by: Ben Broghammer, Founder & President
Cancer research and awareness is something that is extremely close to my heart. I started Project Periwinkle in memory of my cousin, Michon, who passed away from stomach cancer in 2014. However, throughout my life, both before and after her passing, I have been touched by cancer in ways that have shaped my view of the world, and that have developed and contributed to my drive and commitment to fight back and help find a cure. November is Stomach Cancer Awareness Month, and we are reminded of the dedication of Project Periwinkle and of the commitment that led to the creation of this organization.
This year alone, there will be an estimated 15 million new cancer cases worldwide, about 1.7 million of which will be here in the United States. Stomach cancer will represent 1 million and 28,000 new cases respectively. Cancer awareness months give a specific time to bring awareness to different types of cancer throughout the year, shining a light on more common but less talked about types of cancer. For instance, stomach cancer is the fifth most common type worldwide and one of the deadliest, but only receives about 0.27% of the National Cancer Institute’s research budget.
When I started this organization in 2015, I wanted to do things differently, things that could not happen if I made a donation to another charity. The first and and one of the most important things for me was to have complete control of where the money I raised went and how the mission and values of the organization would be reflected in the funding process. The second and equally as important was creating a charity based on the idea that one hundred percent of what is raised is put to work in a way that advances the mission of the organization. So much of what is given to charities today goes toward salaries, expensive overhead, and wasteful spending. I am proud to say that everyone at Project Periwinkle does not accept compensation, and because of this, we are able to maximize our impact and put those dollars toward cancer research and awareness. We are also extremely mindful of our spending and do so in the most fiscally responsible way.
Being able to make a tangible difference in the world and being on the forefront of the research that will help find a cure for cancer is something I am immensely proud of. We have been able to do so much as an organization, from shedding light on this disease, to the establishment of the Project Periwinkle Gastric Cancer Research Fund at Saint Louis University Cancer Center. I am looking forward to all that is to come and all that we will be able to accomplish, but most importantly, I am looking forward to the day cancer becomes a part of the past.
If you have a moment, I encourage you to explore our website and educate yourself on our organization, our work, and stomach cancer. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation, or keep us in mind for your end of the year charitable giving. We are only able to fulfill our mission because of the generous support we receive, and any donation, either big or small, means the world to me. Thank you!