The Samfund

week 23:  this week i'm gonna... support young adult cancer survivors

Patricia and her mom

Patricia and her mom

Patricia was 24 years old and on her way to graduate school when she received the devastating news that she had Stage II Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. It was truly devastating to both her and her family. Thankfully, the university offered her a deferred acceptance, and she then began a grueling year of surgeries, chemo, and radiation.

"One of the hardest things I had to do was call the University and admit to a complete stranger that my body was failing me," she says.

After beating her cancer, she started her life again and returned to school, but she was now financially insecure. A grant from The Samfund helped her stay afloat and paid her rent for 6 months, supporting her as she pursued her degree in Community Development. Today, Patricia works for an organization that supports affordable housing, including first-time homebuyer programs and financial coaching. She has been able to continue her dream of helping others because The Samfund helped her. 

The Samfund provides support for young adult cancer survivors in the United States as they recover from the financial impact of cancer treatment. Through direct financial assistance and free online support and education, The Samfund helps young adults move forward towards their personal, professional, and academic goals.

The Samfund is the first and largest nonprofit organization in the country that provides direct financial assistance and free online support and education to young adults, regardless of where they live or their specific cancer diagnosis. Since 2005, they have awarded over $1.6 million in grants and provided a free Webinar series, “Moving Forward With Your Financial Health,” offering young adults the tools and guidance they need to move forward with their lives.  They have enabled survivors to pay their living expenses and medical bills, supported their wellness goals, and have helped with family building expenses, including adoption and infertility treatments.  

You can learn more about The Samfund in the video below:

Sam Watson, Founder & CEO of The Samfund

Sam Watson, Founder & CEO of The Samfund

The Samfund was founded by fellow givetwig member Samantha Watson in 2003 after her 4-year fight with cancer.  Sam was diagnosed at age 21 with Ewing’s Sarcoma and then at age 23 with Secondary Myelodysplastic Syndrome. After enduring chemotherapy, a bone marrow transplant, and multiple surgeries, Sam emerged from treatment and witnessed yet another struggle -- she saw what little support there was for young adult survivors who were trying to regain their lives, both emotionally and financially.  She quickly learned that cancer isn’t free, and she started The Samfund to help others like herself get back on their feet.

givetwig is extremely proud to support Sam and The Samfund, and also very grateful for all the help she has provided throughout our launch phase. 

A gratuitous photo of Sam and Kristen's sons, the two "Ta's".

A gratuitous photo of Sam and Kristen's sons, the two "Ta's".


Notes for this week:

  • National Cancer Survivors Day was June 5th. givetwig is proud to support The Samfund and their efforts to help cancer survivors -- because #cancerisntfree
  • Our collective givetwig donation will provide groceries for approximately 6 months for a young adult cancer survivor and their family.
  • Throughout June, The Samfund will be promoting its #RaceTo2MM campaign, a multi-year campaign to help them award their *two*millionth grant dollar by 2018. Learn more here.
  • For further information regarding The Samfund, please check out their website.

this week i'm gonna donate to The Samfund.

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