family and love. You are truly a blessing!

Judy Frank

1 Valerie87

Client Served

Rating: 5

Having to make a journey from Chicago to Houston every two weeks is a great financial burden. Lazarex was mentioned to me, by chance, on a shuttle journey between the hotel and M.D. Anderson for treatment for my metastatic Stage IV colon cancer.

After finding Lazarex online, we found the application process to be simple and straightforward, and all questions were answered with respect and very clearly.

Today we received our first reimbursement which will be used wisely to pay some of our travel expenses.

We are very grateful for this and will now be able to breathe a little easier and can continue with my treatment schedule with a sense of peace of mind.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

The past 5 years of cancer for my husband have been difficult. The past 2.5 years he has traveled 240 miles round trip every other week for treatment in a drug trial. Lazarex has been the one bright spot.

2 Mike123

Client Served

Rating: 5

How Lazarex Cancer Foundation Helped Us
By Mike & Sarah Snyder

My cancer journey began with a sore left knee in the mid-90s while living in Denver. After a variety of tests and minor surgery to correct the problem, I was diagnosed with a specific type of bone cancer called chondrosarcoma. My doctor told me it had come from the bone disease that had me in and out of Shriner’s Hospital as a kid. The treatment for the bone cancer would be a knee joint replacement for my left leg.

The surgery was done in August 1996. It seemed to work and I enjoyed four pain-free years with no worry about the bone cancer returning. Then in early 2000, my doctor determined that my artificial knee was coming loose, not an uncommon occurrence, and she would need to do a resection, which involved removing the old artificial knee components and replacing them with new ones. The operation was successful and once more, we thought we were done with bone cancer.

After a series of job-related moves, we ended up in Albuquerque, New Mexico in late 2004. We had been long-time visitors to the state over the years and were thrilled to finally call it home. In early 2005, I returned to the doctor, concerned about a persistent tenderness and swelling in my left ankle. The news wasn’t good. The swelling was from another cancer tumor. This time, the surgery would be the amputation of my left leg below the knee.

The amputation below the knee eventually became the amputation above the knee as several infections made keeping the remaining part of my artificial knee a painful waste of time. The battle wasn’t over and I endured several more tumor removals from what remained of my left leg. Things got worse when additional tumors showed up in my right elbow and my lungs.

Every time my doctor removed one malignant tumor, it agitated the benign tumors nearby and they started growing. In the spring of 2011, my doctor said there wasn’t anything else he could do. He recommended I switch to hospice-type care, because the tumors were growing too fast for him to successfully remove them surgically. He told me I needed to accept the fact that bone cancer would likely take my life. He estimated I had about 5 years to live. It was an answer I couldn’t accept and a path I wouldn’t take.

The search for treatment options was made more difficult because my cancer is so rare. There are about 1.6 million new cases of cancer diagnosed each year resulting in more than 580,000 deaths; approximately 1600 each day. Out of those 1.6 million cancer cases, roughly 2000 will be bone cancer and of those, only 250 will be Chondrosarcoma-my type of bone cancer; amounting to a little more than one-one hundredth of one percent of all new cancer cases each year.
Despite the long odds, we dove in and began searching for alternative treatment options. After four months of research, I found myself at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, enrolling in a clinical trial for a drug called IPI-926 for my chondrosarcoma.

There was one catch to being a clinical trial patient that we hadn’t really counted on. The initial phase of the trail would require me traveling to Houston every two weeks for blood work and exams. Every other visit would require overnight stays for CT & MRI exams. Under the FDA guidelines for the clinical trial, ALL of the work had to be done at MD Anderson to ensure the study’s integrity.
Quite simply, if I couldn’t travel to Houston, I couldn’t participate in the trial. The initial rounds of travel nearly wiped us out; requiring a 2nd mortgage on our house and causing us to go through our savings and an inheritance my wife Sarah had received from her Mom. Friends held some fundraisers for us, but that only covered a month or so.

If we couldn’t find some help paying for the travel, I would have to withdraw from the clinical trial. Since surgery was no longer an option for me, giving up the trial would mean giving up period. We couldn’t move to Houston and no other options existed anywhere close to home. There didn’t seem to be any choice left except walk away from treatment that was literally saving my life.
Then a friend referred me to the Lazarex Cancer Foundation. Lazarex’s mission was unlike any other cancer-related organization I knew about. Rather than raising money for research, Lazarex dedicated itself to helping people on clinical trials travel to the treatment they needed; people just like me.

I nervously went through the application process; filling out the paperwork and connecting my clinical nurse at MD Anderson with the Lazarex staff to get specific questions answered about my treatment. And I anxiously waited to hear back from them.

About a week later, my cell phone rang. Lazarex had approved my application for assistance. They would cover my travel expenses so I could continue my treatment. I couldn’t completely believe it. They were going to help me. I could still go for my clinical trial. I didn’t have to surrender to cancer after all.
As soon as I got off the phone with Lazarex, I called my wife, Sarah, and shared the news. We were both fighting back tears of relief. My treatments could continue and it wouldn't ruin us financially because the travel would be covered.

And it would continue to be covered, regardless of where I was being treated. When I had exhausted all treatment options at MD Anderson, we were able to look for other clinical trials. We began focusing on ones with promising outcomes that the big cancer treatment centers were ignoring. But we needed the trial to focus on my specific type of cancer. With the help of the folks at Lazarex and a local oncologist in Albuquerque, we found just such a trial.

The drug being tested focused on a gene mutation called IDH-1, which can cause regular cells to mutate into cancer cells. The drug was supposed to stop the gene mutation from happening and based on that, would also prevent the healthy cell from changing into a cancer cell.

The drug is called AG-120 and its method of seeking out specific cells is a brand new treatment approach called targeted therapy; meaning the drug only attacks cancer cells, not healthy tissue. This method is being used across several different types of treatment for a variety of cancers. So far, the results are very promising.

For me personally, AG-120 has slowed down the growth of my tumors to a point where my doctors tell me my tumors are stable. They're not shrinking, but they're not growing either. It's no small step to go from a terminal diagnosis to one that says my tumors are stable, but I've been able to make that step, thanks to the help of research from clinical trials and the travel help from Lazarex enabling me to get to those trials.

There are now options for different approaches and types of care that can take away cancer, but not your dignity. These options include clinical trials for new drugs and treatments; options that mean hope and a chance for a future that didn't exist before.

Because of those options and the hope they offer, Sarah and I must thank Lazarex Cancer Foundation for helping me and so many others get to those clinical trials for new treatments. The help they offer isn't just saving my life and the lives of others. It's giving our lives back so we can live. Because cancer doesn’t get to win; not now, not ever. Thank you, Lazarex Cancer Foundation for making that possible.

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Client Served

Rating: 5

I have a rare bone cancer called Chondrosarcoma. Three years ago, it progressed to the point of being inoperable and was spreading. My doctor at the time said I had five years or so to live. Thanks to Lazarex, I've been able to participate in several clinical trials of new drugs designed for my type of cancer. The medicines have extended my life expectancy a lot and the latest trial drug I'm taking has the potential to completely stop my cance from spreading.

The trials I've been enrolled in have all been out of town and required regular travel from my home in Albuquerque to hospitals in Houston and San Antonio. Without Lazarex's help, I would have had to stop the treatments because the cost of travel was bankrupting us. Stopping treatment would also mean losing my life to cancer, since there were no other treatment options.

But thanks to Lazarex, I can continue participating in clinical trails that are literally saving my life. We have hope and the chance for a future that includes living a long life. Thanks to Lazarex, my cancer doesn't get to win, I do.