BALTIMORE — Baltimore resident Raymonna Jean was diagnosed in 2013 with multiple myeloma, a type of cancer that affects the bone marrow.
With not much knowledge of what lay ahead and even less money to seek the kind of care needed to treat the disease, Jean turned to Good Days from CDF, a nonprofit organization that’s dedicated to helping ensure that no one living with a chronic condition has to choose between getting the medication they need and affording the necessities of every day life.
“They have made living with this so much easier because when you don’t have money on hand it’s tough,” said Jean, a former nurse whom Good Days from CDF assisted with travel and medical expenses after she learned about the charity while seeking treatment in Arkansas.
The organization, which used to be known as the Chronic Disease Fund, helped to pay Jean’s co-pays, which for her condition is quite expensive. They were also able to foot the bill and provide financial assistance for the extensive traveling involved for Jean’s doctor’s visits.
“We help patients suffering from chronic medical conditions who have limited financial means get access to the medications they need,” said the organization’s executive director Clorinda Walley. “Our program helps qualified patients pay their insurance co-pays so they can get immediate access to prescription medications that will give them relief from pain and suffering.”
Founded in 2003, Good Days provided patients with more than $200 million in assistance last year, a figure Walley said still falls well short of what’s needed.
“I think even if we had $400 million it wouldn’t have been enough,” she said. On average, those who received assistance earn about $39,000 a year, but with co-pays and co-insurance payments eating up as much as $12,000 from their incomes, the patients are left with tough choices.
“In a lot of cases, it’s do I buy my medication or do I eat, or do I pay my mortgage or feed my family,” Walley said. “Education is another key to this and we must educate people about their diseases and their options.”
With help from partners like Aetna, ACS, CVS Caremark, Walgreen’s and various donors, contributions are made through a number of sources and Good Days for CDF is able to assist sufferers of chronic illnesses.
By partnering together and staying true to its core values of integrity, efficiency, dedication and compassion, Good Days for CDF is able to help improve the lives of millions of chronic disease patients across the nation, according to company officials.
They are hoping to put a dent in a cold, but true fact, that millions of Americans are forced to go without medications that can better their lives, Walley said. Although most chronic disease patients have valid insurance, it’s estimated more than 30 percent of them cannot afford the high costs of their treatments and Good Days from CDF is working to change that.
“While helping patients get the medicine they need is what we do, helping them have more Good Days is our goal. We take pride in building long term relationships with our patients and offer a support system that extends far beyond financial assistance,” she said.
“In this light, our organization underwent a name change, from the Chronic Disease Fund to Good Days from CDF. It’s a transition which reflects our evolution as a foundation, befits the optimism in our strength, and identifies the core of our goals.”
Walley says she is not just the executive director, but she is also a chronic disease sufferer.
“For me, the work we do at Good Days isn’t just business— it’s personal. Like many of you, I was diagnosed with a chronic disease in 2007,” she said. “I understand the struggle you and your loved ones are going through. The emotional strain of the unknown coupled with the financial burden can be too much for one person to bear. That’s why I’m here and that’s why Good Days is here.”
For more information about Good Days and to apply for assistance, visit www.gooddaysfromcdf.org or call 972-608-7141.