ST. LOUIS, March 24, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Frustrated at seeing patients die because of lack of insurance or financial means, Dr. David A. Caplin and Dr. Marlys E. Schuh founded Gateway to Hope in St. Louis, Missouri in 2005. Based on the belief that every person diagnosed with breast cancer should be entitled to care regardless of their financial situation, the nonprofit organization provides comprehensive care at no cost to uninsured and underinsured individuals with or at high risk for breast cancer through its partners' donated services.
Most of these individuals are employed and actively working, often self-employed contractors, small business owners, or employees without benefits. Gateway to Hope patients earn too much money to receive government assistance such as Medicaid yet not enough to pay for comprehensive health insurance or cancer treatment, which can range between $200,000 to $400,000. Unable to afford medical care and ineligible for assistance, they are left with no choice but to go untreated and face mortality.
Gateway to Hope rescues these individuals, providing care at no cost to them through its network of 145 partners and providers, including doctors, hospitals, pharmacies and healthcare facilities that donate their skills, services and time. From lumpectomy and mastectomy to chemotherapy, radiation and reconstructive surgery to the necessities of life such as childcare, transportation and wigs, all of the care is donated at no cost to Gateway to Hope patients.
The organization, which celebrated its fifth anniversary in December 2010, has successfully saved the lives of more than 175 individuals. This year alone, it has arranged care for 21 new patients. Additionally, over the past five years it has made more than 480 referrals to help those ineligible for care through Gateway to Hope find the right resources.
Gateway to Hope identifies itself as the only n