The Fight Like a Girl Foundation™ was formed to help people in need. It’s really that simple. As the founder and president of the Fight Like a Girl Club™, a support group for women battling cancer and other serious illnesses, Sandy Ellis heard first-hand from ill individuals who could not afford medical treatment, families who had to trim down their grocery list to pay for prescriptions, and women who went years without mammograms because they didn’t have the money to pay for one.
“I had one lady tell me that she and her terminally-ill husband had refinanced their home to pay for his prescriptions every month. They were on pins and needles that the money was going to run out before he passed away. That’s a horrible thing to have to worry about during the last few months of your life,” said Ellis. With her husband being forced to drop his own health insurance because of a previous cancer diagnosis, Sandy grew more and more anxious to do something to help especially after she researched and discovered that there are hardly any organizations out there that offer direct financial relief to families whose lives have been shattered because of cancer or another serious illness. The Fight Like a Girl Foundation™ was born soon thereafter.
Wanting to help those in need in every way she could, Sandy established the Foundation with a multifaceted Mission:
- Assist families and individuals experiencing financial hardship due to a serious medical diagnosis
- Fund research for important health causes
- Fulfill last wishes of women, men, and children who have been given less than 1 year to live by a physician
In Sandy’s words, “We may not have a cure for cancer and other serious diseases yet but while we’re waiting we can all stand together, lend a helping hand, and support one another – we can unite as ONE until we’ve WON”.
The Fight Like a Girl Foundation™ embraces and supports those in need by:
Assisting families and individuals experiencing financial hardship due to cancer or another serious illness
Just a few words from a doctor’s mouth and thousands of families’ lives are turned upside down every year. As if the emotional effects of a life-changing diagnosis aren’t difficult enough, often these families are thrown into a financial nightmare. In the first 3 months of being diagnosed, the average cancer patient accrues nearly a half million dollars in medical expenses. Some of these individuals have no insurance whatsoever and many of the ones who do find that it falls short of covering the mounting bills that seem to never stop.
The Fight Like a Girl Foundation™ Financial Assistance Fund consists of grants of varying amounts that are awarded to families experiencing a medical crisis. Because we receive many more applications than we have funds for, we select grant recipients based on several factors including extent of financial need. The grant recipient provides the Foundation with bills that are connected to the medical situation and, after approval, payment is made by the Foundation directly to the third party that the money is owed to. Grant funds can also be used for gas cards and hotel bills related to traveling to treatments and back.
The Fight Like a Girl Foundation™ Support Fund provides emotional support to families who have had a family member diagnosed with cancer or another life-altering disease. As a state-based program, each State Chapter plans, arranges, and hosts regular support meetings for the entire family, provides helpful information and resources, and when possible coordinates activities for the support group to give the families a brief reprieve from the stress of their daily lives.
Through our grants, support programs, and dedicated staff and volunteers, the Fight Like a Girl Foundation™ is committed to helping relieve both the financial and the emotional burden that comes with a serious medical diagnosis.
Funding research for important health causes
The Fight Like a Girl Foundation™ Research Fund, through the country’s top hospital research facilities, provides endowments for laboratory researchers, in collaboration with physicians and clinical investigators, to study and develop new preventions, treatments, and therapies for all types of cancer as well as a range of illnesses like heart disease, multiple sclerosis, lupus, Alzheimer’s disease, endometriosis, Crohn’s disease, and chronic pain. Working through world-class hospitals, these researchers have access to the very latest in scientific advances, cutting-edge technology, and state-of-art laboratory equipment. Through our Research Fund, the Fight Like a Girl Foundation™ is committed to doing our part to enhance treatment, prolong life, and ultimately facilitate cures for all cancers and diseases.
Fulfilling the last wishes of individuals with less than one year to live
The Fight Like a Girl Foundation™ Last Wish Fund provides the means for fulfilling the last wishes of women, men, and children who have been confirmed by a physician to have less than 1 year to live. Whether it’s taking a trip they’ve always dreamed of, visiting a relative one last time, meeting a celebrity, or taking a balloon ride, the Fight Like a Girl Foundation™ Last Wish Fund not only offers these brave individuals a reprieve from treatments, worry, and the reality of their illness – if only for a day – but assists in bringing a sense of closure and peace to them as they come to the end of their life’s journey.
Fight Like a Girl Foundation™ state chapters are extensions of the Fight Like a Girl Foundation™ parent organization. State chapters conduct local fundraisers, offer support and information, and financially assist local families experiencing financial hardship due to a life-threatening medical diagnosis. Each state chapter:
- Sponsors at least one major fundraiser per year
- Organizes and conducts support meetings and gatherings for families and individuals coping with cancer or another serious diagnosis
- Financially assists local families who are experiencing financial difficulty due to a family member’s diagnosis of cancer or another serious illness