Developed with care: Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center

As Louisiana’s leading cancer care organization, Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center’s dedicated team of development employees work together day in and day out to spread awareness, promote fundraisers and ultimately, give back to those suffering with cancer in Louisiana.

MBPCC is a non-profit with a mission to to improve survivorship and lessen the burden of cancer through expert treatment, compassionate care, early detection, research and education, and it has done so for over 40 years. As a destination cancer center, it serves over 3500 new patients annually, 400 team members, 500 daily patients and over 100 physicians, all with one goal—to create more survivors.

Carter Rose Stone, director of development of giving programs at MBPCC is responsible for the annual, major and planned giving programs in addition to the grants program. She works closely to connect patients, families and community partners with meaningful opportunities to support and advance the fight against cancer.

Recently, she has launched a five-year major gift initiative focused on becoming the destination cancer center for the Gulf South. This initiative will secure $25 million dedicated to making this vision a reality.

Last year, Stone explained that the cancer center had its largest fundraising year ever. She said that a donation to MBPCC is money well spent.

“We have 100% fundraising efficiency. Every dollar raised directly serves our patients and their families. What that means is no overhead expenses are placed on a donor’s gift,” Stone said. “We are proud to steward our gifts to directly support our patients and the vital programs and services they need to not only survive but thrive. Not many organizations can say that.”

To promote fundraising and outreach events, Patricia Lemoine of MBPCC serves as the associate director of development–giving programs, marketing and communications. Lemoine focuses on the annual giving program with an emphasis on donor relations and events.

There are many ways in which MBPCC is an active part in the community, whether it be through events or sponsorships.

“Our signature events are The Taste and our Pro-Am golf tournament. Additionally, Geaux Give, our third party platform, is a big focus for us. These community fundraisers are held independently from the cancer center’s office of development and are planned and executed by interested volunteers,” Lemoine explained. “These events can be anything from a neighborhood yard sale to a company golf tournament.”

With strategies so effective to a cause so powerful, development intern Amy Desselles said its what made her career choice so easy.

“MBPCC can make such an impact in the community. Although I was working in the development and fundraising office of MBPCC, I could actually see the direct impact we were making in the community,” she said. “Healthcare and nonprofits are something I’m passionate about because it’s a career where you truly feel you are making a difference and have an impactful role in someone else’s life.”

Desselles encourages everyone interested to donate to MBPCC and fight for the cause.

“Through fundraising, we are able to provide patients and their families with everything needed to take the fight forward,” she said.

At The Taste, an MBPCC event Desselles attended recently, she experienced the immense impact the organization has created for its patients, all through generous donations and support of the cause.

“Every time a patient is finally cancer free, they get to ring a bell in the cancer center. Surrounded by loved ones, doctors, and nurses, this celebration bell symbolizes the end of one journey and a start of their new life cancer free. At The Taste, our biggest fundraising event of the year, we debuted our celebration bell video. After the video, a lady who just finished treatment and was now cancer free, walked on stage and rang the bell,” she said. “Seeing the joy on her face was truly incredible and nearly brought me to tears.”

Not only does MBPCC work together to create more survivors, but the organization believes in treatment comfortably at home.

“Today, fewer than 1% of cancer patients leave Louisiana for cancer care. That means those who hear the words, “you have cancer,” are able to seek the most advanced treatment and supportive care right here at home in Louisiana,” said Stone.

The work produced at MBPCC and the lives impacted are what keeps its employees motivated—and fighting to better the lives of every patient.

“Most everyone can say that they have been impacted by cancer from a family member, friend or as a patient themselves,” said Stone. “Cancer touches so many lives, it fuels our passion to take the fight against cancer forward.”

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