Saint Agatha Foundation Launches Awareness Effort

Nonproft provides financial support to qualified breast cancer patients across seven CNY counties
Laurie Mezzalingua

Saint Agatha Foundation, a nonprofit organization providing financial assistance for unmet financial needs of CNY breast cancer patients, recently announced it will leverage October’s National Breast Cancer Awareness Month to raise awareness of the disease and kick-off its own campaign focused on raising awareness of its mission.

Founded in 2004 by Laurie Mezzalingua, taken by breast cancer in 2009 after a years-long battle with the disease, Saint Agatha Foundation has provided $17.5 million in financial support to over 10,000 breast cancer patients in Central New York to date; funds are distributed to patients via both medical and non-medical service providers who apply on behalf of their patients or clientele.

“Saint Agatha Foundation joins many other institutions in Central New York in recognizing National Breast Cancer Awareness Month as a way to draw attention to the continuing and critical fight against breast cancer,” says Kathy Mezzalingua, chairwoman of the Foundation and Laurie’s mother. “We’re also taking this opportunity to spotlight our unique mission of providing financial support to breast cancer patients in our community, to focus on overcoming their diagnosis instead of worrying about unmet financial stress they may be facing.”

Mezzalingua added that bills the foundation can assist with, once insurance has done its part, can include everything from clinical items like lab tests, infusion, radiation therapy, doctor’s appointments to non-medical items like child care, transportation, household and legal expenses.

The foundation’s new awareness campaign will include advertising, public relations, social media, grassroots presentations to community groups, and outreach to – and training for – providers seeking to apply for funds to assist their patients in need. Additionally, Saint Agatha Foundation will participate in a range of breast cancer awareness month activities in October.
Saint Agatha Foundation Community Partner Convening will be held Oct. 11 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel and Conference Center in Syracuse. This event served as an opportunity for medical care and other service providers to learn more about Saint Agatha Foundation and how the organization assists breast cancer patients in Central New York; connect with other partner organizations; and share ideas and feedback with the foundation. This meeting is intended for those who work with breast cancer patients directly, such as breast cancer patient navigators, social workers, financial counselors, among others. For more information reach out by Oct. 2
• Saint Agatha Foundation will be a lead sponsor at the American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walks in Syracuse at Clinton Square on Oct. 15 and in Utica at Mohawk Valley Community College on Oct. 22.

– Those wishing to register and participate in the October 15 walk should visit:

– Those wishing to register for Oct.22 walk should visit:

– Those attending either event are encouraged to visit the Saint Agatha Foundation team at each event’s check-in area or Survivor Tent.
• Saint Agatha Foundation is also a presenting sponsor at the E-Race Cancer Half Marathon and 5-K in Bridgeport on Oct 22 in support of the foundation’s valued partner, CancerConnects. To find out more or sign up, interested parties should visit: E-Race Cancer Half Marathon, 10K & 5K (
For more information, visit