Guardian Angel Grant: Health First Cancer Patient Greg Sulzer Gets Critical Help from the Community, Day of Giving is Sept. 28
By Space Coast Daily // September 25, 2023
Make a meaningful impact by becoming a Guardian Angel: To make a contribution to the fund and help others like Greg Sulzer get timely aid to continue the targeted care they need to live, visit HF.org/dayofgiving.
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – In spite of everything, the year 2023 has brought some unexpected blessings into Greg Sulzer’s life. Two, specifically. Grandchildren.
“My babies are having babies – am I old enough to be a grandpa?”
The rest of the year has been more hardship than anyone should have to face. What started as a sore throat and rapid weight loss turned into a cancer diagnosis. His life-saving treatments stole his tastebuds, and he could not chew and swallow solid food.
Then, his 25-year-old truck died on him – he couldn’t even make his medical appointments. He pawned most of what he owned, but he could not afford to fix his truck and had no other ride.
Health First Medical Group Patient Benefit Advisor Chauntel Martinez saw a lot of fight in Sulzer, though.
“He still has life to live in him. He’s able to get treatment, but unable to get here” to the Viera Medical Plaza where Sulzer was receiving chemotherapy infusions and radiation, she said.
Guardian Angel Grant
At one point, Sulzer was admitted to Viera Hospital where case managers, armed with compassion and determination, sought to make a difference in his fate. They applied for a Guardian Angel Grant through the Health First Foundation and its Compassionate Care Fund. The grant would pay for transportation to and from treatments as well as cover Sulzer’s tube feeding supplies for two months.
The aid came fast and at a particularly critical time in his treatment schedule, helping him resume his cancer fight.
On a Friday afternoon late last month, Sulzer rang the ceremonial brass bell outside the TrueBeam cancer radiation treatment space, marking the end of his radiation treatments. His journey back to wellness is not over, but the immediate fight is.
Martinez, the Patient Benefits Advocate, said the grant award did nothing shy of saving a life.
“Without the food or rides he received, or in other words, having to cancel chemo and radiation, Greg would not be alive. He’d have missed both his granddaughter’s first birthdays,” she said.
“To me, this is a blessing. It’s the only way I can eat. It’s the only way I can stay alive,” Sulzer said. “I come from a military background, so I have that survivor instinct, but when you lose 30 pounds in three months – and I’m a skinny person – it’s crazy.”
“To the generous people who give to the Guardian Angel Grants, they are literally giving me a chance to live,” he said.
“I’ve been blessed to get the care I need.”
Guardian Angel Grants assist eligible patients with transportation, essential medical supplies, and more. These grants are coordinated by clinical care teams and made possible by donations to the Health First Foundation’s Compassionate Care Fund.
To make a contribution to the fund and help others like Greg Sulzer get timely aid to continue the targeted care they need to live, visit HF.org/dayofgiving.