Programs of The DONNA Foundation
The DONNA CareLine
The DONNA CareLine serves uninsured and insured patients all across the country at no charge to help overcome and resolve insurance-related and financial obstacles that impact care. We serve nearly 1,500 families each year, securing about $500K in debt relief and financial services annually.
DONNA CareLine recipients face a wide scope of challenges ranging from access to or no care issues, insurance denials, transportation expenses and cost of living debt. We provide specific case management services to patients, caregivers and/or their providers. The CareLine is staffed by a team of professional case managers with both nursing and social work backgrounds, and non-clinical case managers who have an insurance industry background with coding and billing expertise. Using their knowledge of reimbursement issues, the purpose of this dedicated team is to help patients diagnosed with breast cancer with navigating a variety of issues they may be facing. Thus minimizing stressors in a patient’s life, allowing them to focus their positive energies on getting better.
The DONNA CareLine offers patients diagnosed with breast cancer assistance with the following:
- Access to care issues
- Assist patients with insurance denials
- Assist with workplace and employment protections
- Review and educate on insurance plan language
- Employment challenges including loss of income and compromised benefits that impact access
- Medical debt crisis that has impacted or stopped required care
- Cost of living debt crisis that forces many to choose between paying for treatment or paying for their essential costs of living,
often resulting in a decision to go off therapy
- Screening for the DONNA Financial Aid Fund providing small grants to help offset expenses related to care.
Survivorship, Education & Awareness
Although the word survivorship can mean different things to different people, survivorship for most begins at diagnosis and continues for a lifetime as a family learns to live with, and beyond, breast cancer. Survivorship can be one of the most complicated parts of having breast cancer, because it is different for everyone. The DONNA Foundation strives to empower survivors and their families with a sense of community throughout the year by providing specifically designed programming, events and information including the celebration of thousands of athletes across our finish lines each year. Here are just a few examples:
How to be Fearless Virtual Seminar presented by Amgen
Held in conjunction with the 14th Annual National Marathon to Finish Breast Cancer, The DONNA Foundation presented a virtual seminar series spotlighting important topics including health equity and advocacy, advancements in breast cancer therapies, and learning to race fearlessly from the best of the best. Expert panelists included Donna Deegan, Dr. Edith Perez and experts from Mayo Clinic, Lindsey Hein, Olympian Jeff Galloway and more! All sessions now available for on demand viewing.
DONNA Morning Mixer
Introduced in October of 2018, this social group brings together DONNA CareLine recipients, their caregivers and other breast cancer survivors for conversation and support. This Mixer strives to provide a safe environment to share experiences, knowledge and encouragement. The Mixers take place quarterly over coffee and pastries and have several host locations throughout Jacksonville to accommodate families across the city and the surrounding areas. The program is working to expand its format to include educational experiences focused on after care, health and wellness, emotional challenges, and defining a new normal.
The Fearless Series Survivor Participation Program
The DONNA Foundation’s endurance events are all designed to raise funds and awareness for The DONNA Foundation’s mission. Each of these events feature survivor-focused opportunities. Participants self-identify through event registration and are provided with specifically designed race bibs, markers and/or other materials. These items promote a sense of community for the survivor and their family, both on and off the event course. These events engage survivors in a real time setting, promote conversation, and allow them to share their stories. Their voices become part of our Education & Awareness campaigns, continuing to elevate and celebrate survivors as they define their lives after cancer.
Health & Wellness Expo
Each February, The DONNA Foundation hosts a two-day Health & Wellness Expo. This event features many of the top pharmaceutical companies and healthcare providers committed to the care and support of breast cancer patients and their families. Visitors from around the country participate in the event, engaging with educators and interactive displays. Thanks to the generosity of event sponsors, this two-day educational program is free and open to the public.
Funding for Research
The DONNA Foundation is committed to funding ground breaking breast cancer research. The DONNA Foundation funds novel research initiatives with the goal to more effectively diagnose, treat and ultimately finish breast cancer for all patients. More than $3M has been granted in support of translational genomics and immune studies. From an initial contribution from The DONNA Foundation to Mayo Clinic of more than $500,000 in 2008, Mayo Clinic established its Breast Cancer Translational Genomics Research Program. Additional contributions from The DONNA Foundation totaling more than $3 million, allowed Mayo Clinic to build and maintain genomics infrastructure in Jacksonville, Florida. Making it possible for laboratory teams not only to carry out state of the art breast cancer research, including the widely publicized Triple Negative Breast Cancer Vaccine Trials, but also provide genomics support for studies in all cancers.
“It is awe-inspiring to think about how a love of running brought together an idea to transform breast cancer care. As a physician-researcher, I am honored by the partnership and support Mayo Clinic has with The DONNA Foundation. Thanks to the funds raised through the marathon and other efforts, we have been able to grow the Breast Cancer Translational Genomics Program and expand our research, which is changing the way we treat patients every day. We are excited by the findings we’ve uncovered in our work, including the ability to identify key tumor characteristics and how they respond to certain therapies. We are now able to offer patients multiple clinical trials, including vaccines to address recurrence. We still have work to do to reach the finish line but we are motivated by our patients and by hope that we will win this race against cancer.”
Edith A. Perez, M.D.