Bridge of Wings - Direct Patient Services Program
Named after the 1998 flight around the world by pilots Nikki Mitchell and NMF president Rhonda Miles, Bridge of Wings is a direct patient services program that provides financial assistance to clients in need. Pancreatic cancer treatments are intense and often require a patient to travel long distances to receive the care they need. When patients are unable to work during these critical times, a family can see their income drastically cut.
Patients might have to choose between paying for daily living expenses or life-saving treatment. NMF aims to bridge that gap with our financial assistance program.
The Bridge of Wings program originally provided patients with gas cards to get to and from treatment, but quickly realized their needs went beyond travel expenses. Our goal is to take away some of their stressors, so our clients can spend their energy focusing on their treatment and healing.
The program subsequently expanded to provide monthly gift cards for groceries, rideshares, pharmacies and more. We have also made payments towards essential bills, such as utilities, hospice, and medical bills.
If a client has an unusual need, let us know! We've assisted clients with medical transportation, bed bug extermination, home medical supplies, cut wood for a wood burning stove, and more.
How to enroll:
A patient advocate, financial counselor or nurse must send the client’s application to NMF from the healthcare facility.
NMF cannot accept applications sent directly from the client.
Within a week of receiving the application, NMF’s patient liaison will contact the client to explain the program and answer any questions they may have. The client will be told if they are on a waitlist.
It is up to the client to ask someone at the healthcare facility to send us the renewal application each month.
We mail clients $100 in gift cards monthly, as long as they are needed, and will help with gas cards for scans when clients are in remission.
From 2016 - 2022, NMF has helped 568 clients who have driven almost 395,000 miles to and from treatment. We served clients in 13 states in 2022 alone.
NMF recognizes that stress surrounding cancer and financial burdens can steal joy from the holiday season. In 2016, we started an annual initiative to provide pancreatic cancer clients and their families pre-made meals shipped directly to their door. As of 2022, we have provided over 500 Thanksgiving meals, feeding over 4,500 people.