Rachel’s Helping Hands Cancer Foundation
Rachel’s Helping Hands, a cancer non profit organization was born in memory of Rachel Paster as it all started in 2002, when Rachel Fox met her soon to be husband, Eric Paster, in their sophomore year of college at Penn State Main Campus. Rachel had a real passion for teaching, and was accepted into an accelerated program at Penn State for gifted teachers. She blossomed into an enthusiastic teacher, one that had many tools at her disposal to “break through” some of the more challenging students. Rachel learned to individualize her teaching style, and began to get a reputation amongst her colleagues of being the teacher who should take on the more challenging kids. We didn’t know then that this would be the beginning for Rachel’s Helping Hands Cancer Foundation, a cancer non profit organization that would provide the support for cancer patients and cancer families with financial aid for cancer copayments, cancer prescription bills, Dr. visits, chemotherapy costs, radiation costs, and other out of pocket medical costs relating to their cancer treatment.
Rachel and Eric married in June 2008 and started their life together. They purchased a small town house in Montgomery County, PA in order to be closer to Rachel’s elementary school, Hillside Elementary. She would continue to serve there for 10 years as a second-grade teacher.
Then the stories of Rachel’s gifts began flowing in. Letters from parents, kids she had helped, and praises from team members, just to name a few. Success stories, such as helping a selectively mute child who had not spoken in school the entire previous year conquer her fears through Rachel’s patience and games Rachel designed specifically for her. So successful were Rachel’s techniques, that this child gave a speech to the entire school at the end of the year. Rachel was honored by receiving the Citadel Heart of Learning Award, an award given once a year at a banquet to whomever is deemed to be the greatest teacher in Montgomery County.
As much as Rachel was gifted in teaching, her true calling was motherhood. Rachel gave birth to Caleb on December 24, 2011. Rachel always knew what do to when it came to raising a child. She was the person all of her family and friends would call when they had questions about their own childrem. In December of 2012, Rachel and Eric took a leap of faith and purchased a home and dental practice in Royersford, PA. Everything seemed to be falling into place.
CANCER CHANGES LIVES
In June of 2013, Rachel noticed a small lump in her left breast. After getting an MRI, she was told it was probably nothing but they would do a minor surgery and remove the lump. She had the surgery and was again reassured that it was probably a benign tumor. Just as every cancer family never forgets, Eric will never forget the day in July he received a call from Rachel with the results of her biopsy. “I have breast cancer,” she said.
A whirlwind of events ensued. a double mastectomy with lymph nodes, to physical therapy in order to ward off lymph edema, chemotherapy, medical oncologist appointments, neurosurgeon appointments, radiation oncologist appointments, and eventually hospital visits. Rachel continued to work throughout her treatment, right up until she physically could no longer get there; it was that important to her that she continue to teach her students.
CANCER PRESCRIPTION BILLS STACKED UP
Eric and Rachel could not believe the stack of cancer copayments and cancer prescription bills that they received from hospitals and pharmacies. One of the medications she was prescribed to ward off symptoms of Alzheimer ’s disease after having whole-brain radiation was not even covered by insurance. It all added up. Although she was able to teach during most of her treatment, Rachel often pondered how an average middle-class family could make ends meet with all of the financial strains placed upon them. What if the cancer patient COULDN’T work though their treatment? What if the family was already struggling financially? We saw the light that soon became the birth of our cancer non-profit foundation, Rachel’s Helping Hands Cancer Foundation.
We noticed that there were a plethora of foundations raising money for cancer research. But what about the insurance copayments? What about the prescriptions not covered by insurance and the copayments for medications that are covered by insurance?
WE SAW THE NEED
About a month before Rachel passed, Rachel’s father, Murray Fox, called Eric and asked him if he would be interested in starting a foundation in Rachel’s name. With the help of Rachel’s family and countless friends’ support, we have been able to start making a difference. It is amazing how people can come together and harness their skills and strengths to make a dream a reality. Our donors and sponsors have given us the means to begin a journey that we hope ends in a cure for cancer; until then we can rely on Rachel’s Helping Hands to bring some relief to families’ financial struggles during their battle with all types of cancer where aid cancer patients & cancer patient families with out of pocket medical costs relating to cancer prescription bills, cancer copayments, Dr. visits, & other out of pocket medical costs.
Contact Rachel’s Helping Hands Cancer Foundation today, a cancer non profit for financial help for your:
Cancer Prescription Bills
Other out of pocket medical costs relating to your cancer treatment
We serve Bucks County, Montgomery County, Chester County, Delaware County, Philadelphia, and all surrounding counties in PA & NJ