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The Assistance Fund, Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Health, Health Care

Mission: The Assistance Fund is an independent charitable patient assistance organization that helps patients and families facing high medical out-of-pocket costs by providing financial assistance for their copayments, coinsurance, deductibles, and other health-related expenses. Our vision is to see the day when no person goes without medication because of an inability to pay.

Results: The Assistance Fund has helped nearly 125,000 people through our more than 70 disease programs since our inception in 2009. In the past year alone, we assisted over 50,000 people, grew donations by 30%, and answered over 200,000 phone calls from 43,000 patients.

Target demographics: Underinsured people living with life-threatening, chronic, and rare diseases.

Direct beneficiaries per year: Since our founding in 2009, The Assistance Fund has helped nearly 125,000 children and adults living with life-threatening, chronic, and rare diseases access the treatment they need.

Geographic areas served: Nationwide

Programs: We currently manage more than 70 disease programs, each of which covers the FDA-approved medications that treat a specific disease.

Community Stories

22 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

Thank you is not even close to enough to express my gratitude for this gift for the upcoming year. Because of your assistance, I have not had an HAE attack in FOUR AND A HALF YEARS. No swelling, no missed work. No writhing in absolute torturous pain from my intestines swelling up. No having to plan my day out differently because a hand or foot swelled and I can't use them. No depression from thinking about a bleak future of pain or medical debt. Twice a week I do my injections, on my couch before work while I drink my coffee. It's so regular to me now that I don't even bat an eye. But every single injection, I say a quick thank you prayer for the ability to have this. I know it's one of the most expensive drugs out there. I am thankful beyond measure to have access to it. Sometimes I think I will wake up and all of this will have been a dream. I never imagined I would live a life this fulfilling. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Your organization has truly saved my life.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Just had my retirement insurance terminated and have to find new, drug and health. Drug costs are unbelievable. You are needed more than ever!
Thanks to all of you who work so hard to help us! We appreciate you beyond words!!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Dear Mark,



No need to thank us. It is you and your organization that need to be thanked. The way we came to learn about TAF was a real surprise. Normally our insurance company allows us to use certain regular pharmacies. But for this drug, Nuplazid, which is very expensive, we were asked to work with CVS Specialty Pharmacy. In completing our registration with them, they informed us of the opportunity to be considered for the TAF program and were very instrumental in getting us enrolled . I remember the agent who initially assisted us saying that TAF was great to work with and very generous. Again thanks to you and your organization for your support and assistance. We are very fortunate.

Bob and Carol Silveri

Mary Kay W.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

To the kind generous donors supporting TAF:
My lupus story dates back to 1997 and it took til 2000 for doctors to diagnose and treat me as not much was known about lupus, mixed connective tissue disorders and the many other illnesses under the umbrella of “MCTD.” Modern medicine has now come a long way in diagnosing and treating. Medical science did not know a lot about multifaceted auto immune diseases and hence people like me were treated with meds as “trial and error,” hoping to discover the magic potion of meds that would control symptoms. That in itself causes not only physical symptoms to sometimes worsen, but psychological issues like depression as when u feel so Sick and nobody can figure it out.
Then I encountered my fabulous rheumatologist Dr. Francis Lichon. I have been a lupus patient since 1997 with a trial and error of many dif drugs. The biggest benefit for me with him is he will work with you til he helps you feel better, and if he can’t he will lay the groundwork to help you find answers to get better. A very smart, kind and compassionate MD.
All of this put together also led up to financial burden. Many exams, multiple trial and error of expensive drugs and infusions. Modern medicine has come a long way treating auto immune diseases and all the associated diseases with it; and also the meds and treatment plans have greatly expanded too. That’s where TAF has come into play. I want to express my gratitude and thankfulness to your generous donors in your program funding many. It has alleviated some of my medicine financial burden and im sure it has too for many others. Many thanks too for your awesome volunteers in TAF who work tirelessly to roll out the program and keep it going.
May God bless you all!
Mary Kay Wojciechowski
Oswego, Illinois

Client Served

Rating: 5

There are years, months, weeks and days that define us as people. Sometimes those snapshots in time come down to a single moment, or a single thought, and it changes us in an instant. Well, this is my moment in time. Let me tell you about it.

