Aaron Kahane, Chariot’s Co-founder and COO, chose Susan G. Komen to support this month for a very special reason
“It’s the kind of phone call where you’ll never forget where you were and what you were doing when you answered,” recalls Aaron, Chariot’s Co-founder & COO, reflecting on how he found out about his mom’s breast cancer diagnosis.
It’s an experience that’s unfortunately shared by a new woman and her family every two minutes in the United States. It’s a diagnosis that everyone fears and, even in the best of circumstances, the beginning of a difficult road. Luckily for Aaron’s family, the diagnosis came early enough that treatment was effective, his mom found networks of support with other survivors, and is healthy and thriving today.
The increasingly positive outcomes from breast cancer diagnosis is, in no small part, thanks to the tremendous work achieved by Susan G. Komen, which has been instrumental in reducing the breast cancer mortality rate in the U.S. by 43% since 1989.
In that time, Susan G. Komen has invested nearly $1.1 billion in research, leading to new ways to prevent, diagnose and better treat breast cancer. But supporting families dealing with breast cancer goes well beyond that research - women need to be aware of their risk, connect with a strong community and have the financial resources to keep their lives together during treatment.
Trish Davis, Komen’s National Director of Major Gifts & Planned Giving, shared that “everyone on our team values how comprehensive our work is in the fight against breast cancer. While our research & patient care programs are saving lives every day, our fundraising efforts and events happening all over the country are reminding people to get their mammogram and learn about their risk, while building an unmatched community of support.”
Aaron saw firsthand how critical a strong community was to his mom’s recovery, noting that “Even when caught early, treatment was still extensive and recovery was unbelievably challenging. Our family couldn’t have made it without the unbelievable support of friends and family that rallied around us, but also the other women in treatment or in remission that my mom was able to connect with for connection and hope.”
For many women at risk or dealing with a breast cancer diagnosis, the support they need most is direct financial support. There are still millions of uninsured or underinsured people in this country that face barriers to life-saving preventative care, or face impossible choices once diagnosed like covering their own treatment or feeding their families.
“Even when caught early, treatment was still extensive and recovery was unbelievably challenging. Our family couldn’t have made it without the unbelievable support of friends and family that rallied around us, but also the other women in treatment or in remission that my mom was able to connect with for connection and hope.”
That’s why Susan G. Komen is so focused on increasing the accessibility of prevention and care. Last year alone, they invested $15 million in community health programs for accessible screenings and diagnostic exams across the country. They also launched the direct-to-patient financial assistance program in 2022 and were able to cover essential $9.1 million of essential expenses (most commonly housing, transportation and utilities) for over 16,000 patients.
Breast Cancer is the most expensive cancer to treat in the U.S. and nearly half of breast cancer patients deal with financial toxicity — the damage inflicted on personal finances by medical care they need — which has serious effects on their treatment choices, quality of life, bankruptcy rates and even mortality.
“Ending breast cancer is an incredibly emotional issue for people because nearly everyone has a connection to the cause,” says Trish.
“It’s important for us as fundraisers to remind our supporters of all the layers of impact their investment in Susan G. Komen generates. The community, research, advocacy and patient care we’re able to lead with our scale is truly incredible and every single person can play a part in making it happen.”
Trish is also a tireless advocate for better technology solutions that connect supporters with the goal of ending breast cancer in more effective ways. That’s why Trish was so excited to discover Chariot’s solution for DAF fundraising.
“We know there are billions of dollars that donors have already contributed to their Donor Advised Funds. We’re so excited to now have Chariot in our donation forms so we can help donors easily allocate that DAF money, right when they’re inspired to do something meaningful to help.”
“This is exactly why we founded this company,” adds Aaron. “We have to move more of the $230 billion sitting in DAFs to the organizations tackling the most important, and often most personal, challenges facing society - just like Susan G. Komen. It’s really special for me to make this gift in honor of my Mom and help move us another step closer to ending breast cancer.”
Chariot’s Cause of the Month is an initiative where a member of our team gets to select a nonprofit organization close to their hearts to support with funds from our company Donor-Advised Fund. We also spend the month encouraging our networks to support the Cause of the Month with us, especially if they have a DAF. Chariot’s DAF payment option makes it possible to support great organizations like Susan G. Komen directly in their own donation form in under 10 seconds.