After being diagnosed with breast cancer, Tiffany Bentley’s first priority was to maintain a sense of normalcy for her children. So when Thanksgiving came and the family couldn’t afford to celebrate as they normally did, New Day Foundation stepped in to help.
A family associated with New Day agreed to adopt the Bentley family for Thanksgiving last year, providing a full turkey dinner with all the fixings – delivered right to their home. Because oftentimes, one of the most difficult aspects of cancer is not the disease itself, but the impact that cancer-related financial toxicity (CRFT) can make on the lives of families facing cancer. How it can wreak havoc on everyday life and the traditions we hold dear.
New Day works to help famlies combat CRFT in the best way possible for eaich family we meet. For the Bentleys, having a traditional Thanksgiving feast helped to restore spirits and maintain that coveted sense of normalcy that they sought while Tiffany faced cancer. New Day also helped the family with mortgage and utility payments and food gift cards after Tiffany was placed on disability from her job.
“We had two young children – and it put a strain on everything,” said Tiffany. “Medical bills were going into collections, and while we tried to keep a sense of normalcy for our children, it was hard to meet regular needs like food. The ultimate goal was just me staying alive. We said, ‘Even if we lose our home or car, we won’t lose each other.’ “
“At Karmanos, they gave me support, love and resources (one of which was New Day). I thought, ‘If I can just get on my feet, not worry about my home and concentrate on healing that would be such a relief.’ When New Day delivered Thanksgiving dinner, it was such a blessing. The love that strangers show you during this process was amazing. We wanted to give back somehow.”
Since then, the family has been saving their spare change and hope to donate it to another family in need this holiday season. While Tiffany says the family is still digging themselves out of debt, she adds that her faith is really, really strong. She has been named a young advocate for the State of Michigan through the Living Beyond Breast Cancer foundation, and has found that sharing her story has been a great healing process for her.