Late November of 2018 I started to develop a bit of a cough, and like most I merely figured that I was coming down with the latest bug that was floating around. I didn’t pay much attention to it. Then I came down with a cold that lingered for a couple of weeks. I started to recover and yet the cough continued. After a month or so, I started to think that maybe I had pneumonia or something to that effect. So I started paying closer attention to what I ate, drank, my vitamins, etc. You know the typical routine. The cough was not horrible, but still it carried on. One month turned into 2, and then into 3, and the cough became a little more intense and was accompanied by a worsening soreness in my throat. Then I read an article about a hero of mine. A musician who eventually lost his life in October 2020 to a long battle with cancer. One thing to know about me is that I always wanted to be a rock star and reading the article about Edward Van Halen and his struggles with throat cancer made me think that maybe that was my issue. But, I tried to put it out of my mind because I was scheduled to take an amazing vacation. So In September of 2019 I jumped a flight and ended up in New York. Beautiful hotel with a short walk away from Time Square and was going to have a great time with the Love of my Life.

One day while I was in my room I coughed so hard that I almost passed out. I thought “Well, that can’t be good”. I made a hasty appointment with my doctor when I returned from vacation. My exam went quick as my doctor seemed concerned and had a good idea of what may be affecting me. I had a chest x-ray and a CT in succession, and both results were returned faster than anything I had ever experienced; within 24 hours each. That in itself was alarming to me because when was the last time anyone received results back that quickly?

I will never forget the day my doctor called and gave me his initial diagnosis. I have a fairly good education and am currently working for a healthcare company, and have a rudimentary background in medical terminology and a related understanding of what is being presented. My doctor told me that, to him, I have what is known as (IPF) Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis. I could not believe what my ears had just heard and it took a second for those words to sink in. I sat quietly and tried to listen to the words that followed but my mind was filled with absolute fear. I do remember hearing that he wanted to refer me to a pulmonary specialist and that "...there was still much to be researched..."……"..we’ll get it all worked out..."……blah, blah, blah. I merely had a basic understanding of what IPF is, but it was enough. I knew what he was talking about. I placed myself on a break, I stood up and fell to my knees.

I started to do the one thing that felt more like instinct than anything else; read. I started researching every aspect of IPF, and I read everything I could find, to the point of my PCP telling me to take a break over the holiday and stop reading. But I could not stop reading and it became difficult because all of the articles started the same way. The first few paragraphs all began with what IPF is and that there was no cure other than a lung transplant, and that the average life expectancy was 3-5 years after diagnosis. Sure, depending on the source of information there were other findings regarding treatments on the horizon, but at my age those treatments are too far away to be of any use. I did find repeated references to a couple of treatment medications that were fairly new, and may be of some help in detouring any acute situations, but are no means a cure.

Attending my first appointment with a pulmonologist was an eye opener and a confirmation of my diagnosis. Indeed I have been diagnosed with (IPF) Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis. At that time I was prescribed one of only 2 medications which had been authorized by the FDA, and one of them was a medication I had read about in my earlier research. The medication is named (Nintedanib) Ofev.

I am taking this medication 2 times per day and at the highest dosage available. I started to research side effects, other dosages, medication history, etc., and then came across the cost. I almost passed out again. I am so Happy and Grateful for my job and my insurance, and I am very aware of how lucky I am because this medication is mind-blowingly expensive. At first I was panicking at how I would be able to pay for this. I know my insurance is going to help, but oh-my-god. Like some; I may have a good job and am lucky enough to have health insurance, but I am by no means rich. There are simple things that many corporations do not take into account like: Rent/ Mortgage, Electricity, Heat, oh and of course….food.

I started to receive so many calls regarding my diagnosis, labs, pharmaceutical companies, support reps for the pharmaceutical company…you name it and they were calling. One of the support reps from my specialists office called and was very understanding of the turmoil my brain was in and provided some wisdom. Very calmly she was able to get my mind to understand that there was help available to me. She put me in touch with an amazing organization called (TAF) The Assistance Fund. Let me say this very plainly – the people at The Assistance Fund are absolute Rock Stars! I can say that without question or hesitation; Rock Stars! They worked with me on my co-pay amount and made it possible for me to take the medication. The application process was the simplest thing in the world, and when it came time to renew – the rock stars came through again. Even when I made a mistake in the recertification process; they made it so simple. The Assistance Fund covered my co-pay amount and BAM!!! They covered the amount that my own health insurance did not. As a result I do not have to choose between the medication to help keep me alive, and my rent/ mortgage, bills, oh and let’s not forget….food!

