In 2020, the Cancer Wellness Foundation of Central Alabama earned The Chamber’s 2020 “MGM Impact Maker” award in the nonprofit category. Today, Executive Director Carol Gunter is leading the Foundation’s team as it continues to do the work that garnered the honor: delivering compassion-centered services to cancer patients.
When did you start working with the Cancer Wellness Foundation? In January of 2020, I retired from the City of Montgomery after 22 years of service as the Public Relations Administrator and City Liaison for the ESPN Camellia Bowl, and I became the Executive Director of the Cancer Wellness Foundation a few weeks later.
What is the Foundation’s primary mission? To provide supportive services, educational services and assistance to cancer patients throughout central Alabama, which includes patients who are insured, uninsured and underinsured.
What are your primary duties? I manage the overall operations. I am responsible for grants and fundraising initiatives; developing community relationships and corporate partnerships; supervision and evaluation of staff and coordination of board of directors; overseeing fiscal operations and handling all marketing, public relations, special events and administrative duties.
What’s the most rewarding aspect of your work? Playing a small role in assisting patients on their journey to recovery. We are able to step in and eliminate the fear of having to choose between putting fuel in their vehicle to get to the cancer center for treatment and paying their water bill or having to decide between buying chemo meds and paying the mortgage.
SMALL TEAM, BIG IMPACT
The Cancer Wellness Foundation is celebrating 25 years in 2022, and Gunter explained how the good work keeps going. “Our small staff of five assists over 1,000 patients from 32 counties each year, and in 2021, we provided $23,306,634.58 in total assistance with medications through our Patient Advocacy program, $132,184.26 in transportation assistance, including gas vouchers, and gave transportation assistance to 5,454 patients,” she said. “We also provided more than 1,500 Chemo Comfort bags to new patients.”