After a mesothelioma diagnosis, patients and their loved ones face many important decisions. Because the cancer is rare, it is important for patients to consult with a doctor who has experience with mesothelioma. These specialists can best understand an individual’s unique case and develop a personalized treatment plan.
For some patients, however, consulting with a mesothelioma specialist requires travel. Other patients may travel to participate in a clinical trial. The cost of traveling and lodging, in addition to other care expenses, can take a financial toll. For these patients, the Patient Travel Grant Program may provide financial assistance.
What Is the Patient Travel Grant Program?
The Patient Travel Grant Program was founded by Mary and Bob Consentino in 2007. The couple collaborated with the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation (Meso Foundation). The grant program eases the financial burden many mesothelioma patients face when seeking specialized care.
The Meso Foundation believes every patient should have the opportunity to consult with a mesothelioma specialist, regardless of their financial situation.
The Patient Travel Grant Program offers two types of grants:
- Awards for patients traveling for an initial consultation with a mesothelioma doctor
- Awards for patients traveling to participate in a clinical trial
Patients must fall into one of these categories to be eligible for the program. For instance, mesothelioma patients traveling for standard treatments, such as chemotherapy, do not meet the criteria.
Financial Assistance Through the Patient Travel Grant Program
For eligible mesothelioma patients, the program will provide reimbursements for various travel-related expenses.
The grants provide:
- A one-time award of up to $1,000 for patients seeking their initial consultation with a mesothelioma specialist
- An award of up to $6,000 for patients enrolled in a mesothelioma clinical trial, which may be distributed in amounts up to $1,000 throughout the trial
Through the program, the grants may cover expenses for the individual patient and one caregiver who travels with them. The program offers guidelines on what types of expenses are reimbursable.
Expenses Reimbursed by Patient Travel Grants
- Airplane tickets
- Bus tickets
- Cost of cab, taxi, Uber or Lyft
- Cost of gas
- Lodging, such as hotel room costs
- Metro and other public transportation costs
- Train tickets
Other expenses are not considered reimbursable by the program, such as upgrades in plane tickets, entertainment costs, personal purchases and food to eat during treatment. To learn about supplemental financial support services, contact Jennifer Lucarelli at [email protected]
Alleviating the Financial Burden of Mesothelioma Care
In 2019, the Meso Foundation awarded 88 travel grants through this program. This enabled patients to seek consultation with a mesothelioma specialist. These experienced doctors could help determine the best treatment plans for the patients’ cases.
These awards also enabled patients to participate in clinical trials for emerging treatments. This opportunity helps patients potentially extend their life expectancies. Clinical trial participation also helps advance mesothelioma research.
After a diagnosis, mesothelioma patients and their loved ones face many difficult decisions, on top of emotional and financial hardships. This program can help ease the financial burden and enable patients to focus on their care.
Mesothelioma patients interested in applying for this program or learning about other financial assistance opportunities can contact Jennifer Lucarelli at [email protected]