Our journey began in September of 2006, when our mother, Marjie Johnson, was diagnosed with uterine cancer. We are a family that believes solutions come from knowledge. So we started our search for information and knowledge about uterine cancer.
As our mother’s life was coming to an end, we decided that there had to be some purpose to such a sad loss. We wanted to be able to help others with this illness through research, education and early detection efforts. We talked to mom about it. She was so excited to hear how we hoped to be able to help others in her name and through our experiences. Mom’s life was filled with her personal efforts to make a difference for others through her art, teaching and music. Her journey ended in November of 2007 and that is when our journey began.
Expanding and sharing our knowledge
We expanded our knowledge by attending a Uterine Cancer Survivor’s Class sponsored by the Gynecologic Cancer Foundation (GCF) in Oklahoma. After this trip, we were contacted by Dr. Larry Maxwell about supporting the National Gynecologic Cancer Awareness campaign, specifically, a band made up of gynecologic oncologists needed a sponsor. Based on Marjie’s love and experience with art and music, we agreed to be the largest private supporter of N.E.D, a band existing of six gynecologic oncologists. N.E.D. stands for “No Evidence of Disease,” what every cancer patient hopes to hear. As an amazing aside, it turned out that one of the doctors in the band, Dr. William Winter, not only works at Compass Oncology where mom was treated, but lives in our community. We began to meet, listen to the music, and share our dreams for making the options more extensive for women impacted by gynecologic cancers.
The CD was released on September 8, 2009 to coincide with Gynecologic Cancer Awareness month. On October 25th, 2009 the Rhythm Heals CD release party and fundraising event was held in Portland, Oregon at the historic Crystal Ballroom. The event was a huge success and raised over $40,000 towards education, awareness and research. Our ability to fund efforts such as the band, N.E.D. continues to move our cause ahead. Thank you for taking the time to get to know us and for your continuing support of our organization and our mission.
Marjiesfund is a completely volunteer nonprofit committed to bringing people together to become aware and learn more about gynecologic cancers. Through a variety of awareness activities we have touched the lives of people impacted by the disease, including patients, family members, and friends as well as women who are learning about gynecologic cancers for the first time.
Our goals for the future
- Continued support of creative efforts to get the word out on gynecologic cancers
- Support research efforts as the fund continues to grow
Accomplishments to date
Started in 2007 just prior to the death of my mother, Marjie, the fund was established through a donation she made just days before she died. The 501C(3) was started in 2009. Since that time our financial and volunteer efforts have supported the following through donations and fundraising of more than $300,000:
- Support of NED the band and their recording of 2 CD’s, one with a booklet describing the warning signs of gynecologic cancers
- Support of No Evidence of Disease, a documentary by academy award winning producer, Andrea Kalin with Spark Media. To date the documentary has been shown across the country as well as in Canada. The film is now available on 80% of the public television stations across the country.
- Support of “what Everyone should know” series completed by Andrea Kalin and her team at Spark Media providing short video clips about each form of GYN cancer available in multiple languages
- Support for the Knight Cancer Challenge at Oregon Health Sciences University, the largest fund raising event in the country.
- Support for research at McGee Women’s Hospital in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Board of Directors
- Kelly Johnson Welch – President & Chief Executive Officer
- Jerry Johnson – Treasurer
- Kirk Johnson – Secretary