According to the American Cancer Society, more than 1.8 million new cancer cases are estimated to be diagnosed in the United States this year, which will set in motion a devastating financial setback for each of these patients’ families. In addition to the physical and emotional pain that will be endured during treatment, there is the very real financial struggle when the ability to work (and in many cases maintain insurance) is no longer possible and the bills start to pile up.
The Joe Andruzzi Foundation was created to provide financial assistance to New England families facing cancer so that they don’t have to worry about everyday bills and can focus on what matters most – their health. Those familiar with the Foundation’s mission and who have attended fundraising events are sure to have met two incredible supporters of the work JAF does: Ed and Lisa Medeiros of East Commerce Solutions (ECS).
Ed and Lisa began their philanthropic support of JAF in 2010 through sponsorship of two key annual events – our gala and the Joe Andruzzi & Friends Golf Tournament. In fact, since 2014, ECS has been the Presenting Sponsor of our annual golf tournament, helping JAF raise crucial funds for the cancer patients we support. Through East Commerce Solutions, Ed and Lisa have donated more than $1.1 million in support of JAF’s mission, helping to relieve the financial burden of cancer for so many patients in need throughout the years.
ECS has a long history as a community-minded company, but Ed and Lisa’s support for the Joe Andruzzi Foundation comes from personal experience witnessing what cancer can do financially to a family. As Ed shared, “For seven years in a row, we’ve lost a close family member to cancer. We have seen what it does to families financially and the hardship is causes. A patient’s lifestyle before a diagnosis when they were working, being productive, and caring for loved ones… cancer strips all of that away.”
Ed recognizes that he was fortunate to have been able to provide a financial safety net for his relatives so that they did not have to worry about their household bills, but he understands that many families don’t have this safeguard and face financial distress. “The last thing a cancer patient should be thinking about is, ‘how am I going to put gas in my car, pay my mortgage, or keep the electricity on?’ People should not be worried about these things when they’re fighting the fight of their life.”
Understanding the devastating effects of the cost of cancer as they do, Ed and Lisa are proud to support JAF’s mission and the impact being made across the New England cancer community.
“ECS sponsors over 25 different nonprofits, but you don’t always find the same level of passion that you see from JAF – they know the patients they help, and they know their stories,” Ed says. “The entire organization is welcoming, willing to help, and really cares about the people they assist.”
Ed and Lisa are gratified to have played a critical role in making a difference in the lives of so many cancer patients, especially now, during the pandemic.
“Nonprofits are suffering right now, and it’s a call to action for people to step in and help,” Lisa says. “The need is greater than ever.”
They both remain hopeful about the future and the positivity that can come out of the pandemic.
“We are living through a difficult time, but there have been even more difficult times in our country,” says Ed. “Good people will continue to help others because that is who they are. And even if you can’t help financially, you can always lend a hand another way – time, talent, and treasure!”
JAF is fortunate to receive all three from Ed and Lisa, and we look forward to working together to continue to remove the financial barriers negatively impacting cancer patients and their health outcomes.