During the nine years Nancy Kwam dealt with multiple myeloma, she and her husband, David Lubben, spent a lot of time in the University of Minnesota Health Blood and Marrow Transplant (BMT) Clinic waiting room. And it became quite obvious to them that many of the patients they met there were facing financial hardships.
“Nothing can take away the challenge of the disease, but to layer on top of that other concerns … you can’t help but feel for them,” Lubben says.
Kwam endured many medical ups and downs before she passed away in 2016. Still, she was quick to notice when others were struggling. “She was remarkable in her concern for other people,” Lubben says. “She wanted to live life, so that meant thinking about others.”
Kwam and Lubben created Nancy’s Fund for BMT Patient Support. It has provided mortgage and utility payments to patients and their families struggling to keep up with their bills, gas money to people who must make many trips to the hospital for treatment, and gift cards for home medical equipment.
“The stories touch me because it’s just the right amount at just the right time, and it really makes a difference,” Lubben says.