During the COVID-19 pandemic, the needs of prostate patients and families have taken on a whole new level. Trying to navigate unemployment and figuring out how to afford care with no income has become a hauntingly familiar story from patients. You’ve seen the devastating impacts this pandemic is having on the cancer community - lack of access to care, financial ruin, and emotional isolation, are taking its toll.
ZERO helps patients know they’re not alone in their fight, especially in these difficult times. Here are some recent ways ZERO has helped men and families, thanks to the generosity of donors like you:
• In 2019, our comprehensive patient care program, called ZERO360, provided free, customized support to 503 prostate cancer patients. As the only case management program exclusively for men with prostate cancer, it has been a literal lifesaver for patients and their families. ZERO 360 provides patients with access to financial resources to cover treatment, find emotional support and get help with obtaining resources for basic necessities like food assistance or utility relief. During the COVID-19 crisis, this service has been a critical lifeline for the prostate cancer community. Since its founding, ZERO360 has helped patients obtain millions in medical debt relief. Don’t just take it from us -- here’s what one patient had to say about the support ZERO360 provided: “As a prostate cancer patient facing a recurrence, I was already scared. But then I lost my job and health care due to COVID-19. I felt hopeless. My doctor told me about ZERO360, and it was the best phone call I ever made. The case manager helped me secure financial support that would cover my treatment and get me back on track. Without ZERO360, I’m not sure where I would be.” This year alone, ZERO360 has helped almost 2,000 patients so far, and the amazing case managers have made almost 36,000 contacts on behalf of the patients they help.
• Emotional support is more critical than ever in a time of isolation and high levels of stress and anxiety. To help support patients facing prostate cancer, ZERO pairs newly diagnosed prostate cancer patients, or MENtees, with knowledgeable and empathetic MENtors to provide ongoing support to patients as they begin their prostate cancer journey. More than 100 matches have been made since the program’s inception.
• Caregivers play a critical role in providing patient support and ZERO launched a new program to make sure they get the support they need. The Caregiver Connector Program connects prostate cancer caregivers with the ongoing one-on-one support from a Caregiver Mentor. Caregiver Mentors offer their experiences and insights to help caregivers care for themselves and their loved ones.
• ZERO’s private online Facebook group, ZERO Connect, is supporting and connecting patients and caregivers across the nation. This caring and welcoming community has grown to more than 2,500 and is a forum for asking questions, sharing stories, and being there for one another.
• Within the first month of the pandemic, ZERO launched a new COVID-19 minisite to provide timely and comprehensive resources for patients and families. To help patients access medical expertise from the comfort of their home, ZERO’s comprehensive online resources addressed key issues including telemedicine, social distancing, mental health, clinical trials, and side effects of the disease.