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July 23, 2009

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July 23, 2009

As a SAMFund recipient, I can attest to the great work they do! I was awarded funding to assist with prescription drug and medical bills, as well as transportation costs. As a student living in NYC, it was HUGE burden lifted off my shoulders to have this help. I am a survivor of Hodgkin's Disease and Acute Myelogenous Leukemia. My youngest sister was the donor for my Bone Marrow Transplant, and there are a lot of long-term side effects that have proven costly and sometimes restricting. I am a doctoral student studying the aftermath of childhood illness. THANK YOU, SAMFund for helping survivors move on!!!!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my experience as a recipient.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

It's intimacy. The founder of the program is a cancer survivor herself, and is close contact with all applicants and recipients.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

mostly young people whose lives have been affected by cancer (either themselves or someone they know).

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Fund cancer survivors' education to get out there and cure cancer!

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008

July 23, 2009

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July 23, 2009

I have received a grant from the SAMFund for 2 years. This organization was a financial resource to me when I couldn't find help anywhere else. I am a 3 time cancer survivor, and am applying to medical school. In addition to the rigorous course load and stressful application process, I found that there are many costs associated with this. The pre-requisite course fees, MCAT testing, application fees and more. Even more importantly, the SAMFund paid my Cobra health insurance fees, which allowed me to keep medical care for a year!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

direct financial assistance.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

More feedback...

Ways to make it better...

the process could be based around the school year. Funds are usually received, and applicants notified around November. It would be great if this could be done prior to August/September.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

July 21, 2009

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July 21, 2009

The SAMFund provides an amazing source of support for an underserved population- young adult survivors of cancer. In my case, I was too old for most grants and scholarships, but due to the nature of my field of work (independent contractor in the musical arts) I did not have the kind of safety net that most people my age had: insurance benefits and one steady source of income that I could count on to help me get back on my feet post-treatment. Most of the scholarships and/or grants I came across during my research had narrow targets and missions, which is great and necessary to serve the populations they serve. However, it raised serious questions for me- questions that I had not had to encounter before: as an artist, my life and career path were pretty divergent from most people's- was that a mistake? Was the career success I'd had prior to cancer useless to me now that I was fighting for my life? The SAMFund had a very large part in convincing me that was not the case. With their support, I recently traveled to Italy to begin my first exploratory return to opera singing. It was a test for me- did I still have what it takes to work in this field? Do I still have the passion after two years of treatment and healing? Is it worth it? Should I just go get an office job and give up what was my life's work? After 5 weeks of working with a dedicated teacher, and studying with coaches from the world's most prestigious opera companies, the answer was a resounding, "No!" This answer didn't only come from inside myself- I was continually pulled aside by various members of the faculty for conferences in which I was offered support and encouragement by people who had worked with the best singers in the business. To think- just a few months before this program I had given up singing for quite a while, not sure how I was going to get back on my feet with such huge financial obstacles standing in my way. At the present moment, I am preparing to move closer to the teacher I studied with at the program- his conservatory has recruited me to do a year of intense private study with him in preparation for a relaunching of my career. None of this would have been possible without the support of the SAMFund, and I will be eternally grateful to them that they understand that young adults have specific needs and challenges surrounding encounters with cancer- needs and challenges that are different from other populations.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

both my own life, and in the lives of friends and acquaintances who have had cancer.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

continue its focus on the young adult population, as it is underserved in the cancer arena, and possibly push for a more national media presence, using the amazing stories of its grant recipients and founder.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

that they are clearly motivated and focused solely on serving the needs of their grant recipients.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

I did not actually meet any staff members, but I hope to in the near future. In all of our communications, they were extremely helpful and focused on helping me.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Change many more lives.

Ways to make it better...

I can't think of anything right now.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

of course, every non-profit is challenged with finding monetary support.

One thing I'd also say is that...

they are truly on the right track.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

July 16, 2009

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July 16, 2009

In April of 2005, my life changed forever. I was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia. I was a healthy 26 year old - my family and I were very much in shock. After undergoing 7 rounds of aggressive chemotherapy, total body radiation, a bone marrow transplant and living in at the Mayo Clinic for about 10 months, I was finally cancer free. After you recover, people expect you to get back to "normal." Physical, emotional and financial tolls are just a few of the after-effects. The SAMFund UNDERSTOOD that I was a young adult cancer survivor who needed help! In 2006, I wrote an essay on my cancer experience and the SAMFund awarded me with some funding to help pay for schooling, car insurance and a car payment. Having those things taken care of was a HUGE RELIEF. I am now proudly a part of the SAMFund's Grant and Scholarship Committee. I know firsthand that the SAMFund truly cares about each applicant and wants to help make a young adult cancer survivor's life a bit easier by providing scholarships for things even as simple as a rent payment or a car payment. I think the SAMFund serves a purpose that has been priceless to me as well as so many others.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

many ways by not only being a recipient but also as a Grant/Scholarship Committee Member.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

only hope to do as good of a job as Sam and Michelle and all of the other people that make this organization what it is.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

getting to know some of the staff and also becoming involved more in the organization.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

the best. Truly genuine and professional.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

do so many wonderful things. There are so many young adult cancer survivors who need help for things that many people take for granted such as car insurance or a rent payment.

Ways to make it better...

only I would have found out about the SAMFund sooner!

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

getting enough funds to help young adult cancer survivors.

One thing I'd also say is that...

I am so proud to be a part of the SAMFund!

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

July 16, 2009

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July 16, 2009

My partner is a long-term survivor of Osteosarcoma (bone cancer for anyone not already in the know.) After a particularly hellish surgery to replace her artificial knee and its companion Tibial component, she received support from the SAMFund in order to pay for a gym membership (therapy pool, whoo-hoo!) and a portion of her rather terrifying insurance premiums. Thanks to SAMF, we were able to take a pair of rare but very deep breaths. KUDOS TO THE MAX.

