Navigating the cancer journey.
I want to recommend Beacon Advocates to anyone battling cancer. Our advocate has been key to helping my husband and me feel a little less out-of-control and out-of-our depth as he battles kidney cancer. And that means our family’s quality of life is that much better.
Joni J Tampa Bay
A frustrated and lost single mother with a new breast cancer diagnosis trying to navigate the health care system and cancer care. Shortly after my breast cancer diagnosis, I became lost in the complex healthcare system and cancer center operations and scheduling process. Frustrated with the quality of care I was receiving, and absence of consistent information provided to me as to next steps and what services were available to me, I pleaded for assistance from various departments and sources within the healthcare system and oncology center. I was astonished when I couldn’t make any progress.
I reached out to Beacon Advocate’s founder for help as I knew her as an oncology nurse and breast cancer survivor and knew she had first-hand experience. My assigned nurse advocate was mindful and patient with me and listened closely to how I was dealing with my diagnosis and my dissatisfaction with the care I was receiving. She quickly coached me and educated me on the next steps and helped me get in the driver’s seat and coordinate my care. Being proactive and more in control was very important to me. This provided me with encouragement and focus in the early phase of this journey.
Shortly after, I learned my surgery date was scheduled four months post-diagnosis, and this highly concerned me. My nurse advocate quickly identified some necessary tests and educated me so I could request and accelerate the dates of the tests and have the records available to the various medical professionals I had to meet within advance of my surgery. Moreover, she helped me identify and schedule highly regarded and specialized doctors for additional medical opinions. My nurse advocate opened doors for, in my estimation, the best quality of care available in the state of Florida. My nurse advocate was instrumental in helping me reduce the time between my breast cancer diagnosis to time of surgery from nearly 16 weeks to 10 weeks. She is knowledgeable about the ins-and-outs of the healthcare system and was able to navigate much more quickly than I was able. This was especially helpful to me as a newly diagnosed cancer patient. I’ve also come to learn that she is knowledgeable in multiple aspects of patient advocacy and navigation. Although I did not engage her in the financial, medical insurance, short term disability, and FMLA coordination services she provides, she shared with me some information regarding employee rights for cancer patients that was eye-opening. My nurse advocate’s experience and continuous involvement with some of the country’s leading cancer centers and institutes regarding oncology patient care, quality control, and clinical research, are just a few of the key qualifying factors in my decision to engage her services.
Her knowledge and passion for patient care and advocacy is evident. She continues to provide constant support and has been a great encourager to me. I highly recommend Beacon Advocate’s services.
Mary J. – Tampa Bay
A newly diagnosed woman needing support to further understand her treatment regimen and assistance with her high-deductible insurance plan – organization of bills and understanding her various options:
I was initially contacted by my nurse advocate on Easter at a friend’s request. I was so surprised at her willingness to consult so quickly as I was starting chemo the next day. She has since then been totally available to me no matter what my needs have been. Without her help of organizing and explaining all the EOBs (explanation of benefits) and bills), and advocating as needed, I would be still sitting in a pile of papers hopelessly!
As a nurse her help has been tremendous as she understands the medications, the treatments and side effects. She has given me a comfort level I would never have had without her expertise and made many helpful suggestions that have improved my understanding and self-care.
In addition, my nurse advocate has been a strong advocate for me on insurance issues and has helped me understand and maximize reimbursement while making many calls to the insurance company clarifying and resolving issues….she made such a big difference in this whole big picture by empowering me!
Anne L. – Tampa Bay Area
A daughter looking for ways to eliminate barriers to access to care to allow her to focus on what is important – her mother
Beacon Advocates came to my rescue just in time. As the only daughter who lives in close proximity to my mother, I was running myself ragged trying to keep up with oncologists’ appointments and her everyday needs. We have a long term care policy but I did not know how to get my mother qualified to use it. My advocate got me in touch with an organization that could help us get through the steps of qualifying her to be able to use her policy. In addition, our nurse advocate reviewed the situation and let us know that Medicare could also provide assistance. In addition, she found out that we had been paying for a service for a year out of pocket that was actually a covered benefit, thereby saving us money. Their involvement has taken the pressure off of me; it helps to know that my mother is now being taken care of on a daily basis and that I am not the only caretaker involved. I only wish that this type of service had been offered to us in the beginning of her diagnosis to understand the course and results of the therapy that they are offered.
