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Get to Know The Cecilia Fund
Santa Barbara's Second Oldest Charity; Founded in 1891
Who We Are
How We Work
Referrals for help come to us through social workers, healthcare providers, and medical and dental providers throughout Santa Barbara County, such as the Cancer Center of Santa Barbara, Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care, Catholic Charities, Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics, CenCal Heath, Guadalupe Free Clinic, and the Independent Living Resource Center.
We fund a full range of critical medical and dental needs, including emergency care, medications, and medical equipment.
Who We Help
They are often people we know or meet in our lives. They are barely getting by until an illness or accident leaves them with nowhere else to turn. They are the working poor, the senior living on social security; they are young and they are old.
Community Partner Testimonials
Making a Difference, One Case at a Time
Emilee’s was diagnosed with Stage-3 ovarian cancer in early 2015 while she was adjusting to life as a single mom of three young children as well as running her own pilates and yoga studio, The Loft. She endured surgery and weeks of chemotherapy which left her too sick and weak to work. But she wasn’t going to let this get her down. She had already beaten the odds and survived a rare childhood cancer. The Cancer Center of Santa Barbara referred her to The Cecilia Fund and we helped pay her medical bills. She is back teaching yoga and pilates and even working on starting her own foundation to provide a core exercise recovery program for cancer survivors!
It was 1981, and Debbie was a first-time mother who’s son Sean was born with a major cleft lip and palate that needed immediate attention. Within a few weeks of his birth, Debbie was told she needed to take Sean to see specialists at Stanford University Hospital. Sean eventually needed five surgeries before he turned two years old. Because money was tight, Debbie turned to the St. Cecilia Society (now The Cecilia Fund) for help. “Each time we made the long trek up to Stanford, they provided money for gas and food. Their support was so invaluable that I will never forget their kindness. We wouldn’t have made it without them.”
Ashly moved to Santa Barbara to “live the dream” and opened a photography business. Then she was diagnosed with breast cancer. “I was immediately thrown into a world of MRIs, biopsies, surgery and radiation.” She was unable to work, lost her business partner and was faced with a mountain of medical bills when she finished treatment. The Cancer Center of Santa Barbara referred her case to The Cecilia Fund and we paid her bill, helping Ashly focus on getting her business back up and running.
Gerardo is a pastor to a small congregation in Santa Barbara. He works full time, volunteers in the community and serves on the Board of Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics. He had severe dental disease and needed to have most of his teeth removed, which made it difficult for him to talk and eat. He was trying to save enough money for dentures when he was referred to The Cecilia Fund. We paid $2,300 to help cover his tooth extractions and the cost of a complete set of dentures. Gerardo is very proud of his new smile and speaks often about how thankful he is for the assistance he received.
Shortly after receiving the devastating news that her daughter had been killed by a drunk driver, Maria was taken to Cottage Hospital with chest pains. Thankfully, she didn’t have a heart attack but she was left with an $1,800 medical bill she couldn’t afford to pay. She was also left as the sole caregiver for her two-year-old granddaughter.
Maria, who works on a cleaning crew, was referred to The Cecilia Fund for help. We were able to negotiate a discount and her bill was paid in full.
A victim of domestic violence, Ariel was badly beaten! Her injuries included a broken jaw and fractured teeth. She was embarrassed by the appearance of her mouth and rarely left her home. Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics referred her and provided treatment that included extraction of all her teeth and new dentures. The Cecilia Fund paid for her treatment with a special grant provided by the Women’s Fund. Ariel is now in school, caring for her son and applying for a job.
Karen is a 16 year old with an undiagnosed hematologic condition that caused blood clots in her legs and lungs. She needed 6-8 months of daily injections at a cost of $800 per month. Her family’s insurance only covered a portion of the cost and her parents were only able to afford the first 3 months of treatment.The Cecilia Fund received the request from a case worker at Cottage Hospital and was able to pay for her remaining months of injections.
Jessica is a 28 year old woman who was referred by Marian Medical and Marian Cancer Center while she was undergoing treatment for breast cancer. Unfortunately, her disease was spreading and she urgently needed both a CT and an MRI. The Cecilia Fund negotiated discount rates with both the radiologist and the hospital and paid $854 for her needed scans.