RICHMOND, Va. -- Sandy Gumm will never forget November 2016. That was the month doctors diagnosed Gumm with breast cancer. She was just starting her new job.
“You hear that word cancer and it's devastating,” Gumm said. “I did go to my employer and explained the situation. (They) told me they were very supportive and I was out of a job after three months."
Not only did Gumm find herself without work, she also lost health insurance.
“How am I going to pay for my doctor visits and treatments? Oh, I'm going to lose everything,” Gumm recalled thinking.
That’s when Gumm turned to CancerLINC. The non-profit connected her with a financial advisor.
“He actually came across a long-term disability that I was paying through my employer. He said you need to contact them that's going to be your saving grace here,” Gumm said.
CancerLINC is a Central Virginia-based non-profit connecting cancer patients with legal, financial, and community resources.
Over its 25-year existence, CancerLINC has helped more than 10,000 local cancer patients.
“It's so fulfilling when we hear these stories on a daily basis. They really touch your heart,” Chris Williams, CancerLINC Executive Director, said.
Williams said economic stability is at the root of what they do.
Seventy-five volunteer attorneys and financial advisors help cancer patients free of charge.
Ann Hodges and Phyliss Katz are both breast cancer survivors and were employment lawyers at the time when they created CancerLINC.
“To have an organization that can take some of that burden away dealing with some of these issues that come along with cancer,” Hodges said.
For the next 25, years, Hodges wants CancerLINC to continue helping cancer patients and extending their reach beyond Central Virginia.
To celebrate its 25 year anniversary, CancerLINC has a special tribute and testimonials on its website.