CANCER patients across North Wales have been receiving funding boosts to help pay for increases in their expenses.
Macmillan Cancer Support has helped patients through their welfare benefits service to receive more than £2m in unclaimed benefits in the last year.
In addition, 80 patients in Wrexham were awarded a total of £27,453 in Macmillan patient grants in 2008.
The one-off payments help patients pay for equipment to help them cope with their illness, as well as other expenses, including fuel bills and clothes.
Macmillan welfare benefits adviser Sally Forest, based at the Shooting Star Unit in Wrexham Maelor Hospital, said: “Many families affected by cancer will see a cut in the amount of money coming into the home as a result of being diagnosed with cancer.
“We are here to make sure we minimise the financial impact of cancer on their lives.
“The benefits system can appear complicated but we can help people access all the support they are entitled to so they can concentrate on looking after themselves.”
Cath Lindley, general manager for Macmillan Cancer Support in Wales, said: “We are delighted Macmillan has been able to help so many in North Wales.
“The statistics illustrate just how vital this service is to people affected by cancer. They tell us money problems are the second biggest worry after their diagnosis.
“For many patients, this may be the first time they have encountered the benefits system and so it is vital they get all the financial help they are entitled to.”