Photo credit: ABC News
Medical care in the United States is among one of the most expensive in the world. Even when receiving preventative care, bills can quickly rack up and become overwhelming for the average family. Imagine what happens when a terrible disease strikes.
The cost of treatment deadly illnesses such as breast cancer can quickly bankrupt any responsible, working individual. Furthermore, having advanced disease typically is so debilitating that a patient may be unable to work, leading to worsening financial burden and stress. Stresses over finances are the amongst some of the worst things to deal with when trying to battle a potentially deadly illness.
Molly Macdonald's cancer battle
In 2005, Molly MacDonald found herself in such a predicament. She was already in a suboptimal financial situation when she was diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer. At the time, she was in-between two jobs and unable to pay her bills. Unfortunately, amidst the chaos, she needed two surgeries to eradicate the tumor and save her life. Not only were the medical bills expensive, but Molly was also a mother of five children. Trying to support her family, keep the lights on, and pay for her medical care was incredibly overwhelming during this already difficult time in Molly's life.
On top of her two surgeries, Molly's breast cancer therapies were extensive and expensive. Molly needed to go to her doctor for daily radiation for 6 weeks. The medical bills started piling up and she was forced to give up her house to the bank. After the foreclosure, she began going to food banks for assistance to feed herself and her family. It was hard and humbling, and Molly often felt beat down.
Finally cancer-free, Molly was able to bounce back and help others
After successfully going through treatment, Molly endured her tough times and recovered from breast cancer. She returned to a full-time position in sales and marketing soon after achieving remission. Finally, she was able to support her family again. The 66-year-old mother-of-five from Beverly Hills, Michigan, decided that she would never want to see anyone in the same predicament she endured.
She decided to dedicate herself to helping others who were also going through breast cancer treatment and facing financial hardship as a consequence. She wanted to help these women so that they could enjoy the opportunity to focus on healing rather than the stress of securing finances.
Molly uses her talents to help others going through what she had to endure
Molly is an incredibly warm-hearted angel who wants to help others in such a powerful way. Using her sales savvy and business smarts, she fundraised money by recruiting small donors and harnessing corporate sponsors to pay for treatments as well as non-medical bill payments. She was able to help secure funding for up to 90 days of treatment as well as up to $3,000 in repayments for mortgages, rent, and car payments, amongst other expenses.
The Pink Fund
Molly launched her organization in 2006, a non-profit called The Pink Fund. Since then, she has helped 1,754 breast cancer patients (including 4 men). Her organization has paid out over 2.3 million dollars in assistance to these people who needed it most.
Molly, now a proud grandmother, says that she was inspired by her own experience battling her disease. She feels that no woman (or man) should ever have to find themselves in the position she was in. Molly finds great joy in helping these people get through their breast cancer treatments, and to her, it's a huge gift for her soul.
Testimonies of grateful women who have benefited directly from The Pink Fund
One gift recipient, Daniela Jankovska, expressed how grateful she was when she received this monetary assistance from the Pink Fund. The 49-year-old breast cancer patient from South Plainfield, New Jersey was amongst the many women who really needed the help. Daniela is a single mom who is a manager of a school cafeteria. During her surgeries that were essential to saving her life, she was out for months from her job due to the arduous recovery process. It was a hard time, and Daniela vividly remembers debating between buying food and paying a bill. The money she lost from these months of unemployment would have endangered her entire family to financial hardships if it weren't for the help of Molly's wonderful assistance program. The Pink Fund helped Daniela by providing money for electric, sewer, water, and phone bills for 3 months. In total, she received $2,300 to help her get through these trying times.
Daniela shares that this simple act of kindness went a long way. Taking care of the necessities like electricity allowed Daniela to get a small handle on her life back into control. She finally was able to sleep at night, shedding the worry that she couldn't feed her son for lunch.
Another gift recipient, Kimberly Cooper, was also suffering from trying financial burdens during her breast cancer treatments. The 55-year-old from Harvard, Illinois, had to take leave from her job at Walmart because of her breast cancer treatments, as the disease had spread to her lymph nodes and her liver. Kimberly was able to receive assistance from the Pink Fund in the form of $900 to cover a month's worth of rent and water bills.
Deborah Hale, also a gift recipient of The Pink Fund, is a 49-year-old woman who was unable to go to work due to her recovery state after surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. After her treatments, Deborah had a compromised immune system that kept her from daily function and work. She was so worried about getting bills paid, but luckily, the Pink Fund stepped in to help her take the weight off her shoulders. With Molly's help, Deborah was able to focus solely on healing both emotionally, and physically too.
Molly's work is an inspiration, and she is a role model in our community
These women and hundreds more are ever grateful for the assistance they received from the organization that Molly created out of the kindness of her heart. These women are so incredibly lucky to receive such life-changing care and support from someone who has zero gain from doing such a deed. Just a simple act of paying someone's electricity bill can make a huge difference in their ability to recover from such a devastating and taxing disease. Breast cancer often can be debilitating, especially when treating more advanced stages of the disease. It's wonderful that someone like Molly took the time to turn her dreadful experience around to help others and enrich her own life through her philanthropic deeds.