Helping NC Women Beat the Odds

Pretty in Pink Foundation

One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year, nearly 11,000 in North Carolina.   Chances are you’ll know someone affected – a family member, a friend, someone from church, or maybe a co-worker.  What you may not know is that some of those women, along with many others across the state, will have little to no health insurance to get them through the treatment process.  

But there’s a local non-profit organization that’s here to help.   Pretty in Pink Foundation was founded in 2004 by Raleigh breast surgeon, Dr. Lisa Tolnitch.  She discovered that some of her patients were not following up with their chemo treatments after surgery and realized it was because they couldn’t afford them.  Finding this unacceptable, she started Pretty In Pink Foundation, whose mission is to pay for life-saving medical treatments for uninsured and under-insured breast cancer patients in North Carolina.  The non-profit receives no government money and relies solely on the fundraising and grant writing efforts of the small staff of three.   

Social workers, surgeons, oncologists and radiologists refer their patients to Pretty In Pink when there is no one else to help.  Once the application is completed and the patient becomes a Pretty In Pink “Champion”, bills for surgery, chemo administration, radiation treatments, deductibles and co-pays are paid directly to the medical service providers by the Foundation.  This relieves some of the stress and allows these women to completely focus on getting healthy!  Breast cancer patients have a 90% chance of survival with early detection and treatment.  The Foundation strives to make sure everyone in North Carolina has a chance at the 90%.

Pretty In Pink Foundation has a significant presence in Pitt County.  They have served over 60 local Champions, insuring that they receive quality care even if they can’t afford it.  Pretty In Pink has made payments on behalf of these Champions in excess of $68,000 to over 9 medical facilities in our area.   Their support of our community has been tremendous over the years.   One patient, a mother of three wrote, “I just couldn’t keep up with the bills or even understand what services they covered.  I am grateful for the assistance given to me by Pretty In Pink.  The grant eased my burden!”

Each year, Pretty In Pink Foundation has a fund raiser to continue their mission.  This year’s Pink Pumps and Bow Ties Gala will be held on October 25th at Carolina Country Club.  The evening will feature cocktails, a delectable dinner, entertainment, and live and silent auctions.  With the purchase of a $100 glass of champagne, guests will be offered a chance to win a 1ct diamond!  The Kendra Scott jewelry pull is always exciting.  Everyone attending will have the opportunity to meet their founder, Dr. Tolnitch.   

This event helps fund medical care for nearly 100 Champions.  Everyone is invited to attend, learn more about the Foundation, have a great time and help make a difference to those right here in our community.   To purchase tickets or to be a sponsor for the event, please visit the website at  

To learn more about the Foundation, go to

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