We recently had the chance to chat with Susan Wayde, the Vice President of the Shades of Pink Foundation, to learn more about her role, SOPF’s wonderful mission, and how each of us can better support the loved ones in our lives on their breast cancer journey.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I am a nurse by background, have a career in healthcare informatics, and have a passion for improving all aspects of health and wellness. I am the Board of Directors’ Vice President for SOPF.
What was the journey that led you to SOPF?
After lots of experience with non-profits, I was introduced to Shades of Pink and found it to be a refreshing, needed approach to supporting those on a breast cancer journey. Shades of Pink is local, agile (can provide assistance in a hurry), and nearly administration free. Every dollar donated is quickly on its way to a deserving client in financial distress due to their diagnosis and treatment.
What is the brief history of SOPF?
SOPF was founded 15 years ago by a prominent breast cancer surgeon and her friend who became frustrated about the number of patients that were forced to choose between breast cancer treatment and returning to work to support themselves and their families. Shades of Pink was founded to assure no one would be forced to stop treatment and could continue their path to healing. To date, we have provided over $2M in client grants.
What is SOPF’s Mission?
To reduce financial stress for those in Southeast Michigan undergoing breast cancer treatment by providing prompt funding for daily living expenses.
What achievements of SOPF are you most proud of?
Shades of Pink continues to grow both in our fundraising/event success and our ability to increase the number of clients we can serve. Our signature annual event, Zoo Walk at the Detroit Zoo, and two golf events (Pars for Pink and Nine, Wine, and Dine) have supported our rapid post-Covid growth. Generous sponsors, like SKYMINT, significantly contribute as well. As a result, we increased the grants provided from 9/21 to 9/22 by over 100% and our business plan continues this rapid growth.
What do donations to SOPF go towards?
Mortgage/rent, utilities, car insurance, car payments and are paid directly to the creditor.
SOPF has partnered with Cannabis Brands in the past, is Cannabis something that SOPF sees as beneficial to those in treatment and recovery?
Cannabis and cannabinoid use is becoming a well-respected and proven option for those in cancer treatments and recovery. This can include improvement in nausea/vomiting, appetite, pain relief, and a general feeling of well-being. The choice of many different delivery mechanisms is helpful for different types of users. In addition, cannabis is a part of numerous medical studies that evaluated its role in cancer treatment in general.
How can loved ones be supportive of those in treatment and recovery?
Education is key to helping loved ones and caregivers understand what options are available to them and the patient. This could include counseling, consulting on emotional support, nutrition, pain management, respite care, etc. Typically, this is provided by a clinician or nurse navigators at their place of treatment. Opportunities exist for other channels, such as a cannabis dispensary. Cannabis information on general health and wellness, and specific treatment and recovery applications should be readily provided.
If you would like to donate directly to this outstanding organization please click here.