The Angel Fund – In honor of Miguel Ángel Balsa Marín

The Angel Fund was established to provide direct cash assistance to individuals with cancer in our community who have a specific and immediate financial need and where a small amount of money can make a significant difference.
In memory of the late Miguel Balsa, this fund was created by his family and many friends. Miguel was a beloved young man, scholar and teacher who died from colon cancer in December 2013. He was a long-time member of the CRC community who possessed a special kindness that allowed him to connect with others going through treatment. When we realized that Miguel’s middle name was Ángel, we knew that the Angel Fund was meant to be.
Miguel was born in Santander, the beautiful capital of the northern, coastal province of Cantabria in Spain, and moved to New York City a month after September 11, 2001 to live with his partner and future husband, Gerard Aching, and to pursue a career in this country. With the loving support of his close-knit family and life-long friends, Miguel began his American adventure. When he arrived in New York, he came with an appetite for seeing the world, an enthusiasm for experiencing life in the United States, and skills that would lead to a successful professional outcome. Though he was diagnosed after he had returned to studying, he eventually finished his doctoral degree in Comparative Literature from Princeton University and began teaching at Cornell. He was a rigorous, imaginative scholar and a talented teacher who cared deeply for his students’ education and personal growth. Miguel was a very sharp, talented, and affectionate man. He possessed an indomitable spirit, an endearing sense of humor, an infectious laugh, and a warm and deeply generous disposition. He loved life and was so gifted with the capacity to empathize with and care for others that he touched many lives.
Testimonials: “Finding out I had cancer was devastating. Then came the bills for treatment, prescriptions, and all miscellaneous things related. I became overwhelmed financially. When I received a check in the mail from the Cancer Resource Center I was so thankful to have their assistance.” Stephanie Ganor (Survivor)

The fund changed the situation to doable when it was not. A car repair to get to chemo appointments, a medication needed on a late Friday night for pain, or a gas card to get to Roswell for transplant. I reached out to the Angel Fund, appropriately named, and have been able to grant help as well as hope because it is more than monetary funding—it is human kindness!” Deb Danko (Oncology Nurse Navigator)
Support: Since its inception, the Angel Fund has received over 200 donations, including contributions in honor or memory of a loved one. We appreciate all of the Angels that have donated to the fund, making it possible for so many to get through another day.
Donations can be made: 
  • Online
  • Venmo @CRCFL
  • Text ANGEL to (202) 858-1233
  • Call CRC to donate with a credit card: (607) 277-0980
Make checks out to “CRC”

Mail to:
Cancer Resource Center
612 West State St.
Ithaca, NY 14850

What the money is used for: The Angel Fund has provided grants that range from $25 to $250. These grants are designed to help with a specific issue and support individuals/families who are currently experiencing financial hardship due to cancer-related issues.
Some examples of Angel Fund distributions include:
  • Food to feed a family so they can spend one last Thanksgiving together.
  • Christmas gifts for a ten year old son so he can remember the last holiday with his father.
  • Transportation for clients who travel out of town to receive cancer treatment.
  • Travel and meal expenses related to a stem cell transplant at Roswell Cancer Center.
  • Rent to prevent a client from being evicted.
  • Payment of electricity/gas bills to avoid losing heat and power. 
  • Copayments associated with medications and/or doctor visits. 
  • Rental of a suction machine to help ease discomfort.
  • Sperm bank fee so that a patient can still father a child.
 Our Financial Advocacy Program explores other available resources whenever possible. If someone needs a specific item purchased (e.g., a recliner or an air conditioner), our financial advocates help the clients submit a grant to other organizations, and only seek help from the Angel Fund if it is not available elsewhere. 
Click here to learn more.

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