Chairman Mr. Mathew Daniel

Mathew Daniel at the 30th Anniversary Banquet

The annual gala mixed entertainment, including comedy by Ohio-based Indian American humorist Rajiv Satyal, with its serious message to not only render financial assistance, but to also increase the yearly number of recipients from 200 to 300, as Mathew Daniel, chairman and founder, welcomed guests and described the Woodland Hills-based non-profit as a trustworthy “neighborhood” charity.

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With little to no overhead, SDM and its core of volunteers and 15 long-standing board members have assisted about 3,000 cancer-stricken families to date by providing check disbursements for food and daily needs, which currently amount to approximately $150, or roughly Rs. 10,000, per person.

Monetary payouts are channeled via select hospitals in India such as the Regional Cancer Center, Trivandrum, where SDM’s first patient was assisted through its initial modest endowment fund.

The Amala Cancer Hospital, Thrissur; Calicut Medical College, Kozhikode; and Caritas Medical College, Kottayam, also joined SDM in its philanthropic efforts and contribute to the yearly list of “poorest of the poor patients” sent to SDM for further review and payee selection, according to Daniel.

Hospital beds and related expenses are also sponsored fully or partially at the cancer hospitals when patients cannot afford hospital stays, explained Daniel. The cost of sponsoring a bed is $750 a year.

SDM’s mission, as recalled by Daniel, was instituted in 1985, soon after his wife Susen succumbed to ovarian cancer. The realization of the low chances of surviving cancer, coupled with the lack of affordable medical care for the indigent, not only prompted Daniel to action, but gained momentum when he lost his daughter Sudha to breast cancer in 2002.

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