In 1987, Jacki White Kasubaski of Winneconne lost her mother to breast cancer.
Looking back on her mother’s journey, White Kasubaski saw how her mother, who was 57, had many financial struggles due to health costs and raising a family as a single mother. “It was the first time I became aware of the financial burden life-threatening diseases have on the patient, as well as the family,” she said.
In 2008, she and her husband created an event to raise funds to be donated to organizations that provide direct financial support to breast cancer patients. The Wisconsin Road Run was born and proved to be a successful venture. In 2011, it became a local non-profit organization, the Miriam B. White Foundation, based out of Winneconne. The following year, a financial assistance program began to disburse funds directly to Wisconsin men and women who were undergoing breast cancer treatment.
“We want to promote awareness of the financial impact breast cancer has on families and to raise funds to provide direct financial support for basic human needs to those undergoing breast cancer treatment,” said White Kasubaski, who is co-founder and executive director.
The organization began accepting applications in 2012. In 2014, it received 77 applications with needs covering utility payments, medical bills, rent or mortgage payments and fuel and gift cards.
White Kasubaski said she appreciated a recent $750 donation from ThedaCare’s Community Health Initiative. “The support that this donation provides to the patients is to relieve some of the financial stress faced while treating breast cancer so that patient can focus on healing,” she said. “As we provide this for many of the ThedaCare patients, I believe that this is a collaboration in the best interest of the patient.”
The organization operates solely with the help of volunteers, she noted. “Because of this, we are able to say that 95 percent of all donations and grants go towards the financial assistance program,” said White Kasubaski.