Hear from individuals, families, and businesses who have benefited from the dedicated services of our independent Cancer Nurse Advocates.
“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, New Hampshire
“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, Florida
“On May 5, 2021, I was sent to the ER (with symptoms of a numb jaw and difficulty chewing) in order to be screened for a possible stroke. The CT and MRI scans instead revealed numerous tumors in both lungs and a tumor at the base of my skull. The subsequent biopsy produced the diagnosis of stage 4 adenocarcinoma. I had non-small cell lung cancer, with metastasis to the base of my skull.
I signed up with Beacon immediately because they had previously worked with my son in 2020. He has a stage 4 glioblastoma brain tumor. Learning that I also had cancer was overwhelming and very hard for our family. We immediately contacted Beacon Advocates. Our nurse had already been a great advocate and support to our son, and now I also needed her help.
She was such a valuable source of knowledge, with her many years of experience with cancer patients, genuine understanding and sympathy. At my request, she listened in or Zoomed with me for several of my appointments with the oncologist and radiation doctor. She graciously asked the doctors questions I wouldn’t have known to ask. She was instrumental in getting the doctors’ staff to expedite scheduling the various initial tests.
She was very knowledgeable about both my and my son’s particular cancers, made sure our biopsied tumors underwent genetic testing (which is vitally important to identify possible clinical trials and targeted treatment), helped us understand and deal with side effects, explained diagnoses and procedures, provided explanatory materials, and made herself available to answer any questions. She knew I was very concerned about finances relative to all the tests and the cost of drugs for both me and my son. She helped me emotionally process that concern, and assisted in getting me signed up for a program with the manufacturer of the drug I am taking that saved us many, many thousand of dollars. She also encouraged me to see a social worker on staff at my clinic, who was very helpful.
Both my son and I shared our various scan and blood test results with our nurse, and she helped me prepare for doctor’s visits by suggesting questions I might ask. She arranged for both of us to join a group of scientists and doctors who match cancer patients with appropriate clinical trials. She also contacted and helped us sign up with a specialized lab to provide additional genetic testing. Beacon also provides research materials and the latest studies to their clients.
Receiving a cancer diagnosis is very stressful and scary, and I am grateful to have had so much knowledge, vital support, and understanding at our fingertips.”
– Kathleen, Washington
“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, Washington
“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, Florida
“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, Florida
“I hired Beacon Advocates on a Sunday, my Nurse Advocate started working immediately. By Tuesday she had helped me book an emergency dental appointment, attended and asked insightful questions in a consult with an oncologist, expedited the transfer of records between institutions, given me a referral to an estate planner, educated me on my condition, and been instrumental in helping me change my care provider to a situation I was more comfortable in. Since then she has continued to be in touch every day.
I was a little hesitant to hire Beacon Advocates because it is a concierge service with an upfront cost. What if I hire them and I’m not satisfied or if they aren’t responsive? There was no need to worry. My advocate has been there when needed since the day she was hired – she has answered every text, email, and phone call promptly.
Before hiring Beacon Advocates I was not without resources. I had the help of friends and family, some that have had cancer and some that have worked in the medical field. I and my wife are both capable people, even with all that going for me – it was still overwhelming. Beacon Advocates has made everything easier. My advocate is an oncology nurse she knows how oncology units work, knows who to contact, and gets things done.”
– Bob, Massachusetts
“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, Florida
“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, Florida
“Went into the hospital in the middle of the night with pain and during his work up, we received a diagnosis no one ever wants to hear: “It’s cancer”. We were initially shocked, but I have a background in healthcare, so I immediately went into “provider” mode. It was my coping mechanism and helped kept me going during the next few months. I scheduled us an appointment with our local Cancer Center and over the next week while we waited for the appointment, I received a phone call from nurse representative from my husband’s employer. She told me that our insurance covers a service for a company called “Beacon Advocates” and would I be interested in getting them involved? I said sure. At this point, being so early on in our journey, I was willing and wanting to take all the assistance I could get.
Shortly thereafter, our nurse from Beacon Advocates, reached out to me and we set up a zoom intake meeting. We had our initial intake meeting and because my husband was heavily medicated due to pain, I became the one who oversaw scheduling all his appointments, medications, and in general making sure he got to where he needed to be. Our Beacon nurse came along side me and walked with me during this journey. Since neither my husband or I had been down the cancer road before, she was there to give guidance and direction. She was my sounding board when I had questions or just needed to vent, she was MY advocate when I couldn’t get a response from other medical personnel and would make phone calls on my (and my husband’s) behalf and in general helped gather and organize medical records. Our nurse was there for me all the time. I would text her at 5 in the morning and she would respond quickly. She not only made sure my husband was getting the care that that he needed, but she checked in on me, asking how I was doing as the caregiver and offering support and encouragement as needed.
I am so thankful our insurance company has partnered with Beacon Advocates to assist those who are given the dreaded cancer diagnosis. It is such a blessing knowing you have a medically educated and experienced person in your corner helping and fighting for you and your loved one. Things have settled down with my husband currently and we have decided to put Beacon Advocates’ services on “hold” so that if or when we need assistance later in the year, we can utilize Beacon. Even with the services on hold, our nurse has reached out to me wanting to know we are doing okay. We are not just a number to Beacon Advocates, we are family. I know that when we need her again, she will there for us, ready to help any way she can.”
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