The saying “When it rains, it pours” often rings true during a childhood cancer diagnosis. Families supporting a child through treatment typically face additional stresses, among them possible job loss, financial hardship and challenging lifestyle adjustments. This inspired Greg and Natalia Schratwieser, founders of ICI Consulting — an international bank and consulting firm — to become involved in a tremendous way.
“During a visit at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, we talked to families who were grateful to get care at the facility with its amazing health care staff,” Natalia says. “But unfortunately, so many of them had ongoing financial difficulties that health insurance didn’t cover. It broke our hearts. We felt we could help lessen one burden.”
To assist children facing cancer and their families, ICI Consulting pledged to match $100,000 in gifts. The ICI Consulting $100,000 Match Challenge will create the ICI Social Work Innovation Fund to support families with counseling and resource management.
Meeting Unmet Needs
Thanks to the generosity of ICI Consulting, families with the greatest need will have access to critical social work services during cancer treatment. Some of these services may include advocacy, counseling, education, financial assistance and community support after the family returns home.
“Social work is an important piece in our cancer care,” says Jennifer Katzenstein, Ph.D., director of psychology, neuropsychology and social work at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital. “A family may need meal cards or transportation. Or maybe there’s a special piece of equipment that’s needed at home when they are discharged. Our social work team is trained to discover these personal needs and help meet them.”
Double Your Impact
Your donation to the ICI Match Challenge will make double the impact. Every gift, no matter how large or small, will count twice, with the aim of raising $200,000 by the end of the year.
“Every small donation matters,” Natalia says. “Together, we can make a difference to families carrying an unimaginable burden. The families will receive both financial support and the comfort of knowing they aren’t alone in this fight. The community and the wonderful team at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital are behind them.”
Cancer’s Lasting Financial Impact
According to a survey by the National Children’s Cancer Society:
- 10–15% of U.S. families faced financial hardship during treatment for their child’s cancer. Financial hardship often persists for up to a year after treatment ends.
- 1 in 3 families experienced job change or loss.
- 1 in 4 families lost more than 40 percent of their annual household income to child cancer treatment. This does not account for additional out-of-pocket expenses.
Our ICI Social Work Innovation Fund will identify needs and provide relief to families.
Interested in being a part of the ICI Match Challenge? To donate, visit HopkinsAllChildrens.org/ICIMatch. This story first appeared in For the Kids magazine, a publication of Johns Hopkins All Children’s Foundation.