“Can you afford to be diagnosed with breast cancer?” for too many Canadians, the answer to that question is a definitive “no”.

Of the more than 26,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year, many are women who are financially insecure prior to being diagnosed; business-owners, single mothers, students, people on social assistance, people whose employment depends on contract work in the gig economy.

The truth about breast cancer is that the financial burdens can be just as devastating as the physical ones which is why the Breast Cancer Support Fund bridges the gap between the financial reality faced by breast cancer patients and the limited financial assistance available.

The Bras Family Foundation, a foundation dedicated to improving the lives of cancer patients, was an early believer in our work, and their dedicated support has truly made a difference for Canadian women living in poverty and battling breast cancer.

With the support of the Bras Family Foundation, we help patients pay for basic living expenses such as food and shelter as well as medications, prosthetics, wigs, transportation costs, hospital parking, restorative therapies and medical devices.

Many of the Canadians battling breast cancer borrow money from family and friends and frequently return to work before they are fully healed. In the information included in the applications we receive from patients, we see that patients are often carrying credit card debt
due to the loss in income as a result of being in treatment for many months.

Forty percent of the women we support are single mothers. It is frightening enough for children when Mom is sick, but when food insecurity is an issue, stress levels are high for everyone in the family.

To meet the needs of the women we support and with the support of the Bras Family Foundation, we launched our Meal Support Program. The program will provide nutritious prepared meals for free to breast cancer patients in treatment. The program is focused on supporting low-income single women and single mothers (and their children), some of the most vulnerable members of our community.

We are truly grateful for the support of the Bras Family Foundation. Together, we help breast cancer patients reduce stress during a time in their life that they should be focused on getting well.

Donna Sheehan
Founder, breast cancer survivor

  • I apologize if it took me long to email you to thank you for the cheque you mailed. Trying to recover from treatments plus a toddler running around— life is just very hectic! I wish I could say more than a simple thank you. The work you are doing to our community is selfless, courageous and INSPIRING. I can’t thank you enough for the kindness, support and generosity you’ve extended to me and to my family. WE are endlessly grateful. Thank you! GOD BLESS.

    Sincerely, Abigail
  • Thank you so very much for the financial and mental support. This has meant the absolute world to me and my family. The financial support has helped me to keep with the cost of living and focus on treatment. I was struggling to keep up with my bills and trying to raise children, I didn't know if I could start radiation because I couldn't afford to remain off work. I couldn't think about starting radiation which is 2 hours from where I live when I couldn't afford the treatments I am getting here in town. The basic cost of living then getting to and from the hospital and parking really added up when I did chemo. Thank you for understanding and truly helping me.

  • It is an overwhelmingly frightening time in a person’s life when they hear they have cancer. Their entire world has changed and nothing seems normal or safe. But the public doesn’t often understand the devastating impact financially that occurs for many. The women that I have referred to this program have always been independent women who helped others rather than needing help. Now they find themselves having to choose between rent and food. This is not an exaggeration. The BCSF is one of the vital supports that enable women to survive on a day-to-day basis while they are striving to save their lives

    Andrea TurnerPenticton Oncology Clinic Social Worker, British Columbia
  • I wish to send you a heartfelt thank you for the financial aid that I recently received from BCSF. Your support has helped me tremendously, both by easing the ongoing stress and by making my daily struggles more manageable. Having lived six years ‘cancer free’ only to be recently re-diagnosed with Stage 4 Breast Cancer, I was not prepared for life’s changes and adjustments that were to ensue. Being single and living with these emotional and financial hardships are very overwhelming as I’m sure you can imagine. BCSF’s financial support has truly been a blessing and a wonderful reminder that there are people and organizations that do care and want to help. Thank you so much for helping me. Everything for the last year has been going wrong in my life. This is the first good thing to happen that I can remember for some time.


When people talk about breast cancer, they talk about hope.

They talk about pain and suffering, treatments and medications. They talk about loss of hair and their surgeries and scars. But they don’t talk about money. People don’t talk about the cost of breast cancer. About how your benefits will run out before your cancer is gone. How breast cancer patients struggle, not to survive, but to afford to survive. People don’t talk about that. But we do.

Breast Cancer Support Fund provides the financial support needed to help breast cancer patients fight this devastating disease.

And we couldn’t do it without the generous support of the Bras Family Foundation.

With your gift to us this year we were able to help the following breast cancer patients:

Emma, aged 29 and a single mother of two young children, was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was on maternity leave. The social worker who signed Emma’s application wrote us a letter on her behalf, describing Emma as a wonderful young mother who has been struggling financially as she supports herself and her two children on a very low income. Emma received $2,000 in financial assistance

Tara, aged 42 is the mother of a 3 year old. The family has endured a number of financial hardships that has left them struggling financially for the past few years and still find it difficult to cover the costs of basic necessities. We provided $2,000 in financial assistance to Tara.

Sara was first diagnosed with breast cancer when she was 28. At that time, on her application form, part of her financial burden was because she was carrying a student loan. In fact, when she was diagnosed again three years later, she indicated she was still carrying debt from her first diagnosis. Despite being diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer and with hope in her heart, Sarah got married. We provided Sarah with $3,000 in financial assistance.

Breast Cancer Support Fund
39 Old Mill Rd. # 1002
Toronto ON M8X 1G6
416.233.7410 www.cbcsf.ca
Charitable Registration No. 83661-2804-RR0001