side effects project

The Side Effects Project

The financial crisis of cancer hiding in plain sight + how credit unions can help.

What is the financial crisis hiding in plain sight?

Learn more about the documentary series dedicated to shedding light on the financial crisis hiding in plain sight – cancer.

Why is this work important for credit unions?

The Side Effects Project builds on the 2018 work of the National Credit Union Foundation that offered a model for credit unions and health care system to work together to address members’ physical, mental AND financial health and well-being. This work is a deeper dive to help credit unions understand this link between health and wealth, with a medical issue that ALL of us have experienced in one form or another – cancer.

Our goal with Side Effects – an ambitious 7-part collection of essays, photos, films, and audio narratives – is that you’ll see this connection, then serve these members better.

While this may be a hard issue to tackle, especially while still coping with COVID-19, we believe those health and economic challenges mirror the struggles faced by cancer patients and their families everyday. We hope that the lessons our industry has learned during the pandemic may help us show our members that we are on their side in their fight against cancer.

Thank you for watching, listening to, and sharing these stories. Welcome to Side Effects. 

woman sitting

Get Started

Virtually none of the research into the financial crisis of cancer has addressed the role that financial institutions like credit unions can and must play. That’s where Side Effects comes in.

  • introduction

    Introduction | 12,614 Miles

    “On behalf of the National Credit Union Foundation, I’m honored to introduce you to some of the bravest, strongest, and most humble people I’ve ever known: Cancer patients who have endured overwhelming physical, emotional, and financial trauma.”



  • Side Effects Act 1

    Act 1 | Car Crash in the Living Room

    The physical and psychological devastation of cancer is like that Chevy careening full-speed into your living room, annihilating your furniture and keepsakes and memories, before sputtering to a halt in the middle of what used to be your safe and secure home. Everything is broken. Nothing will be the same.


    READ ACT 1


  • Side Effects Act 2

    Act 2 | Stones + Hope

    What would you hope your credit union would do for you and your family? While there are no easy answers to these questions, credit unions must ask and answer them responsibly, reasonably, and compassionately. Mission becomes legacy when we look beyond tiers and scores and see, with eyes and hearts wide open, a member’s tears and scars.


    READ ACT 2


  • coming soon

    Interlude | Lisa + Bernice

    In the interlude, listen to two women whose financial lives were severely impacted by the crisis of cancer and how much it would help if financial institutions would take the time to listen to their members and customers and help meet them where they are in life.



  • elizabeth coming soon

    Act 3 | Here Right Now

  • coming soon

    Finale | Miles to Go

  • coming soon


andy janning

The National Credit Union Foundation and I are profoundly grateful for your willingness to take a brave and unflinching look at the hidden grief and desperation of a cancer diagnosis… to shed light on the financial devastation hiding in the dark, and in plain sight…to solve the problem of financial toxicity for our staff and our members.

Andy Janning, creator of Side Effects

Side Effects was funded by the National Credit Union Foundation and created by Andy Janning.

Get in touch

For more information on Side Effects

Contact Gigi Hyland, Executive Director

Gigi Hyland

Gigi Hyland, CUDE

Executive Director

Gigi serves as the Executive Director for the Foundation, inspiring credit union professionals to collaborate and incorporate financial health and cooperative principles into their business strategy.