In November of 2019 I received a diagnosis that changed my life and made me very aware of time. In early 2020 I received a notice that my worries would subside and (TAF) The Assistance Fund made that possible. I cannot express my gratitude enough for The Assistance Fund, the staff, and all the support they continue to provide. My unwavering gratitude.

Client Served

Rating: 5

It is not an exaggeration to say that I wouldn’t be alive without the help I receive from The Assistance Fund for my medications. There is no way I could afford the patient portion after Medicare has paid and I can’t live without the medicine I take for Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Having cancer is rough enough, without having to worry about paying for meds that help to keep you alive. You are such a blessing to those of us you chose to help!
Sincerely,
Deborah Shreckengost

Client Served

Rating: 5

Due to COVID layoffs at my company, I became unemployed and uninsured. The monthly $30 copay at the pharmacy I took for granted, suddenly increased to a startling $440 a month, and became unaffordable. I was diagnosed with a chronic autoimmune disease, PBC, and the medications to keep the progressive destruction at bay, were necessary and essential to maintaining my good health. Panicked, I immediately contacted my liver specialist to see if there was another less expensive drug to substitute for the one she had prescribed. She was very compassionate and fast acting, connecting me to The Assistance Fund, who immediately took my application and accepted me into their program. I am forever grateful to The Assistance Fund for enabling me to continue the necessary care for my survival until I am gainfully employed once again, and for the concern and care that Dr Michelle Lai generously gives to her patients, to keep them living their healthiest lives to the fullest, always going above and beyond. On my 60th birthday I completed the WTF Bike Explorers Ride with 20 women half my age, covering 80-miles, ascending 7,185 feet of elevation, amongst the beauty of Montpelier Vermont, on a self-supported biking and camping adventure, mostly on dirt back roads, gravel paths and single track. Thanks to The Assistance Fund I can continue following my passion, photographing my cycling travel adventures and the interesting people I meet along the way!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Hello, there. I am so very grateful for The Assistance Fund for helping to pay for my medication. I have (are you ready for this?) Scleroderma-related Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension. My pulmonologist tells me he has had patients declare bankruptcy and lose their homes because the medication is extremely expensive. One month's medication last year was $9800.....every month! This year it will be more.
I applied to eight other charities, and was told by each one that either there was no money left in their fund for my disease or that my husband makes too much money. That last bit was a "stunner" for me because my 73 year-old husband in his 49th year of teaching in a small Christian school has never earned $10,000 a month. Although we have no debt and our home is paid for, there was absolutely no way we could afford the medication. As Christians, our first thought was to pray and to ask friends and family to pray, but I also set about the task of applying to as many charitable agencies as were suggested by my doctor. Continuing to pray and putting it in the LORD's hands, I tried not to be anxious. The Assistance Fund was suggested and finally my prayers were answered. They have been very compassionate and helpful. I am told that I'm doing well, and I am very, very thankful for The Assistance Fund. I am also happy to tell this story. Hopefully it will be an encouragement to others.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Assistance fund was a life saver for me for three and a half years. Without them I could not have received my medicine for my cancer. They are a very special organization, who truly goes the extra mile for people who need help.

Theresa R.6

Client Served

Rating: 5

They have been awesome helping me get my meds. fir years!! Don't know what I'd done without
them!!

Client Served

Rating: 5

I would like to express my gratitude and deep appreciation to The Assistance Fund for the financial assistance I was able to qualify and receive. Last month I received my first benefit and was extremely surprised and elated to find out I did not owe a co-pay for my medication!

I was diagnosed with Parkinson Disease Nov. 2018 at the age of 48. I am one of the primary care takers for my aging parents. I moved back home to help them financially among other ways after my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. PD (Parkinson's Disease) has affected my life in many ways and financially is one of them. Even with company medical insurance, I need to pay $200/month out of pocket for a 30 day supply of my medication. Without insurance my medication can cost well over $1,000 a month. The Assistance Fund is going to cover my medication 100% for 2020. This is a tremendous help to me and my family. I can now use my money I would have paid towards my medication to help my parents with their medication and household expenses.

