To fund stomach cancer research with the goal of finding a cure.
Project Periwinkle was founded by Ben Broghammer in memory of his cousin Michon Runyon, who passed away in the summer of 2014 after battling with stomach cancer. He formally launched this organization in May of 2015, while still attending Saint Louis University for his undergraduate education, and he currently is serving as Project Periwinkle's President and Chairman. Michon was full of life and had the ability to light up a room and the hope of Ben and all those involved with this organization is that her memory will continue to live on through the work we do. We are looking forward to a future where we can, as a world, say what cancer was, not what it is. Stomach cancer is a disease that affects so many families. Together we can find a cure, and together we can make a difference.
Family is something that many of us hold dear to our hearts. And when bad something happens in our life that affects our family, we can’t help but question, wonder, and struggle with the emotions. As told in our Founder’s Message below, we don’t have to stick to the way life is, accepting the prenotion that our futures and stories are already decided. We can do something to change the field of medicine and change the outcome for others. We can’t do anything to change the past, but we can do everything to change the future. Hope is a great gift to give someone, but a second chance at life comes in first place.
Our dream is to live in a world without cancer. And in the words of Walt Disney, “all our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.”
What Sets Us Apart
Where Donation Dollars Go
We started to help people, and we make it our work to ensure that we maximize our impact everyday. 100% of the funds raised, go toward research and awareness, and we do everything we can to keep our overhead at a minimum. This starts with everyone, from our President to our employees, giving their time and not accepting compensation for their work, and we could not do what we do without our volunteers. That is what sets us apart from other charities and foundations, and we are proud of that. But more importantly, we are proud of what that enables us to do - make the biggest difference possible in the lives of others and working to eliminate a disease that affects so many lives every year.
Every year, tens of thousands of people are diagnosed with stomach cancer and millions more with other cancers . For me, bringing awareness to this disease and funding research that will one day find a cure is something that I hold close to my heart. In 2013, my family was touched by it in a way that forever has changed me. My cousin, Michon, was diagnosed with stomach cancer and she fought with grace, courage, strength, and a heart that is rarely replicated. She passed away a year later in the summer of 2014. While grieving, I realized when something unfortunate happens, we can either let it take hold of us, or we can do something to change it. While still in my undergraduate education at Saint Louis University, and in the midsts of my junior year, I started this foundation in the hopes of changing the status quo of a world where cancer is an everyday thing and countless people are being affected by it. I can never do anything to get her back, but we can do everything we can to make sure cancer becomes a word that is only part of the history books. Since we launched, cancer has continued to touch my life, and as time goes on, our work is becoming more and more important.
Since Project Periwinkle's inception, we have had the opportunity to provide financial support to two cancer centers in the United States. The first in October of 2015, just five months after we launched, to the Saint Louis University Cancer Center in St. Louis, MO, and secondly in February of 2018, to the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha. The research that we are supporting will hopefully one day lead to a cure for not just stomach cancer, but all cancer. I started this organization to help others and better our world, and that is why I decided that this organization would be 100% volunteer based, and nobody, including myself should accept compensation for their work. That is what charity is all about--helping others and giving back in the biggest way possible.
Full heartily, I believe that though we are put in this world, we can have a say in how life turns out. We don’t have to accept what is, and we can start with dreams of what can be, working to turn those dreams into reality. WE can fund research. WE can find a cure. WE can end this fight and change the world, giving those diagnosed with stomach cancer not just hope, but a second chance at life. Please take the time to explore our website and learn more about us. If you can, please donate so our work can continue, and if you cannot, please at the very least, tell others about us and our work. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for your support.
Founder, President, Chairman
May 2015: Project Periwinkle is formally launched.
August 2015: Project Periwinkle helps sponsor the annual Billiken 5k at Saint Louis University, supporting the Saint Louis University Cancer Center.
October 2015: The organization makes its first formal financial contribution to the Saint Louis University Cancer Center, establishing the Project Periwinkle Gastric Cancer Research Fund.
April 2016: The Project Periwinkle Ambassador Program is created, expanding our reach throughout the United States.
June 2017: We become a participating charitable organization for Thrivent Choice through Thrivent Financial, allowing member of Thrivent Financial to recommend where some of Thrivent Financial's charitable outreach funds go, a program that has given more that $370 million dollars to national non-profits.
December 2017: Project Periwinkle's Board of Directors votes on the organization's second financial gift, approving a contribution to the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, NE.
February 2018: We formally present our financial gift to the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center in Omaha, NE, marking another huge milestone in our history. Our gift will help support the Gastrointestinal Research Program, contributing to stomach cancer research.
December 2018: Project Periwinkle's Board of Directors votes on the organization's third financial gift, approving a contribution to the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX.
January 2019: We formally present our gift to MD Anderson,