By now, you or someone in your life has been impacted by breast cancer. A staggering 1 in 8 women and 1 in 833 men will be diagnosed with some type of breast cancer in their lifetime. And once October hits, we are bombarded by organizations asking for donations.
If you are looking to make an impact locally, this guide lists a few of the amazing organizations and groups working to help those impacted by breast cancer in Pittsburgh and surrounding areas. Even if you aren’t looking to donate somewhere right now, you might know someone who needs one of these resources. Pass this on. Personally speaking as someone who has been dealing with breast cancer over the last couple years, you can never have too many support options when you’re on a cancer journey. We are incredibly lucky to have so many amazing organizations in this area that offer breast cancer patients and their caregivers such wonderful resources.
412Thrive’s mission is to help individuals any age, at any stage impacted by breast cancer and genetic mutations not only survive, but thrive. They were founded by young adult breast cancer survivor, Samantha Moatz, who knows that you’re never “too young” to be diagnosed with breast cancer. Whether you’re a previvor, survivor, or thriver, 412Thrive provides members with a private Facebook group, social events, meals, care packages, and educational workshops. They raise funds through donations, fundraisers, and partnerships with local businesses.
Hair Peace Charities helps women and girls in the Western Pennsylvania area with financial assistance to purchase a wig, and offers educational, emotional, and spiritual support. Hair Peace Charities was started by local radio personality, Bonny Diver, who heard the dreaded words “you have cancer” and realized that most insurance companies do not cover wigs. Hair Peace Charities also offers in person support groups and private Facebook group. They raise funds through donations, Recipe for Hope, 5k Cancer Walk/Run at Tanger, local events, Tanger Pink Cards, and other partnerships in October.
Young Adult Survivors United (YASU) was founded by Stephanie Scoletti, who faced Leukemia at 20 years old. Once she started leading support groups, she confirmed the issues and experiences of young adult cancer are different. YASU is for young adults with cancer, ages 18-39. They host a variety of support groups that focus on young adult, LGBTQ+, African American, co-survivors, and grief communities. They also offer a private Facebook group, educational information, and in person meet up events. Members can apply for a stipend they can use for medical bills, living expenses, and basic needs. They raise funds through donations and their golf outing and Wig Out event fundraisers.
Young Women’s Breast Cancer Awareness Foundation (YWBCAF) was founded by Jennifer Kehm, a young adult breast cancer survivor, and Lisa Edmonds. YWBCAF offers support group meetings, private Facebook group, educational tools, grants for women aged 50 and younger in Allegheny and surrounding counties, and more. Their proceeds also benefit Patient Navigation Services at Magee-Womens Hospital. Patient navigators help patients make better decisions through reliable information and connect patients with research opportunities, holistic care, counseling services, and more. They raise funds through donations, Lanterns of Hope, Panera Pink Ribbon bagels (available in October) and “Pink Outs” at local sporting events.
One Day to Remember was founded by Rachel Antin after she saw families struggle to find the ways and means to add fun activities during their cancer journeys when she worked as an oncology nurse at the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center. One Day to Remember creates a signature VIP event for a family with a parent confronted with cancer. They have partnered with the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium, Benedum Center, Pittsburgh Pirates, Seven Springs, Fun Fore All, and many other local businesses to give each family a day to escape cancer and just have fun as a family creating memories. They raise funds through donations and One Bite One Day event.
Recently, Cancer Caring Center and Our Clubhouse (formerly Gilda’s Club of Western Pennsylvania) merged to create Cancer Bridges. They offer free programs, workshops, and services to those going through treatment and their caregivers. They raise funds through donations, Panera Pink Ribbon Bagels (in October), Light Up Gala, and Annual Golf Classic.
Glimmer of Hope was started by Diana Napper in 1994 to honor her best friend, Carol Jo Weiss Friedman, who passed away from breast cancer in 1990. They fund research at area hospitals, free mammograms and genetic testing, and acupuncture, massage therapy, and nutrition counseling for cancer patients. They also founded The Glimmer of Hope Metastatic Breast Cancer Center at Allegheny Health Network which is dedicated to treating metastatic breast cancer. They raise funds through donations and during their annual events Pitch for Hope, Bid for Hope, and Clays for Hope.