Medical Debt Relief

Cancer for College is partnering with Goodroot’s Emry Health to help families deal with financial challenges that arise from a cancer diagnosis and subsequent treatment. Later this year we will officially launch a program to allow CFC scholars and young cancer survivors to apply for assistance with medical debt. Together, we will work to eliminate medical debt.

Read the official press release about the partnership here. 

If you’d like to receive updates on the rollout of this program and get information on how to apply for relief, please sign up for email updates.

Medical Debt & Cancer Statistics

  • The average cost associated with childhood cancer is a startling $833,000.²
  • 1 in 5 CHILDREN who receive a new diagnosis of childhood cancer is already living in poverty.²
  • About half  (47%) of U.S. adults say it is very or somewhat difficult for them to afford their healthcare costs.¹  
  • 1 in 4 families report losing more than 40% of their annual household income as a result of cancer treatment-related work disruption—this figure doesn’t account for out-of-pocket expenses like traveling to the hospital and extra childcare at home.²
  • Adults in households with annual incomes under $40,000 are more than three times as likely as adults in households with incomes over $90,000 to say it is difficult to afford their health care costs (69% v. 21%).¹
  • More than a quarter (28%) of parents of children with cancer across all income levels said they experienced great economic hardship when going through the cancer treatment process. That number nearly doubles for lower income levels.² 
  • About four in ten U.S. adults say they have delayed or gone without medical care in the last year due to cost, and about a quarter of adults say they or a family member have not filled a prescription, cut pills in half, or skipped doses of medicine in the last year because of the cost.¹
  • High healthcare costs disproportionately affect uninsured adults, Black and Hispanic adults, and those with lower incomes. Larger shares of U.S. adults in each of these groups report difficulty affording various types of care and delaying or forgoing medical care due to the cost.¹
  • Those who are covered by health insurance are not immune to the burden of health care costs. About one-third of insured adults worry about affording their monthly health insurance premium, and 44% worry about affording their deductible before health insurance kicks in.¹



  1. Alex Montero, Audrey Kearney, Liz Hamel, Mollyann Brodie. “Americans’ Challenges with Health Care Costs.” KFF, the Independent Source for Health Policy Research, Polling, and News., 14 July 2022,
  2. “The Economic Impact of Childhood Cancer.” NCCS, 2018,