Thank you so much for foundations like yours that care for us and make a difference in our lives. PD is a lifelong chronic and progressive disease, but I'm a very positive person and will continue to work at keeping healthy. Thank you to TAF for allowing me some 'breathing room' to be able to meet our daily needs.
With deep appreciation - Rachel Reyes

1 wasi98

Client Served

Rating: 5

Hello my name is Wasilah Suid. I have been diagnosed with PBC since 2008, Stage 1-2 and in mid January 2020 after my 2nd biopsy I have progressed to Stage 2. Little did I know that the medication that was prescribed to me would cost over $5500 with my health insurance ! This was the most terrifying news I could ever receive because I would not know whether to choose treatment or support my family. My oldest daughter was the one who did not think twice and started doing the leg work and reaching out to people on Facebook til they told her about "The Assistance Fund". It was then that I got some relief knowing that their was hope in getting assistance for my medication. I have no words to express the gratitude I feel knowing that (TAF) helps out all kinds of rare diseases. With this said, I have been on my new medication for my liver for a month now and doing great ! God willing, it will continue to prolong my condition so that I can continue to enjoy life. I will be forever thankful!

Betty Tourelle

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Assistance Fund (TAF) provides financial assistance through donor funding. They cover over 60 diseases helping patients pay for prescribed medications, co-pays and medical insurance premiums. I was diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis in January 2017. TAF has made it possible for me to receive life saving medications and infusions that I could not otherwise afford to pay for on my own. The staff and management team at TAF are very professional and efficient. They always treat me with respect, kindness and make me feel special. Thank you TAF for all you do to help patients Your assistance has made my journey a lot less stressful not having to worry about the financial aspect. God Bless!

Dennis W.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Ya all have been a savior for me. With out your kindness and program we would not have been able too fix our furnace when it went out last week. I appreciate everything you do for us thanks again Dennis

1 InMemoryofSRH

Client Served

Rating: 5

I want to thank The Assistance Fund, Inc. for the help it provided in supporting the cost of Nuplacid, the drug developed for Parkinson's patients' hallucinations. It really helped in the beginning and it was a horrible fight with his doctor in memory care to keep him on it. Finally he was taken off it, which still upsets me. He had Lewy Body Dementia, or maybe never had Parkinsons and instead Lewy Body. He died a horrible, horrifying death of insanity in a few short years. The Nuplacid assistance was so very helpful in the beginning as he started his bewildering descent into madness, with terrible support from clueless neurologists. He died in September and our family is still traumatized. A terribly misunderstood disease, punctuated by moments of light, like the assistance from TAF. Thank you and Blessings.

Arlene A.2

Client Served

Rating: 5

You are part of a wonderful organization - I don’t know what I’d do without all of your assistance!

Client Served

Rating: 5

After a cardiac arrest, I was diagnosed with stiff heart syndrome. Not long after (about 1.5 years ago) I was also diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis. We had been searching for a diagnosis for nearly 30 years, and because it had taken so long, much damage was done to my body. I could barely get out of bed, and worst of all, I constantly struggled to breathe. I literally could not breathe and talk at the same time. There were other problems, but the breathing was a pretty big thing to me.

The doctor tried many different treatments, all to which I had very severe reactions. Finally, he chose Soliris. There was no way on God's green earth that we could afford the treatment - even with insurance. My caseworker suggested I call TAF. I was approved right away, and started treatments about six months ago. For the first time in several years, I can finally breathe.

Also, because TAF was covering insurance premiums, I was able to save for a mobility scooter. I've not been able to leave my home really, except for doctor's appointments, and even those were difficult, because walking is so difficult, but with the scooter, I feel like I finally have my life back.

This odyssey began in my 20s, and after 30 years, I was grateful for a diagnosis, because I could finally begin to deal with things, but TAF had made it so I can actually begin to live.

Everyone at TAF has been remarkably kind and helpful. I could never thank them enough for giving me the means to really begin living my life.

Runia Kirl Strother S.

Client Served

Rating: 5

At a point where I wasn't sure how we were going to manage to pay for my MS medication, I found The Assistance Fund. Not only was it a tremendous help financially, the staff was patient and helpful and kind. I don't have the words to tell you how much of a blessing you have been to me and to so many others. You allow us to again find some security and joy. You all have a huge fan club in your clients and their loved ones. Thank you!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Thank you for always reaching out to help so many people!

Patricia Laughlin

Keith AndMiranda S.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have spoken many times with different representatives, both through the chat system online and on the phone, and they all have been very knowledgeable, professional, and kind. I truly appreciate everything that they all do. Without this service I would not be able to afford my medicine that keeps me walking, talking and even breathing. So thank you all from the bottom of my heart!

Client Served

Rating: 5

TAF enables me to continue much-needed MS medication!