By Lori Marx-Rubiner
President, METAvivor Board of Directors
METAvivor was founded in 2009 by four Stage IV or MBC (metastatic breast cancer) patients, who understood that the key to saving lives was medical research. While roughly one in three patients with breast cancer will become metastatic, only 3% of funding is directed toward research to benefit these patients. The founders of METAvivor began raising money for research, but quickly discovered that there was no existing breast cancer organization that would allow them to designate their donations to MBC-specific research.
What is your mission? How do you make it happen?
METAvivor has a 3-fold mission. First, we are the only organization in the country that seeks to fund research that specifically benefits the already metastasized breast cancer patient through a peer-review process. Second, we provide support to MBC (metastatic breast cancer) patients through a peer-led support group model that focuses simultaneously on forging meaningful relationships and help at each stage of the disease, from diagnosis through end of life. Third, we foster awareness within the breast cancer community and beyond, of the critical distinctions between early stage and Stage IV cancers, the dearth of funding and the reality of living with a fatal illness.
How is your organization unique?
METAvivor stands out in a few ways. Most importantly to us – every single dollar donated goes directly into our research fund. Our overhead expenses (kept to an absolute minimum) are covered by designated grants, ensuring that we can maximize our contributions. In order to make that happen, we are an all-volunteer effort – and most of our volunteers are metastatic breast cancer patients themselves. We are also the only non-profit that funds MBC research through a peer review process.
How can people get involved?
As an all-volunteer program, we are eager for involvement! There are many opportunities, from board participation on a national level to organizing awareness events and fundraisers locally. Spring 2015 we will be hitting the road on a cross-country caravan. We will be visiting all 14 research centers where we have awarded grants, and attending numerous house parties and other events along our route. If you’re nearby there may be face-to-face opportunities to meet up. If not, we’re ready to find opportunities that meet your interests! For more information, contact our volunteer coordinator, Katy McRae at McRae_Katy@hotmail.com.
This is the first in a monthly series of posts, shining the spotlight on a nonprofit organization. There are so many organizations doing good work – if you have one in mind for a profile, please Contact Us!