Photos

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the health and happiness of a much-beloved partner.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

make damned sure that it stayed around in perpetuity.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

that they're not about to stop finding ways to help a too-often unrepresented group of survivors get back up to the speed of life.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

pleasant and inspired I'm sure - if I'd actually met any. ;)

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

help a whole LOT of young folks take care of themselves.

Ways to make it better...

the SAMFund actually had had that 10 million bucks.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

the ever-increasing number of young adult cancer survivors that it endeavors to assist.

One thing I'd also say is that...

the SAMFund totally rules. 'Nuff said.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

July 16, 2009

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July 16, 2009

Friends, family, coworkers, nobody seems to understand how isolating, scary, and downright horrible it is to be dealing with a cancer diagnosis in the "prime" of you life. I was a caregiver to my husband during his treatment, as well as our small children. The SAMFund is an incredible organization full of compassion and understanding, and tangible assistance. Only now, years later, have I begun to find peace with the whole experience by meeting and working with others who simply understand.

More feedback...

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

open the nation's eyes to the "tweens" of cancer care and touch the lives of thousands of struggling cancer survivors.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

July 15, 2009

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July 15, 2009

SAMFund is awesome and unique in the population it serves and how it does so. Started by someone who truly understands what difficulties young adult survivors encounter, I was so excited to find out that an organization like this existed. It is hard enough to be a young adult trying to make it in the world, and then throw in managing severe health complications from cancer treatment and all the bills that come with it, and I was feeling extremely overwhelmed and helpless. SAMFund helped alleviate some of that financial burden, improving my quality of life and allowing me to focus on important long-term goals in the process.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my own life.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

continue to do what they are doing.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the fact that I don't feel helpless and alone anymore - gave me a sense of empowerment.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

knowledgeable and friendly!

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

change and improve the lives of thousands of young adult cacner survivors.

Ways to make it better...

N/A

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

sources of funding and public awareness so that young adult cancer survivors know about it.

One thing I'd also say is that...

I get behind the SAMFund 100%!!!

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

July 15, 2009

more

July 15, 2009

I have had the honor and pleasure of being involved with the SAMFund for the past five years and have seen this wonderful and unique organization grow from a seed to a flower to a garden and beyond. As a member of the Grants and Scholarships Committee, I can attest to the thoughtful, caring nature of the SAMFund and its volunteers as well as the effectiveness of the help that the SAMFund provides. The SAMFund answers a truly unique need for young adult survivors of cancer. Because of the SAMFund's holistic vision and understanding of what helps a young adult survivor get back on his or her feet, the assistance that the SAMFund awards provides not only financial and stress relief but also helps recipients move beyond those well-known worries, helping them pursue and achieve goals and dreams that had to be put on hold –- whether those dreams are to start or finish college, pursue training in a specific field or interest, receive assistance with costly fertility treatments, or to join a gym or attend a yoga retreat or “simply” for a plane ticket to attend a convention for cancer survivors. Many of our recipients have told the SAMFund that they would not have been able to achieve their goals and dreams and move beyond their cancer experience had it not been for the help of the SAMFund. What a fantastic gift to be able to give! Of course, every member of the Grants and Scholarships Committee would like to fund every single request that comes in to the SAMFund and hopes that someday that dream will be a reality, but until then there are always difficult decisions to be made. I have been a part of many very difficult discussions and decisions and can assure that the volunteers of this special organization are so thoughtful and thorough, caring and sensitive in their decision making process. Every decision that is made to fund a request is made in such a way as to insure that the we are providing the most effective and greatest amount of assistance possible. The SAMFund is an extraordinary organization and one that I hope to be a part of for years to come.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the responses from grant recipients who tell us they could not have pursued their goals without help from the SAMFund; an increased ability to fund more and more grant and scholarship requests with each year; an increasing awareness of the organization.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

continue in the direction in which the SAMFund is going and continue to honor the mission of the SAMFund just as Sam and her team is doing!!

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

working with the amazing volunteers on the grant and scholarship committee who are so thoughtful, caring and generous and who work so hard to make sure we are helping as many people as possible and in the most effective ways.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Wonderful, thoughtful, caring, fun, dedicated!

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

fund many more requests and help so many more young adult cancer survivors move forward and pursue their goals and dreams as well as continue to increase awareness about this unique and wonderful organization!

Ways to make it better...

had that "10 million bucks" that last question referred to and never had to make the difficult decision to not fund a deserving request! :)

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

the economic climate and the overall increase in giving that most (all?) non-profits are experiencing coupled with the on-going needs of applicants.

One thing I'd also say is that...

Thank you for letting me be a part of such an extraordinary organization! I hope that those who read about SAMFund on this site are moved to find out more and perhaps help out in some way.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

July 15, 2009

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July 15, 2009

Sam Eisenstein Watson runs an incredible organization! She is incredibly inspiring. I heard her story at a networking event and instantly had to get to know her and become involved with The SAMFund. Her diligence, knowledge, and generosity is unmatched and she has done the young adult survivor community a huge service. The SAMFund is truly a terrific organizaion!

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

working with Sam and meeting some of the grant recipients.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

July 15, 2009

more

July 15, 2009

thesamfund reaches out to those young adults who are struggling to get through a most difficult aftermath. What a great organization.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Lifestyles magazine

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

change nothing

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the caring compassionate leadership

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

kind and understanding and smart

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

make life so much easier for young adult cancer survivors

Ways to make it better...

thesamfund had more financial support

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

financial

One thing I'd also say is that...

I wish I had more money to support theSamFund

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

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