Mission: The mission of the Friends of Mel is to provide quality cancer care for the whole patient by funding cancer research, education and support.
Programs: The friends of mel foundation is most closely known in the community for the distribution of "mel's bracelet". Mel delighted in giving them as gifts to people she met while receiving chemotherapy, the oncology nurses, fellow patients or whomever she wished. As a small token to honor the generosity of donors, a significant number of volunteers continue this joy by providing the bracelet as a thank you for their loyal support on the website, retail outlets, and upon request. Proceeds from this activity have provided the means to distribute more than 3 million dollars in support of research and support services to the community. The organization strives to find promising projects that impact patient care at both the grassroots and institutional levels. For example, one of the programs the organization has funded focuses exclusively on innovative clinical and transitional breast cancer research. At the same time, the organization aims to support programs that educate the cancer patient and their caregivers via resources and conferences. The goal is to provide families with the tools they need to navigate their cancer journey. Presently, the organization is collaborating with professional in the cancer community to develop a curriculum for it fourth annual conference schedule in october 2014. The aim is to provide cancer patients with information that will help them manage their lives after their treatment has ended and to prevent cancer recurrence. In addition, the organization works closely with other non-for-profits that provide services directly to the cancer patient. Some examples are but not limited to: -individual and group support -immediate need - daycare, transportation, food -support for prosthetic, wig & accessory shops for cancer patients & survivors -partners with organizations to raise funds for specific projects such as medical equipment, healing garden, a resource center and lending library -aids other non-profits in their efforts to raise funds for programs they offer by way of auction donations or matching funds -provides opportunities for community service for youth groups and other volunteer programs -one of three founders of the cancer garden of hope and healing at boston city hall plaza -promote services and supports for persons with intellectual disabilities by contracting with the arc of east middlesex (emarc) to assemble and package "mel's bracelets"
Mel Simmons was a truly beautiful woman in all aspects of her life. She started this foundation with the friendly gesture of giving these bracelets to doctors, patients and friends during her battle with cancer. This Foundation embodies her fiesty spirit! It continues, and grows, under the guidance of people who knew and loved her. They are making a difference in the lives of cancer patients and helping to fund research. I can not think of a better way to celebrate such an amazing lady! I am honored to be able to be a part of it by wearing and sharing these Friends of Mels bracelets.