Donations Support Bone Marrow Transplant Patients and the Nurses Who Care for Them

A cancer diagnosis and its treatment poses major hardship for the patient and family. At Franciscan Health, compassionate cancer care has always extended beyond the science of cancer treatment. A perfect example of caring for the whole patient and their family, can be found at Indiana Blood and Marrow Transplantation, located within Franciscan Health Indianapolis. Through a partnership with the Franciscan Health Foundation, they are helping patients from out of town manage and pay for lodging while the patient receives potentially life-saving bone marrow transplant treatment.

The Foundation Bone Marrow Treatment Patient Assistance Fund pays for convenient, fully furnished apartments near the Indianapolis campus while the patient is receiving infusions of donor bone marrow. The treatment and recovery process for a transplant can extend several days. Out-of-town patients and families can use the apartments while in town for care, thus avoiding the arduous long-distance drive to and from treatment from home.

Several years ago, Indiana Blood and Marrow Transplantation recognized travel was placing an undue burden on their out-of-town patients. As the practice grew and performed greater numbers of bone marrow transplants, greater numbers of patients were being impacted.

The practice reached out to the Franciscan Health Foundation and made the case for assistance. The Foundation agreed and the results have made a dramatic impact.

“The Bone Marrow Transplant Patient Assistance fund has proved a godsend for many families going through very difficult times," says Luke Akard, M.D., oncology, hematology and bone marrow transplantation physician. “As a practice, we are grateful to have such a tool at our disposal. Personally, I welcome the opportunity to donate to the fund on an ongoing basis.”

The Bone Marrow Transplant Patient Assistance Fund receives generous gifts from grateful patients and their families, continued assistance from the practice physicians and the community.

A Thank You to Nurses

Grateful patients and families also show their appreciation by donating to the Bone Marrow Transplant Nurse Education Fund. Many find that a financial donation to support the nursing team’s continuing education is a perfect way to say, “thank you.”

A family member of one patient, Harriet Crews, made a major gift to the fund. It was accompanied by the following note:

Sandy (her relative) spent a lot of time with the BMT nursing staff in the last seven months of her life; they became her family , and she appreciated and loved them, though she could be a trifle feisty at times.

I appreciate them, too, as they provided the care and comfort I could offer only in a limited fashion through a telephone from afar.

Sandy and I thought of them as angels, bringing light and even occasionally joy to a scary, dark diagnosis.

I will forever honor those women and wish them peace and grace in their own lives. Sandy and I decided to make this gift to help improve the professional lives of nurses and acknowledge the life-saving work they do.

Most sincerely,

Harriet Crews

What more need be said?