The Breast Cancer Assistance Group of the Monterey Peninsula (BCAG) is an organization of breast cancer survivors who work to improve the lives of local breast cancer patients and their families. The primary activities of BCAG are sponsoring educational programs and raising funds to provide financial assistance to women in the California Central Coast area who have breast cancer.
The need for financial support is widespread. The physical and emotional ravages of breast cancer are widely recognized. One in seven women will experience this devastation. Some will bear the additional burden of severe financial difficulties related to the disease. In most cases, an entire family is financially impacted when a woman has breast cancer. To assist in such cases, BCAG gives "Special Needs" grants to women who apply and meet the requirements for recipients. In the last ten years BCAG has awarded hundreds of "Special Needs" grants.
Grant recipients are primarily low-income, but there are many exceptions because the costs of breast cancer treatments can be overwhelming for middle-income families as well. Often the applicants are not working because of their illness, they may have lost their insurance along with their job, or they never had insurance or their insurance co-payments are too high for them to pay without assistance. Many of the applicants are single-parent mothers. By the time they apply to BCAG they have exhausted their resources and they do not qualify for other assistance programs.
All local women who have had breast cancer are automatically members of BCAG, if they choose to participate. A Board of Directors is elected annually to secure finances, plan the educational programs and oversee all BCAG activities. A Medical Board of oncology physicians and practitioners serves as consultants. BCAG is a non-profit California corporation with tax exempt status as a 501(c)3 organization from the Internal Revenue Service.