Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale New Haven receives a $63,000 grant from Pink Aid

Pink Aid, a Westport, CT, based public charity founded in 2010, recently granted $63,000 to Yale New Haven Hospital to help underserved breast cancer patients at Smilow Cancer Hospital. The support was directed to The Boutique Fund at Smilow Cancer Hospital and Oncology Social Work. Patients can obtain help with wig, prosthetic and lymphedema sleeve purchases, as well as support for head coverings, nutritional products and the Breast BfflBag®, a mastectomy bag filled with useful items for post-surgical patients. Additionally, this generous support will help provide Stop & Shop cards to patients with financial challenges.

Pink Aid’s mission is to help local, underserved women survive breast cancer treatment with support and dignity, to provide screening to women in financial need, and to empower breast cancer survivors to heal by helping and inspiring others. At Smilow, Pink Aid funding allows patients with complex needs to go through the course of their treatment with a sense of normalcy that contributes to their whole health and sense of wellbeing. Two examples of how Pink Aid support has positively impacted our breast cancer patients are shared below.

Andrea Seigerman, LCSW, Clinical Social Worker at Smilow Cancer Hospital’s Breast Center, said, “Over the past few years, we have been very fortunate to be able to give women undergoing treatment for breast cancer a ‘financial assist’ when times were tough, by giving them Stop and Shop cards. This culturally diverse group of women all had one thing in common – they were often struggling financially and didn’t have enough money to make ends meet. They used the cards not only to buy food, but also to pay for prescriptions and to get gas so they could come to appointments.” Andrea recalled one woman who told her, with tears in her eyes, “Now I can cook a REAL holiday meal for my family!”

Lynore Aaron, CMF, Mastectomy and Lymphedema Fitter at The Cingari Family Boutique at Smilow Cancer Hospital, recounts a story about Leslie, a 42 year old woman, who was two weeks out from having a bilateral mastectomy followed by reconstructive surgery.  Her surgeon had referred her to be fitted with a post-surgical compression bra to give support and comfort.  After Lynore put the proper sized garment on her, Leslie looked into the mirror and began to cry softly.  She said she never thought she would look “normal” again.  She was also crying because she said her insurance had refused to pay for most of her surgeries and was sure it would not pay for this.  The grant from Pink Aid covered the cost for Leslie’s compression bra.  Once again, Pink Aid helped a patient who was underinsured.  Six months after her visit, Leslie is working and happily focusing on raising her baby daughter.

Breast Center staff members at Smilow Cancer Hospital are extremely grateful for its 4-year partnership with this phenomenal organization.