I am incredibly thankful to my friends , family, and community who have supported Med City Foundation in so many different ways. It might be attending a fundraiser, or sharing my posts on Facebook, or just listening to me rant and carry on. However, I am amazed at how many of these people will later ask me, ” What is Med City Foundation?” or “What do you actually do?” I generally respond with my well rehearsed mission statement and a quick sentence or two about current projects we are working on. However, I don’t often feel like that is enough. So, today I am going to give you the “down and dirty” basics of this amazing organization and why it means so much to me with 10 quick facts:
- I, Kristina Hesby, opened Med City Foundation in March 2014. I am a nurse, with no business or non-profit leadership background.
- We are 100% volunteer-led with myself carrying about 75% of the workload, and our working board of directors supporting me with 25% of the work but 100% of the encouragement and love I need to stay motivated.
- We support any patient and their caregivers that are affected by blood cancers, which are leukemia, lymphoma or myleoma.
- My dad died from leukemia in 1995, I was nine years old, and I do this in his memory.
- We will give people cash assistance, however the majority of our assistance is in the form of gift cards to gas stations and restaurants.
- Patients can self-refer and request assistance, however we always confirm the diagnosis with someone from Mayo Clinic and most of our referrals come directly from the healthcare providers in the hospital .
- The blood cancer patients many times are here for months, due to chemo, stem cell and bone marrow transplants and then monitoring labs. Monitoring labs are the hardest for many of these patients because they need to come in maybe 1-2 times per week but the remaining time they are left in our community, with little to do, away from their loved ones.
- We do not qualify for many grants because we provide financial assistance, so most large grantors do not want to give us money, to just have us turn around and give it to someone else. Therefore, we depend 100% on our donors and fundraising events for our funding.
- In our first year, we served about a dozen patients, last year it was just over 30 patients, and this year it will be close to 35 or 40, however the type of assistance has changed dramatically (i.e. provided larger amounts of assistance as well as providing nights of stay versus just cash assistance).
- We lease two properties in town, an apartment in the 318 Commons Building (above the Loop) and a two-bedroom home on 11th Ave NE (near Quarry Hill Animal Hospital). The apartment is free for patients and the house is $750 per month. Both properties include all utilities, cable, internet, and are completely furnished with linens, paper products, and non perishable food items
There you have it. That was painful because I really have 100 things I want to tell you about Med City Foundation. Brendan Bush produced an amazing video last year that interviewed a few of the patients we have worked with and I think he did an amazing job of sharing the mission. You should check that out as well: