A non-profit organization, the goal of the Gouverneur Breast Cancer Fund is to address the financial needs of individuals diagnosed with breast cancer living in St. Lawrence, Jefferson and Lewis counties through their treatment and recovery. The group has raised over $1,000,000 and helped over 650 men and women since it was founded in 2001, and continues to make strides to help the community with the Gouverneur Breast Cancer Walk.
The Gouverneur Breast Cancer Fund is dedicated to providing support and financial assistance to people in St. Lawrence County diagnosed with breast cancer.
“We will assist anyone who has breast cancer, or has a cancer that has metastasized from breast cancer, with anything they need,” said Terry Pistolesi, a member of the organization.
An annual event, the walk draws hundreds of participants each year who come together to raise money for the local fight against cancer. All money raised from the walk and the group's other events stays local and goes towards helping clients cover transportation, co-pays on prescriptions, co-pays on doctor appointments, insurance deductibles, or treatments or drugs that may not be covered by insurance, and occasionally immediate needs like rent, a mortgage payment, a car payment, or utilities.
We will assist anyone who has breast cancer or has a cancer that has metastasized from breast cancer with anything they need.
“We look at each case and see what their needs are and work with each person individually to try to alleviate financial burdens while they are going through treatment,” Terry said.
Terry encourages individuals facing a breast cancer diagnosis to reach out to the organization whenever they need help, even if they received assistance from the group in the past.
“People do not just come to us once. We encourage them through their entire treatment, whenever they need something to reach out,” she said. “We want to make sure they are constantly focused on their health, not their finances. So if they need assistance we want them to feel like they can reach out to us again.”
Like Terry, the members of the Gouverneur Breast Cancer Fund are all local volunteers who understand what it's like for a friend or loved one to be diagnosed with breast cancer.
“We’ve all known someone who was diagnosed with breast cancer and have watched them go through their battles,” Terry said. “We have grown with this organization and to see the relief our help brings to patients while they are going through treatment, and to see how it enables them to focus on healing and not the financial burdens they are facing, that plays a huge role for us.”
Although the More so, the members of the Gouverneur Breast Cancer Fund are continuously reminded of the strength of the communities they serve, a feeling that is extremely rewarding.
“I think people are stronger than they realize,” Terry said. “I see the people that come out to events, whether it’s the walk we put on or events that are held on our behalf, and to see the people that come out and participate, whether it’s by donating, sponsoring, or willing to assist, to see the drive everyone has shows that people truly want to make a difference in someone else’s life. I believe myself and our entire board get so much reward from seeing that every day.”
To learn more about the Gouverneur Breast Cancer Fund, their annual walk, or apply for financial assistance, visit www.gouverneurbreastcancerwalk.com or contact Terry at (315) 287-7639.