Everything changed in an instant for Erika Romain when she was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer.
But then things just kept getting worse. While reeling from the staggering, life-altering news, she was laid off from her job as the General Manager of a sauna company and then her adult son was injured and came home to stay with her. One of the few bright spots, she says, was being referred to Lazarex Cancer Foundation for help traveling to and from her lung cancer clinical trial.
“Lazarex has been a true lifesaver. Boy oh boy when I tell you – the help I’ve gotten from them has been incredible and has really helped me through all of this,” Erika explains.
Erika first received help from Lazarex’s CARE program, which provided reimbursements for the costs that come with the 1.5 hour round trip drive from Rancho Cucamonga to the clinical trial she enrolled in at USC. “Lazarex has really helped me with the costs that grew quickly,” she explains. “Right now, I couldn’t manage to get to this trial and pay my bills without them.”
Erika says the support she’s gotten from the non-profit organization extends beyond financial too. Through Lazarex’s Cancer Wellness HUB in Los Angeles, she’s also gotten help applying for and receiving additional financial assistance through other organizations and has been connected to wellness programs and one-on-one and group support.
It was all worth it. The trial worked in early 2022, shrinking Erika’s tumors to near-complete resolution. But later that year, the tumors grew back. Erika is now transitioning to her third clinical trial without financial concern thanks to the Lazarex reimbursements she’ll continue to receive.
“I wish no one from this moment forward would ever have to travel this journey I’ve been on. Unfortunately, I know it’s highly likely many will so I’m just so happy that Lazarex is here to help others too,” Erika says. “I don’t know what I would do without them.”