Inspired by a Patient’s Gratitude   

Tobi Klonecki




Over the past three years, a dedicated group in the community has raised over $250,000 to help financially struggling breast cancer patients. The Forward4Tobi Foundation aims to improve the lives of patients suffering from breast cancer by providing financial assistance for medical expenses, childcare, and other daily unmet needs so they may focus on fighting this insidious disease. Support is provided through NorthShore University HealthSystem (NorthShore) Kellogg Cancer Center and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. A total of $125,000 has been donated to NorthShore since the start of 2015, helping to improve the quality of life for 34 women receiving treatment for advanced stage breast cancer at Kellogg Cancer Center.
Their drive to help came after they lost Tobi Klonecki, a wife and mother with a close circle of friends and family, to the advanced disease at age 41. She was a devout runner who considered herself lucky to have the means to fight the disease without worrying about having the funds for babysitters for her two young boys, medicine not covered by insurance, or even to hire a cleaning lady when she was too tired from treatment.

“We created the Patient Assistance Fund at NorthShore Kellogg Cancer Center to honor Tobi’s memory,” said Jodi Soriano, a childhood friend who is on the board of the Forward4Tobi Foundation.  

“After Tobi was diagnosed at age 37, she went to conferences to learn more about the disease—and she always came back saying she felt 'lucky' she had help and resources to improve her quality of life,” said Soriano. “She met women who were swamped with bills from being unable to work, hire child care, or even to pay their mortgage while fighting this dreadful disease.”

Social workers at Kellogg Cancer Center identify women with stage 4 breast cancer who might be in need of financial assistance and help them fill out an application for the funds. “I see the impact the Forward4Tobi grants have on advanced breast cancer patients at Kellogg almost every single day,” said social worker Meg Madvig. “Patients are very appreciative as grants help to make their lives a little easier during a very challenging time.”
For more information, please visit or call NorthShore Foundation at 224.364.7230 to learn more about supporting leading-edge research and comprehensive, compassionate care for patients at NorthShore Kellogg Cancer Center.



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