I recently quit working full time for the first time in 20 years to focus on life outside of my day job. A big part of that is building heart&core to be a company that my sister and I are proud to represent. Supporting women in need of a better bra, delivering exceptional customer service, helping doctors, nurses and care providers provide the most positive post-surgery experience for patients, and giving back in the spirit of all the support we’ve received over the years. That begins with mentors, experts, family and friends who brought energy, ideas and excitement to conversations about our work, as well as women who’ve shared their stories and helped us better understand many perspectives. It helps us to keep improving and to remember why we’re working so hard.
Leaving a steady paycheck and benefits was quite daunting. My husband and I discussed it, and he’s been overwhelmingly supportive, but it comes with more thought around money spent, less impulse buys, an awakening of insurance costs and sometimes that feeling of being a kid who can’t just get what I want when I want it. It’s been adjustment, to say the least. And it feels…stressful.
This change got me thinking about the significant changes, discomfort and decisions that a cancer patient faces. Beyond the diagnosis, the treatments and the emotions, many are paying out of pocket expenses and going into debt to pay for their treatment. According to a survey by The Pink Fund, 27% of patients under 40 incurred expenses of $10,000 or more, so it’s no surprise that 46% depleted their savings accounts. And of those who are working during treatment, 20–30% will lose their jobs. With stats like these, I realize how truly financially devastating cancer can be. And how insignificant my financial change really is.
This one of the many reasons that we made a commitment to give back to an organization working to help women through this time: The Pink Fund provides financial support to help meet basic needs, decrease stress levels and allow breast cancer patients in active treatment to focus on healing while improving survivorship outcomes. Their 90-day grant program allows us to meet their critical expenses for housing, transportation, utilities and insurance.
We’ve committed a portion of profits from the sale of our Comfort Bag to The Pink Fund’s efforts. Designed to add comfort to the hospital stay and recovery afterward, we packed it with all the essentials and a gift certificate for a Larissa Bra. And now through December 31, we’re offering it for just $100 with code PINKFUND. It’s a chance to give a gift (to yourself or others) and give back in the process.
And it’s my reminder to count my blessings.