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How Can I Get Assistance Paying for Flights for Cancer Treatment?

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Updated June 05, 2009

Question: How Can I Get Assistance Paying for Flights for Cancer Treatment?
I have to travel a few times a year to receive cancer treatment, but I cannot afford it any longer. Do you have any ideas of what I can do to help absorb the cost of the flights?
Answer: Several organizations help people with cancer who need to travel long distances to receive treatment by providing free flights. Some are need-based organizations, but there are many that are not. Remember that what is considered "financial need" for one organization may be different for another, so be sure to check out all of the fine print details of the programs you're exploring. Here are some:

Air Charity Network
This organization organizes a network of regional flight assistance programs throughout the Unites States, making it easier for you to find and coordinate flight assistance. This is a need-based organization, and applicants must demonstrate financial need.

Corporate Angel Network
This organization provides non need-based flight assistance to cancer patients and bone marrow recipients and donors. To qualify, you must be a cancer patient who does not need in-flight medical support/assistance. The organization utilizes empty seats on corporate jets, which are donated by businesses. There is no limit on how often you can fly, as long as it is for cancer treatment purposes.

Continental Care Force
This program is offered by Continental Airlines and is need-based. Flights are available to a person needing transportation for medical purposes and one family member. For more information about Continental Care Force, call (281) 261-6626 24 hours/day.

Lifeline Pilots
This organization is not limited to cancer patients -- it is open to those suffering from other diseases, too. They provide transportation for several medical purposes, from diagnostic to treatment care. This is another non need-based organization that requires the traveler to be medically stable for the flight.

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