Friday, June 7, 2013

Financial Assistance for Melanoma Survivors


Hey blog friends!  Sorry that I haven't posted for awhile.  I have had a big life change that has brought me from Boston to Florida.  I am digging FL, and am liking my new job.  One of the things I like most about my new job?  The people.  They are genuinely nice, incredibly welcoming and they have helped make my move much easier than I ever thought it would be.

My favorite person at my new cancer center is an outstanding and fabulous young nurse whose name is Shonnette.  She gives me hope for the future of nursing.  She is kind, caring, enthusiastic, funny, smart as a whip, and most importantly, she is wonderful with her patients and they LOVE her. 

Yup.  It is something that I have always known.  There are amazing oncology nurses all over this country, and I have just stumbled upon a fabulous group of them at my beautiful new cancer center.

Just like at my old hospital, I continue to learn great things from the people I work with and the patients that I meet along the way!! 

The one bad thing that I have learned at my new job?  There are a LOT of patients with melanoma down here in Florida.  I hate melanoma.
Today's tip is a resource for melanoma survivors that I learned from Shonnette.  It is a fund for melanoma survivors.  Not "possible" assistance that "might" be available if you meet some magical income cutoff.  A real tangible financial stipend to help melanoma patients who are undergoing treatment in the amount of $2000.  It is a one time thing.   

If you are a melanoma patient, ask your nurse or social worker to contact the folks at The Bill Walter III Melanoma Research Fund to ask for assistance for you.  Apparently the request has to come from a health care worker on your behalf to describe your medical condition.   Ask your nurse to contact:

Rayz Awareness  (of melanoma)

Then, you will have to provide them with some financial information and reason for request. 

The payment goes directly to the patient.

Since I first wrote this post, I have had the pleasure of speaking with Bill Walter's father.  He and his wife still manage the fund.  Such a lovely, warm gentleman who honors his son in the best of ways....I loved him instantly and thanked him for what he does for melanoma survivors. 

He gave me the name of a woman who is in charge of the yearly walk/run held at Daytona Beach every year.  Apparently young Bill Walter was a lifeguard in his early years, so this is the location of the run/walk.  The money raised all goes to melanoma survivors and to research.  There are no paid staffers, just wonderful volunteers and friends of Bill Walter III.
From their website,  "The vision and mission of the Bill Walter III Melanoma Research Fund is to help find a cure for melanoma by supporting promising melanoma research. The Fund also assists melanoma patients who are  undergoing treatment, and endeavors to save lives by raising awareness of the dangers of melanoma.  

Our mission is in memory of Bill Walter III who died from malignant melanoma in 1998 after a long fight. Now we fight the fight for Bill and all the others out there who have or had loved ones with this terrible disease. 

The Bill Walter Melanoma Research Fund (BWMRF) has awarded $80,000 to 38 melanoma patients since it began in 1998. Many of these recipients are from the front range of Colorado.

The BWMRF has awarded $200,000 to research through medical grants and clinical trials."

Learn more about who Bill Walter was.   Learn why the folks who loved him, honor him by providing this great resource to other melanoma survivors and their families.

Hope this helps!

Thanks for the tip Shonnette!!!

The Very Fabulous Shonnette

Stay Tuned for the Rayz Awareness RUN/WALK in April 2014!!!
Come join the crowd to raise awareness and raise funds for melanoma survivors and melanoma research!!!
2024 UPDATE: Rayz Awareness 5K is still ongoing. The Bill Walter III Foundation gave an amazing grant to help fund the which was extremely successful, but stopped due to funding issues at time of Pandemic. I believe that the Foundation no longer provides individual grants to patients and research at this time. We are grateful for all of the assistance that this wonderful resource provided for so many years. We will carry a piece of Bill Walters III in our hearts forever. Much gratitude to his friends and family for changing many lives.


  1. Thanks for the share! Life settlements can also financial help for cancer patients. This settlement can give you the cash you need now to pay for those medical bills and other living expenses for your family!

  2. Not sure what "Life Settlements" are, I couldn't find it. But my family and I are in great need of financial assistance. I am taking care of one of my sisters and one of my brothers who have both been diagnosed with metastatic melanoma. I don't mind helping them all the way, but now that I have to get checked as well because I have possible melanoma also, its going to very hard financially..... Our dad had melanoma and they cought it in time and it was removed, the same thing with one of my other brothers. The travel to and from the appointments and the hotel costs have left me broke. If anyone see's this please shoot me an email... ALL HELP AN ADVISE WILL BE GREATLY APPRECIATED!!!

  3. Mike, perhaps you could contact Jan at her email above with more information about "life settlements", as I am not sure what you are referring to.

    Jan, ask your nurse or social worker to apply for the stipend from the Rayz Awareness fund (see above). Also see the air travel links on this site for assistance with travel to medical appointments for cancer survivors. Wishing you all the best.