Our Founder - Molly MacDonald
Molly MacDonald knows what it’s like to battle the financial burdens of breast cancer while undergoing treatment to battle the disease. Diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer in April 2005, the disease was unlikely to take her life but did take her livelihood. She was between jobs and was unable to start her new job as planned. Her family’s already tight budget was immediately overburdened with the addition of a monthly COBRA health insurance payments coupled with the loss of her income.
Within months, MacDonald and her family faced the potential for catastrophic financial losses, including the loss of their home. At the end of treatment when family and friends stopped delivering dinner, MacDonald was forced to use a local food bank to feed her family. When MacDonald’s quest to Get Help was met with blank stares, she became determined to Give Help to others suffering from lost income as a result of their diagnosis and treatment.
In 2006 she founded The Pink Fund, which provides 90 days of non-medical financial aid to cover the basic costs of living expenses, such as health insurance, housing, transportation, and utilities. By providing this financial bridge, The Pink Fund helps to meet basic needs, while decreasing stress levels. These factors help breast cancer patients focus on healing, and improve survivorship outcomes and quality of life. Since its founding through July 2020 The Pink Fund has made just over $4 million in bill payments on behalf of breast cancer survivors in active treatment.
In 2012, Ford Motor Company invited The Pink Fund to be one of their charity partners benefiting from the Warriors in Pink program which allowed them to serve patients in all 50 states. For her work, MacDonald has been the recipient of many local and national awards, most recently she was named 2019 Patient Champion North America by EyeforPharma, and was recently notified she is a semi-finalist for AARP’s 2019 Purpose Prize to be awarded in November. She is a Pink Power Mom, by Kids II and Bright Starts and a Purpose Prize Fellow, presented by Encore.org for her “outstanding contributions toward solving the world’s most challenging problems in the second half of life”, Money Magazine’s 2014 Michigan Money Hero and in 2016 and 2017 was named by Ernst & Young as a Finalist for the EY Entrepreneur of the Year for Michigan and Northwest Ohio. In March 2018, MacDonald was awarded NAWBO Detroit’s Philanthropic Award and named a 2018 Healthcare Hero by Crain’s Detroit Business.
She is a columnist for Breast Cancer Wellness Magazine focusing on financial wellness, a contributing writer to the American Journal of Managed Care and a member of the Advisory Board for V-Bid, Value-Based Insurance Design at The University of Michigan.
The Pink Fund was a finalist, recognized as a top global cancer innovator in patient-centric care by the LIVESTRONG Foundation’s inaugural Big C Competition, for its work in helping to rebuild financial health; and in 2014 and 2015 was named by Time and Money, together with Charity Navigator, as one of five national breast cancer charities worthy of your donation, where you can feel confident your dollars will be put to good use.
A passionate Patient Advocate, MacDonald is a thought leader in the breast cancer space, specifically in cancer-related financial toxicity. She is a sought after keynote speaker sharing her personal struggles which led to the founding of The Pink Fund while advocating for improved patient care.
MacDonald is a graduate from The University of Michigan with a degree in journalism and has extensive work experience in journalism, public relations, marketing, and sales. A mother of five adult children, and grandmother to two grandchildren, she is happily married to Tom Pettit, best known as Tom Terrific.
- 2020, Crain’s Detroit Business Notable Women in Health 2020
- 2019, Northwood Distinguished Women of the Year
- 2019, Patient Champion, North America EyeforPharma Award
- 2018, National Association of Women Business Owners, Philanthropy Award
- 2018, Crain’s Detroit Business Healthcare Hero for Corporate Achievement
- 2017, 2016, Finalist, EY’s Entrepreneur of the Year for Michigan and Northwest Ohio
- 2017, Corp! Michigan’s Salute to Diversity, Diversity Champion
- 2014, Purpose Prize Fellow
- 2014, Michigan’s Money Hero
- 2014, Pink Power Mom, Kids II, and Bright Starts
- 2013, Marketing Sales and Executives of Detroit Platinum Award
- 2013, Women in Communications, Detroit Chapter
- 2013, WWJ, Difference Maker Award
Memberships and Positions
- President, Board of Directors, The Pink Fund
- Board member, Value-Based Insurance Design Board at the University of Michigan (since 2018)
- Harvard The Chan School of Public Health, Women on Boards for in Healthcare Program (March 2019)
- Guest writer, American Journal of Managed Care (since 2018)
- Columnist, Breast Cancer Wellness Magazine (since 2013)
To learn more about booking Molly MacDonald for speaking engagements, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.