Each year hundreds of rural Vermont cancer patients struggle with the cost of transportation to access life-saving treatment. This year, with the rising cost of gas, many Vermonters delayed treatment simply due to their inability to afford the transportation to get to the hospital. For the 2nd year, NorthCountry Federal Credit Union (NCFCU) stepped in to address this rising issue. In 2021, NCFCU and the Cancer Patient Support Foundation partnered to create the NorthCountry Federal Credit Union Rural
Transportation Fund. This year NCFCU awarded $15,000, double their donation from 2021, to support rural Vermont cancer patients.
“Part of bettering our communities is bettering the lives of those who live within them,” says Kathryn Lagerstedt, Senior Vice President of Strategic Engagement at NorthCountry Federal Credit Union. “This donation is an extension of the notion that no one fights alone, and we hope this fund can offer some relief to patients during a difficult time.
“The most heartbreaking stories that I hear are patients saying they delayed treatment because the cost of traveling back and forth to the hospital was too great,” according to Sarah Lemnah, Executive Director of CPSF. “Vermont patients are deciding everyday if they should fill up their tank to drive to treatment or take care of their family’s basic needs like food, rent, and utilities. The NorthCountry Federal Credit Union Rural Transportation Fund allows CPSF to better support rural Vermonters, so transportation is not a hurdle for treatment.”
CPSF supports over 500 local cancer patients each year, removing barriers to treatment and helping them meet their basic needs. For 20 years, CPSF has been the only local statewide fund supporting patients and their families. Nearly 11,000 families have received over $2.8 million since the organization’s inception.