The Pay It Forward Fund: Peter Eckerline On What It Is and Who It Helps

Peter Eckerline explains that the Pay It Forward Fund: Helping Women with Breast Cancer Fight the Financial Battle In the face of a breast cancer diagnosis, a woman’s mind is flooded with a whirlwind of emotions and anxieties. Treatment plans, survival rates, and medication side effects become all-consuming thoughts. But amidst this storm, another, often-unvoiced worry lurks in the background: how to manage daily living expenses. From childcare to housing costs, the financial burden of cancer treatment can feel overwhelming.

The Pay It Forward Fund, a non-profit organization based in Minnesota, steps in to address this concern. Founded by Michelle Morey and Scott Bissen, the Fund provides financial assistance to women undergoing breast cancer treatment, specifically to help them cover essential living expenses that medical insurance doesn’t cover.

More Than Just Covering Bills: The Pay It Forward Philosophy

The Pay It Forward Fund’s philosophy goes beyond simply alleviating financial stress. It fosters a spirit of community and empowers women with a sense of dignity and control during a challenging time. The very name “Pay It Forward” embodies this concept. The program is designed so that recipients of funds are not passive beneficiaries; they become part of a cycle of giving. When a woman receives financial help from the Pay It Forward Fund, she commits to “paying it forward” by contributing to the fund once she’s back on her feet. This future contribution ensures that the cycle of support continues, helping future patients facing similar financial hardships.

This approach removes the stigma often associated with traditional charity.  Women battling cancer are not seen as dependent recipients, but rather as strong individuals temporarily in need of a helping hand.  They are empowered to know that their future contribution will make a difference in the life of another woman facing the same fight.

The Ripple Effect of Giving

Peter Eckerline understands that the Pay It Forward Fund’s impact extends far beyond the immediate financial assistance it provides. By removing the burden of financial worries, the program allows women to focus on their health and well-being.  Knowing that their basic needs are met frees them up to concentrate on treatment, recovery, and spending precious time with loved ones.

The positive effects trickle down to families as well. When a mother is battling cancer, the entire household feels the strain. The Pay It Forward Fund’s support helps to maintain a sense of normalcy and stability for children, who may be grappling with their mother’s illness. Mothers can focus on their recovery, knowing their families are secure.

A Community of Strength and Support

The Pay It Forward Fund fosters a sense of community among the women it serves. Recipients connect with each other, sharing their experiences, offering encouragement, and drawing strength from one another. This camaraderie provides emotional support that complements the financial assistance offered by the program.

The Power of Philanthropy: How You Can Make a Difference

The Pay It Forward Fund relies solely on donations to continue its vital work. Every contribution, big or small, makes a difference in the life of a woman battling breast cancer. Donors can be assured that their contributions go directly to supporting patients, as none of the fund’s employees are paid.

There are many ways to get involved with the Pay It Forward Fund:

  • Make a one-time donation: Every dollar donated helps the fund continue to provide essential support to women in need.
  • Become a monthly donor: A monthly contribution provides a reliable stream of funding, allowing the Pay It Forward Fund to plan and budget more effectively.
  • Hold a fundraising event: Organize a community event, such as a bake sale, car wash, or charity walk/run, to raise awareness and funds for the Pay It Forward Fund.
  • Spread the word: Talk to your friends, family, and colleagues about the Pay It Forward Fund’s mission. The more people who know about the organization, the greater its reach and impact.


There are a variety of philosophies on philanthropy, but for Peter Eckerline and his wife, the emphasis was always on how they could do the best with what they had. To that end, they chose causes that reflected their personal values, to feel personally connected to the cause. The Pay It Forward fund allows women to concentrate not on their ever-mounting bills but on how they can stay strong for themselves and their loved ones.

Together, we can ensure that no woman fighting breast cancer has to face the battle alone, both physically and financially.

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