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Local Family Business Gives Back

April 29, 2022

When you’re faced with a dramatic change, like a cancer diagnosis, it’s good to know there is someone you can rely on. For patients of the Sandra and Malcolm Berman Cancer Institute who lack the resources to get to and from their treatments, that someone is GBMC’s Oncology Support Services (OSS) team and the Transportation Program. Last year, the program provided 1,499 rides – at a cost of just under $38,000 to GBMC and at no cost to the patients.

Transportation for oncology patients through the Oncology Support Services program relies entirely on generous donors, especially those who, like Chris Saffer, make regular monthly contributions to OSS to help underwrite transportation for cancer patients. Each month, the gift from Chris and his family’s business, Saffer Plumbing, covers the cost of getting to and from treatment for a cancer patient at GBMC.

“This is a targeted investment in someone’s health,” Chris said. “We all need to pull together and do what we can.” He invites others to follow his example. To those who can afford to give, he said, “There is something you can do, something tangible for someone who is in pain.”

Chris is the fourth-generation owner of Saffer Plumbing, a company that wears their dedication to breast cancer support not on their sleeve, but on one of the company vans. The Saffers chose GBMC as their partner and the focus of their generosity because of personal and professional ties. GBMC is in their neighborhood. His wife, Lindsay, and their two children were born there. Lindsay’s father is an ophthalmologist there. And, as the owners of a local, family business, they understand the importance of contributing to the community.

“This is the way we wanted to give back,” Chris said. He and his team looked for a need in the community they serve and found this program at GBMC. When they learned about the struggles faced by cancer patients, they were inspired to give.

The van and the Saffer’s monthly gift help to remove a barrier to care faced by many cancer patients: the need to get from here to there. Cancer treatments can be lifesaving, but they can also be debilitating. Every patient doesn't necessarily have someone to call on for a ride every time they come to GBMC. Paying for transportation is a burden many patients cannot bear.

And, as a businessperson with staff and family to provide for, Chris understands the value of reliability. He offers his customers an annual protection plan: a sum the company keeps on account for regular service or emergencies. Both the customers and the company benefit from the security the plan creates.

It’s the same for the Berman Cancer Institute’s Transportation Program. Patients know they can count on this support. And regular, recurring donors like Chris are providing this program and the rest of GBMC’s Oncology Support Services the assurance they can afford to keep it going.

You can support GBMC's patients by making a one time or recurring donation to benefit Oncology Support Services. 

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