Elks Lodge announces financial assistance now available for local pediatric cancer patients

Published 4:37 pm Monday, June 3, 2024

Middlesboro Lodge #119 of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks has announced that it is part of an on-going program of the Kentucky State Elks Association  titled “Kids with Cancer.” The program allows the families of pediatric cancer patients to receive monetary assistance for lodging, gas, food, medical bills, and other individual needs to help them cope with their child’s disease and treatment.

Many pediatric cancer patients in Middlesboro and Bell, Harlan and Knox County areas require specialized treatment in distant locations such as Knoxville, Lexington, Louisville, and others, requiring numerous trips to treatment centers, sometimes with overnight stays. This can be an overwhelming financial burden for lower-income families.

In a recent year the Kentucky Elks “Kids with Cancer” program, aka, “The Kentucky State Elks Association Major Project”, spent $119,000 statewide assisting families facing the challenges and hardships that come with taking care of a child sick with cancer. Funding for the program comes from yearly donations from individual Elks Lodges around the state as well as the generosity of Mr. Jim Bob Kevil, a longtime member of Princeton, Ky. Lodge #1115, who provided endowed funds specifically to help children and families battling childhood cancer.

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Although the “Kids with Cancer” program, or project, has existed for some time, the Middlesboro Elks believe it has been a “well-kept secret” in this corner of the state and is a resource that could be utilized as needed by families in this area if well publicized and the word gets out.

Unfortunately for some in this tri-state area, a child and family must be residents of Kentucky to qualify. Other guidelines for assistance from the program are:

  1. Any child under 18 years of age receiving treatment for cancer is eligible for consideration.
  2. The family must be referred by their health care provider or assigned social worker.
  3. Patient application forms must be completed in full. All follow-ups or questions regarding the application must be made by the health care provider or social worker.
  4. All payments will be made directly to any vendors. A copy of invoices from any suppliers, listing patient name, and cost to the provider, if applicable, must be submitted.
  5. Written verification prepared by a licensed or certified health care practitioner stating that services have been denied via other routes of payment, i.e. insurance, etc. must be provided.


Financial assistance is also available for doctor, hospital, or medicine co-pays, as well as for medical equipment and supplies.

The maximum limit for assistance per family, per year, is $1,000. However, catastrophic expenses above $1,000 will be evaluated on a quarterly basis and may be covered partially or in full. Because funds are limited, there is no guarantee that every request can be met, but every effort to help will be made.

Applications can be found on the Kentucky State Elks website at Kentuckyelks.org. Hover over “What we do”, then click on “Ky. State Major Project” then click on the “PDF block” near the top of the page.