Making Money as a Lung Cancer Survivor
One of the biggest challenges a lung cancer patient will come across is money. Even with health insurance medical bills add up. There are prescription drug costs and the need to purchase other items that are non-prescription. Travel expenses to the closest cancer center as well as parking fees or if you need to travel out of state (or country) for a clinical trial. Trying to eat healthier comes with a heftier grocery bill. These are just a few examples of the added expenses that a cancer diagnosis can bring on. I will talk about a few ways to use your diagnosis to get a check and how I made my diagnosis into my “side hustle”.
Work your network
My first suggestion is to network. Now I know that sounds like work but hear me out. I received my biggest project by being referred by a fellow lung cancer survivor. My referrer knew my story, knowing that I was EGFR+ and thought that I would be a good fit for the project that needed a patient’s insight. The best way to do this is by going to the lung cancer conferences, when we can, of course. There are also many Facebook groups that you can join and introduce yourself.
My second suggestion is to join focus group websites. When I joined Inspire I was looking for support, but a bonus was that they emailed me with survey/focus group opportunities. The next website is WhatNext. I joined this site before I even knew what my official diagnosis was. I can complete a survey and they will suggest more that I may qualify for. There is also Savvy Cooperative. This website is especially fun because they cater to all sorts of projects. They send out emails often with current projects and at the bottom are your specific referral links. I post my referral link to my Facebook page when I think someone on my page may benefit. Every project is different, so the amount is always changing but once they complete the project, they get a check, and you get the referral bonus. Occasionally, they will have a lung cancer project.
Check out focus groups
My final suggestion is to find focus group recruiters. This is an easy one because once you are linked with a recruiter, they will contact you for future projects. When a recruiter is looking for, say lung cancer patients, they will ask anyone that they have already spoken with if they know of anyone else. I have been participating in these types of focus groups online because of the pandemic but typically they will do in-person interviews.
A few things to note, if you live in the United States and receive more than $600 from anyone source you will have to report that on your taxes. Please talk with your tax specialist.
Every one of these projects, tasks, focus groups or surveys has different compensation. I have received as little as $25 and as much as $2,000. I have received payment via check, direct deposit, or even Amazon money. You also need to be patient when receiving payment and not expect payment right away. If payment is being made via check then it will need to go through the appropriate departments and then be mailed to you.
Finally, I will close this out by saying that these types of projects are looking for your experience. There are no right or wrong answers so go have fun and get paid while doing it.
Have you had biomarker testing done?