Travel Assistance Grants

About the TAG Program

As the top destination online for OM-related information, OMF is inundated with requests from around the world for assistance with research, treatment and travel. And in October 2012, OMF created the Travel Assistance Grant (TAG) program to provide for one of the most requested types of assistance.
OMF Travel Assistance Program Overview (2015).pdf
click to download

The Awards

OMF has distributed almost $30,000 in travel awards since beginning the program. We have given out 45 total TAG awards with an average of $1,085 per grantee across 1.7 awards per grantee.
TAG awards are typically distributed based on an event, such as a patient and their caregiver needing to visit MD Anderson in Houston or JUH in Philadelphia for treatment but having a difficult time paying for that trip. The program looks to distribute no more than $500 per patient and $500 per caregiver per trip (we've found that as a rule of thumb most covered trips are around $1,000-$1,500). 

TAG awards cover just travel – round-trip coach class airfare, rail travel or, when the patient is within six hours driving distance, rental car and/or gas – but, when appropriate, basic hotel accommodations as well.

There is a 3 award and $1,500 lifetime cap (whichever is reached first) on TAG awards for individual patients and, for patients traveling with a caregiver (often a spouse), the total TAG award amount can be increased to a maximum of $3,000

In all cases, the final award package is developed by OMF’s TAG director to best fit the particular needs of the applicant.  

Selection Criteria

Applications for TAG Awards will be evaluated solely on need.

Factors that will be weighed when evaluating each application include the unique financial situation of the applicant and their family, how long they have been battling OM and their total total out-of-pocket expenses related to disease treatment.

As with most application processes, there are no hard and fast rules. But, we can say that if you have a need to see a specific expert for a specific treatment and you don't have the funds to cover your transportation to see that expert, we will do our best to accomodate you through this unique program.

Apply for a TAG Award

Requesting travel for yourself or for a friend or family member is easy. Simply click here or on the blue box to the right to access the online TAG application. If the idea of entering a bunch of personal information into an online forms makes you uneasy, feel free to click here to download the application form and then mail it to us.

Along with the confidential questionnaire, we'll need you to submit proof of your income/financial status along with any supporting materials, and an OMF representative will get back to you shortly (usually 5-10 business days) to take the next steps in assessing your need and then arranging for your travel.

If you have any questions about the program, drop us an email at TAG@ocularmelanoma.org.

Other Travel Assistance Resources

Though some airlines offer compassionate airfare, similar to bereavement airfare, the following organizations help people in need seek free air transportation to specialized health care facilities.

Air Care Alliance
Corporate Angel Network Inc.
Mercy Medical Airlift
The National Patient Travel Center
To download an application and mail it in, please click here.
Please email TAG@ocularmelanoma.org if you have any questions.