Cancer Advocacy Project

Cancer Advocacy Project

To get help from the Cancer Advocacy Project, call 212.382.4785 or fill out this intake form.


When faced with a cancer diagnosis, many individuals find themselves tackling not only emotional and physical distress, but also the soaring price of basic medical care and the daunting maze of the U.S. health care system. Navigating employment situations can also be problematic. Preparing for the future often becomes a priority and documenting wishes in writing can bring peace of mind, such as naming someone of their choice to, if necessary, make critical health-related decisions or handle financial matters on their behalf; in addition, a Will provides guidance for their families and is particularly important if minor children are involved.

For New Yorkers who may already be facing systemic socioeconomic barriers or with limited English proficiency, the situation can feel overwhelming. The City Bar Justice Center’s Cancer Advocacy Project  was established to address this need. We assist individuals affected by cancer (patients, survivors and caregivers) of limited economic means and who reside in New York City, as well as groups and organizations providing services to those affected by cancer, in three main areas:

  1. Drafting no-cost life-planning documents (wills, healthcare proxies, living wills and powers of attorney) for cancer patients and survivors,
  2. Challenging unjust coverage decisions by private health insurance companies; and
  3. Providing advice on cancer-related discrimination in the workplace.

In addition, we provide clients with access to important legal rights information through community presentations (currently remotely) and educational resources for support groups, medical and social work staff and community organizations on issues related to life-planning choices, workplace rights, health insurance problems, and options for dealing with medical debt.

Need Assistance?

Please fill out our brief preliminary intake form by clicking here to check eligibility:

Once you submit the form, we will follow-up by phone or email within 3 business days to request additional information, if necessary; confirm eligibility for assistance and provide you with information about next steps; and confirm the logistics required for remote assistance.

Vivienne Duncan directs the Cancer Advocacy Project and Yenissell Sanchez is the project coordinator.

Not sure if this is the right project? Contact our free Legal Hotline at 212-626-7383.



A Beginner’s Guide to Cancer and Housing Discrimination (For Homeowners and Homebuyers)

A Beginner’s Guide to Cancer and Housing Discrimination (For Renters)

Medical Insurance Guide for Cancer Patients

Need Help After a Cancer Diagnosis?: Essential Financial, Medical and Emotional Support Resources

Financial and Employment

A Beginner’s Guide to Cancer and Workplace Discrimination

A Cancer Patient’s Guide to Applying for Disability Benefits and the Appeals Process (English)

A Guide to Medical Debt: Your Rights and Options (English) (Spanish)

Cancer and Medical Debt: Resources & Options – Including Bankruptcy (English) (Spanish)

Employment Rights for Cancer Patients Handbook (English) (Spanish)

Financial and Medical Resources Guide for Cancer Patients and Survivors (English) (Spanish)

This user-friendly guide identifies potential sources of financial and medical assistance, including foundations, charities, cancer-related organizations and pharmaceutical companies that provide free or subsidized medications.

Estates and Life Planning

A Beginner’s Guide to Estate Planning: Wills and Advance Directives (English) (Spanish)

A Guide to Funeral and Burial Options in New York (English) (Spanish)

A Guide to Wills for Cancer Patients (English) (Spanish)

Essential Documents For Life Planning and Standby Guardianship

Essential Life Planning Documents (English) (Spanish)

Guardianships: What You Need to Know (English) (Spanish)

Handling an Estate in New York: What You Need to Know (English) (Spanish)

Power of Attorney or Legal Guardianship: What Is The Difference, and Which One Do I Need? (English) (Spanish)

The 5 Most Common Questions About Article 81 Guardianships, Answered

A Simple Guide to Advance Directives and Estate Planning (English) (Spanish)


Video: Estate Planning for Cancer Patients: Wills & Advance Directives. Part One: Wills

Video: Estate Planning for Cancer Patients: Wills & Advance Directives. Part Two: Advance Directives

Video: Cancer and Workplace Discrimination: What You Should Know (Part 1 of 2)

Video: Cancer and Workplace Discrimination: What You Should Know (Part 2 of 2)


Latest news
Upcoming events
  • Housing & Tenants’ Rights Information Session: Getting Apartment Repairs

    Join us for an information session on how to get repairs from your landlord, as well as free 1-on-1 consultations for housing-related legal issues. Consultations will be limited to 30 minutes and will be provided on a firstcome-first-served basis. Refreshments will be provided for all participants. Please register here.

  • NELP Small Business Remote Legal Clinic

    A small business virtual legal clinic will be held over Zoom for Financial Institution Pro Bono Day. Registration is required. Please click here if interested in participating.