Moms Making Waves: She Found a Way to Help Breast Cancer Patients

Molly MacDonald's own experiences led her to create the Pink Fund

By Joyce Shulman October 2, 2018

Who she is: 

Molly MacDonald, mom of five, journalist, breast cancer survivor, and founder of The Pink Fund.

Why we think she's one of the #MomsMakingWaves:

She founded the Pink Fund, which provides non-medical financial support to women who are in active treatment for breast cancer, so they can focus on healing.

How the Pink Fund works:

Thousands of women reach out each year to the organization. Their cases are processed by a patient navigator and then reviewed by an independent volunteer panel. Based on those recommendations, the Pink Fund then pays the most critical bills of patients with the greatest need.

Why the Pink Fund's work is important:

Because the financial pressure of non-medical expenses -- the worry and stress that comes with unpaid mortgages and missed car payments -- impacts treatment.

The ah-ha moment: 

“I was meeting with a social worker and confiding that the financial strain of treatment was putting me at risk of losing my house and being unable to feed my kids," Molly says. “She told me there were no organizations available to help with my non-medical expenses. And I thought, ‘well there should be.‘ So I decided to create one. Literally, in that moment, my thinking switched from ‘poor me’ to how can I help others.”

She knew she wasn’t alone: 

While in treatment, sitting in dimly-lit waiting rooms surrounded by dog-eared magazines, breast cancer warriors share their challenges and their concerns with each other. She realized during those long days that the financial pressure of treatment was not unique to her.

And now: 

The Pink Fund has distributed more than $3 million to date and receives hundreds of applications each month.

Usually, it’s about a place to lay their heads: 

Fifty-seven percent of the financial support patients receive from the Pink Fund goes to housing.

What's next: 

Molly's goal is to create an endowment fund of $5 million to ensure sustainability long past her tenure.

On “those days“:

“You have to wait out the bad days because they pass and good things will come,“ Molly says. “If you give up, you’ll never have those experiences or opportunities.”

Find out more about the Pink Fund's work at


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