Health fund looks for breast cancer patients who are struggling with expenses

The Superior Health Foundation wants to hear from U.P. breast cancer patients who’ve had trouble paying bills that they’ve racked up because of the disease.

The U.P. Breast Health Fund was established several months ago. Through fundraising drives like the 31 Days of Pink and individual gifts, the fund now has more than $28,000 in it.

The money will help cover out-of-pocket expenses related to breast cancer, “whether they’re mammograms, digital testing, diagnostic testing, those kinds of things for those who really need help,” Superior Health Foundation executive director Jim LaJoie said. “We’re working with the county health departments from all across the Upper Peninsula.”

Patients have to meet some guidelines to be eligible for funding. They have to be 35 to 64 years old, must be within national poverty criteria for income and must be uninsured or under-insured.

“We have the money,” LaJoie said. “It has been given to the health departments across the Upper Peninsula. They are kind of the go–to agent in terms of delivering the money.”

Each participating county is guaranteed $2,500 from the fund. The maximum award per person is $1,000.

Application forms are available online at and on the website of each county health department in the Upper Peninsula. Those are:

Public Health, Delta & Menominee Counties

Western U.P. Health Department

Chippewa County Health Department

Dickinson Iron District Health Department

LMAS District Health Department

Marquette County Health Department