Celebrating 12 Years and $2 Million Dollars in Support from Ford’s Warriors In Pink program
This year, Pink Fund will surpass $7.4 million in bill payments to breast cancer survivors nationwide, covering the cost of some of their basic needs like housing, utilities and insurance. But before we reached this milestone, Pink Fund was a local nonprofit providing assistance to women and families in the state of Michigan.
My husband Tom and I launched Pink Fund on October 2, 2006 out of our home. It wasn’t long before I realized that this issue of financial toxicity (a term later coined in 2013 by Doctors Yousuf Zafar and Amy Abernethy) was not relegated to just Michigan. This realization also brought me to another one…Pink Fund needed a partner so we could deliver our financial bridge program on a national scale.
Being from Detroit, I was acutely aware that Ford Motor Company through its Warriors in Pink program worked with Susan G. Komen exclusively.
So, five months later at a breast cancer survivors retreat, when the foam core, magazines, scissors and glue sticks came out, and we were instructed to make vision boards, I cut out the Ford Blue Oval and glued it to mine.
It was a local luncheon and yoga class event, hosted five years later in the Spring of 2012, that connected the dots and brought us to Ford. Jonny Kest, a well-known Yogi was offering instruction, and the event was well publicized, which caught the attention of Ford.
Pink Fund was invited to pitch our value proposition to the Warriors in Pink team shortly after, on the condition that Pink Fund would become a national organization.
Talk about manifesting my vision.
The partnership was solidified, and off we went. I brought in a celebrity partner, Actor James Denton, who had just wrapped Desperate Housewives. You may remember him as Mike the plumber. James’ mother died from metastatic breast cancer. At the time of her diagnosis, she was a widow and could not afford to not work, which meant she did not undergo necessary treatments.
James’ sister-in-law, Meghan, had also just been diagnosed and was unable to work as a nurse due to her compromised immune system.
Not only did we have a handsome actor, we had two stories to share that highlighted how financial toxicity impacted these women.
Ford created a Time to Fight campaign, featuring James in a custom designed Warriors in Pink T-Shirt, manufacturing 6,000 units from which 100% of the net proceeds would be donated to Pink Fund.
Additionally, Ford filmed TV spots for major networks, and created full page, full color, full run of press ads which debuted the first week of October 2012 in People, US, InStyle, and Ladies Home Journal. We launched our campaign on The Talk in LA and additional spots on national morning shows followed.
Since that October in 2012 Pink Fund, and more importantly those who benefit from our partnership, have been the recipients of millions of dollars in financial support. Thanks to Ford’s generous contributions to our cause, we’ve been able to increase the amount of support we provide.
In 2018, after recognizing that access to transportation was a major barrier to getting to treatment, Ford, being a mobility company, pivoted their program to providing transportation assistance.
We’re approaching the 12th year of our partnership with Ford, through the Warriors in Pink program and we are grateful to Ford for seeing the value in Pink Fund in its infancy, for helping us grow and supporting 3,824 women.
To shop the Warriors in Pink Collection, click here.