To the Editor:
It’s “tax time” once more. Did you know that you could help fight cancer simply by checking a box on your tax return? Marylanders can help fight cancer this tax season by checking a box on their state Income tax form to direct the donation to the Maryland Cancer Fund.
The check box allows Maryland state residents to enter any amount they wish to donate and the amount will be deducted from the individual’s tax refund.
Cancer touches all our lives in some way. A small donation of just a few dollars to the Maryland Cancer Fund is a great way to put charitable dollars to work right here in Maryland, and help further reduce the impact this deadly disease has in our state.
Maryland had the 14th highest cancer death rate in the United States for the period from 2005-2009. In 2012, nearly 31,000 Marylanders were diagnosed with cancer and more than 10,440 died of cancer.
Established by legislation in 2004 and administered by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH), the Maryland Cancer Fund provides financial support for cancer research, prevention, early detection and treatment. Maryland Cancer Fund donations are distributed as grants through DHMH.
Since 2004, the Maryland Cancer Fund has assisted 650 individuals undergoing cancer screenings.
The Maryland Cancer Fund has also assisted 150 individuals across the state of Maryland with payment ror cancer treatments, 38 of them in Allegany County.
Locally, Maryland Cancer Fund grants are administered through the Allegany County Heath Department Cancer Prevention Program. The grants assist eligible individuals with the costs or their cancer treatment and for palliative care.
Eligible individuals must be uninsured, be a Maryland resident, meet income guidelines, and currently be under a physican’s care for cancer that was diagnosed within the last six months and /or be receiving hospice care.
Allegany County Health Department is currently assisting with four cancer grants that were awarded in Fiscal Year 2013.
Funding has been exhausted and no further grants will be awarded until July 2013, which is dependent on donations from this income tax season.
Multiple persons in Allegany County are still in need of assistance with their cancer treatment.
If you have completed your taxes and would still like to donate, you can mall your donation to: Comptroller of Maryland Revenue Administration Center Taxpayer Service Section Annapolis, MD 21411
• Place “Maryland Cancer Fund” on the memo line
• Indicate a contribution on Line 37 of the Maryland Income Tax Return
If every Maryland taxpayer donated even $1, you could make a difference in hundreds of lives. Remember, no one has to give a lot if everyone gives a little.
Any questions can be answered by calling the Allegany County Health Department’s cancer prevention programs at 301-759-5092 or 301-759-5119.
Dianne L. Morgan, RN
Allegany County Health Department
Colorectal cancer control program