Sandy S. – Tampa Bay Area
A young mother of two needed to understand disease status, financial and treatment options
My nurse advocate has been a great help to me working through my medical and financial issues. I have late-stage breast cancer and have questioned if I am on the right course of treatment for my disease for me as I am not a fan of traditional medicine, and lean towards holistic medicine whenever possible. My nurse advocate understands my position and I do not feel judged.
After we discussed my situation, I decided it might be in my best interest to seek a second opinion with another oncology team. She has helped put together a portfolio of my important papers to help keep me organized including questions to discuss with my new doctor before considering changing treatments.
She has also been a great help with directing me financially, which is very important since I am unable to work presently. She has researched some of my options and has helped me gain additional financial resources. I trust her judgment and feel lucky to have someone who I can trust to go to with questions as they arise. I find Beacon Oncology’s services to be an outstanding resource and am happy to be a client.
Jen P. – Tampa Bay Area
My only wish would be that I had contacted Beacon Advocates advocates sooner.
With my father in Florida and me in New Hampshire, it was very difficult to get a good feel for what was happening with my father’s health. Grilling him for answers after each appointment only added to the stress. When you have never had someone close have cancer, we felt in the dark and having to accept what his doctor’s recommended. After contacting Beacon Advocates and explained what I knew of the situation, I felt confident that we had made a step in the right direction.
John S. – New Hampshire
An out of state concerned family member looking for peace of mind
Beacon Advocates helped us through a very difficult time. My mother-in-law in Florida was having some serious health issues and was admitted to the hospital. They told her she needed to see an oncologist — that she may have cancer. We live on the west coast and were not able to be there to help her and my father-in-law navigate all the appointments and information coming at them. I hired a Beacon nurse to help coordinate her medical records from various doctors and provide an assessment as to where she was medically. She attended doctor visits with them and provided support where we couldn’t. I think the doctors actually appreciated her involvement as they were able to get a bigger picture of what my mother-in-law’s condition was over some period of time — rather than focusing on one specific symptom. It was a huge burden lifted from our shoulders and we thank our Beacon nurse for her very kind and knowledgeable guidance.
Mimi W. – Seattle, Washington
A newly diagnosed individual looking to make informed decisions
Beacon Advocates came into my life precisely when I needed to understand oncology medicine. We thought through questions to pose to medical oncologists, plus Lea Ann provided essential information and links that fit our family situation. I wholeheartedly recommend Beacon to help individuals and families to work through so many issues related to cancer — questions to ask, treatments, medical professionals, etc. They are highly qualified, experienced and have one’s best interest and outcomes in mind.
Barbara M. – Tampa Bay Area
Newly diagnosed women with a progressive form of breast cancer and needing navigation and advocacy support
The day I was diagnosed with HER2 positive breast cancer was devastating. I was scared and uninformed and was referred to Beacon by a very dear friend. My nurse immediately made an appointment to meet with me in person. She gave me a step-by-step portfolio to help me keep track of all aspects of my medical care and expenses. She ordered copies of my medical record, reviewed all my blood tests, medical scans, biopsies and pathology reports, to monitor my diagnosis and progress. My nurse explained in detail the impacts of my metastatic disease and guided me through what to expect at each stage of my journey through chemotherapy and a mastectomy. When I was told that I was likely fixable but not curable, she was there to lean on, listen and give advice on second opinions and clinical trial options. She provided me with questions to ask my oncologist and surgeon before each critical appointment. Due to all her hard work, dedication, quality care, and honesty, I was able to focus on my health and maintain a positive attitude towards beating this disease. I am still in chemotherapy but happy to say that I am currently cancer-free. I would recommend Beacon Nurse Advocates to anyone who is diagnosed with breast cancer. My nurse at Beacon has gone above and beyond to help me get through this emotional and physical recovery process.
Mickey L. – Tampa Bay Area
Where clarity and comfort was most needed
Susan M. – Tampa Bay Area
I was able to focus on my health and maintain a positive attitude towards beating this disease
Michelle – Tampa Bay Area