Franklin to Go Pink to Support Breast Cancer Patients
Ally and Ava Remillard, a senior and junior at Franklin High School and members of the Lions Heart organization, are shown here delivering meals to a family on behalf of The Ellie Fund.
By J.D. O’Gara
The town of Franklin will go pink the last week of this month!
On September 9th, the Franklin Downtown Partnership voted to partner with The Ellie Fund in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month. Local businesses will promote The Ellie Fund as part of their “Do Good” campaign (https://www.elliefund.org/do-good/). Companies and businesses can participate by hosting an event, donating a percentage of sales or collecting contributions in support of the Ellie Fund, which is a nonprofit supporting patients with breast cancer.
“They’re very unique in that what they do,” says Lisa Piana, of the Franklin Downtown Partnership. “They provide grocery assistance, transportation to appointments…things like that. We want the town to put up pink balloons and pink lights, to bring attention to The Ellie Fund in the last week of October.”
Kristen Sajdak, of Franklin, is Community Relations Manager for The Ellie Fund.
“We did this last year with Wellesley,” says Sajdak. “Usually in October, we have a lot of restaurants raising money for us, but last year, we didn’t want to have anyone (do that). We came up with this idea, and we had Wellesley promote The Ellie Fund.”
Sajdak herself is a 20-year survivor of breast cancer. She was living in Norfolk, mother to children ages 3, 5, 7 and 9, at the time.
“The whole town encompassed my family, and it was just a wonderful experience,” says Sajdak. That experience, she says, mirrors the mission of The Ellie Fund.
“We offer grocery gift cards, childcare housecleaning, transportation, meals,” says Sajdak. “Every patient receives two services, and we tailor it to them. We don’t look for any financial information, if you’re treated in Mass. Our way of receiving patients comes from the social worker.” Since Covid, The Ellie Fund has also worked to become known in doctors’ offices and community health centers.
“I didn’t even know The Ellie Fund existed prior to having breast cancer,” says Jane Moran, who’s lived in Franklin for 16 years and was diagnosed in April of 2018 with stage 3 breast cancer. “There’s a great organization out there that people don’t even know about, and they’re very special.”
Moran, who underwent 16 weeks of chemotherapy, with 36 rounds of radiation, a double mastectomy and four other surgeries, admits her family felt the crunch with their high deductible health plan.
When she met with a social worker at Dana Farber, she says, she was concerned about finances.
“It’s a time when, whatever your diagnosis is, it’s scary. You shouldn’t have to worry about expenses when you’re going through all of that,” says Moran, who appreciated that ease of The Ellie Fund’s application. “Some of the others you have to provide tax returns and give them copies of actual bills,” she says.
“It makes patients feel so relieved that they didn’t have to look for tax information,” says Sajdak.
Moran’s grant offered her the choice of two services, and she chose grocery and gas gift cards.
“Honestly, that was so awesome, to know I didn’t have to pay for it. It takes some of the pressure off. Every little bit you have to spend on stuff in your life that is not medical-related is so appreciated. It’s like the well is dry once the bills start coming, and they come immediately. There is no grace period.”
Moran and her family have also been able to attend social events sponsored by The Ellie Fund, such as a drive-in movie last year at Gillette Stadium.
“It’s just nice every now and then for someone to reach out to you and say, ‘Hey, we’d like to do something special for you. You’re all consumed with the financial stress, the stress on your body, the stress of what it’s doing to your family. To know that there’s an organization that does nothing but (offer) support is amazing to me.”
Sajdak describes The Ellie Fund as “a friend you didn’t know you had.”
If you would like to become involved in the Franklin Goes Pink campaign, visit this link at
The town of Franklin also has its own fundraising page for The Ellie Fund. If you would like to learn more or donate, visit
Go Fund Me at www.gofundme.com and search for “Franklin Goes Pink for Ellie Fund”.
“If anyone knows anyone they’d like to refer to The Ellie Fund, they can call or connect to someone who can help them fill out the application,” says Sajdak. “It’s a very simple process.”