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 was happy that the [Fight Like a Girl] Club was making huge strides in uniting and supporting women on an emotional level but I kept thinking that we have to do more,” said Ellis, “we have to do something to help the financial end of things for these families.”
“I had one lady tell me that she and her terminally-ill husband had refinanced their home to pay for his prescriptions every month,” Ellis continued, “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”. 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 very few 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.
The Fight Like a Girl Foundation’s Mission is multifaceted:
- Financially assist families and individuals experiencing financial hardship due to a serious medical diagnosis
- Emotionally support families and individuals experiencing a serious medical diagnosis through programs like the Fight Like a Girl Princess Program
- 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:
Financially 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 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 provided through gas cards, grocery cards, and hotel vouchers for traveling to treatments and back.
Emotionally supporting families experiencing a serious medical diagnosis
The Fight Like a Girl Support Fund provides emotional support to families who have had a family member diagnosed with cancer or another life-altering illness. As a state-based program, each State Chapter plans, arranges, and hosts 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. Everyone qualifies for the emotional support part of our services.
The Fight Like a Girl Princess Program provides support and fun activities for children battling cancer and other serious illnesses. A team of Fight Like a Girl volunteers dress up in beautiful princess costumes and visit the children in hospitals for a morning or afternoon full of finger painting, photos, dress-up, games, and just some plain ole’ fun – something these children experience little of while confined to a hospital bed.
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.
Fulfilling the last wishes of individuals with less than one year to live
The Fight Like a Girl Last Wish Fund through the Dream Foundation® 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 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