Cancer patients get help from charity

MORE than 100 cancer patients from Suffolk received hand-outs from a charity last year because they couldn't afford their fuel bills.

MORE than 100 cancer patients from Suffolk received hand-outs from a charity last year because they couldn't afford their fuel bills.

MacMillan Cancer Support, which paid out more than �20,000 in grants, is now asking the Government to extend the Winter Fuel Payments scheme to cancer patients to put a stop to the “appalling” situation, which it compared to conditions for sufferers 100 years ago.

The “shocking” figures published yesterday by the charity reveal �22,014 was given out to 111 patients in the county in 2008 aimed specifically at helping them pay fuel bills after diagnosis.

This recent revelation mirrors the situation in 1911 when Douglas Macmillan founded the charity, providing sacks of coal for people with cancer who could not afford to buy the fuel they desperately needed to stay warm.


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Macmillan Regional Director Steve Richards said: “Cancer patients of all ages tell us they feel the cold more because of the side effects of cancer and its treatment and having to spend more time at home. So their fuel bills soar while their household income has dropped.”

The charity is calling on the Government to extend the Winter Fuel Payments to cancer patients to provide those at risk with vital financial support.

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In 2008 the charity gave grants totalling �102,653 to help 288 cancer patients with other urgent financial needs.

These included grants to help towards travel costs to and from hospital, beds and bedding, fridges and washing machines, wigs and many other items that improve life for people living with the disease.

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