Hometown: Beverly Hills
Cause: Financial assistance for breast cancer patients
MacDonald was in between jobs in 2005 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Two surgeries and six weeks of daily radiation cured her cancer, but destroyed her finances. After returning to work full-time to support five children, MacDonald formed The Pink Fund, a charity for breast cancer patients who need help covering non-medical bills during treatment. “Medical bankruptcies are not always the result of missing co-payments — it’s the result of lost income, which is where we come in,” she says. Recipients get a 90-day financial breather of up to $3,000 during treatment for outside expenses. To date the organization has paid out more than $600,000 on behalf of over 600 patients, and plans to roll out a case management service next year that will pair beneficiaries with financial advisers to help manage their money after treatment.
The series of events following my diagnosis put my family on the precipice of becoming homeless. No breast cancer survivor should find herself in that position.”