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Local woman’s legacy lives on to help fight breast cancer

Trina Reynolds

Today marks what would have been Trina Reynolds’ 60th birthday. Although she is no longer here to celebrate this milestone with her family and friends, her legacy continues to live on in the hundreds of local women who have received help because of her vision.  

After Trina received a devastating breast cancer diagnosis in 2008, she wanted to make sure transportation was not a barrier to treatment — or for a second opinion — to other women with breast cancer. With a $1,000 check and the desire to leave a lasting legacy, Trina established The Trina Fund in 2009 within the Women’s Fund for the Fox Valley Region.

Sadly, Trina lost her courageous battle on October 2, 2011, at the age of 49. Her fund continues to grow and help local women access treatment for breast cancer. Today, we are excited to announce The Trina Fund has awarded over 260 grants in excess of $100,000! 

“What started as our mom’s legacy has now become a community legacy,” says Nick Reynolds, Trina’s son. 

In honor of this milestone celebration, The Trina Fund will be awarding a $10,000 grant to the Survivorship Series for Young Women program at ThedaCare. This new program, in partnership with Living Beyond Breast Cancer, is set to launch in May and will cover topics such as early menopause, long-term side effects, sex and intimacy and self-care.  

“As a woman diagnosed with breast cancer in her mid-40’s, this would have been right up my mom’s alley,” says Hillary Reynolds, Trina’s daughter. 

“We are grateful for the tremendous support The Trina Fund has provided our patients over the years,” says Erin Tyink, regional development director with the ThedaCare Family of Foundations. “This grant for the Survivorship Program will increase access to valuable resources for our patients, particularly those like Trina: young women facing breast cancer and the host of issues it creates in their lives.” 

Most women receiving assistance from The Trina Fund have been recommended by their cancer care navigators. Navigators recognize when a woman needs transportation assistance and submit an application to the Trina Fund.

Left to right: Hillary Reynolds, Trina Reynolds, Kris Hietpas (Trina’s sister), and Becky Boulanger, former Women’s Fund Executive Director, celebrating the signing of The Trina Fund agreement in April 2009.

“Many women referred to The Trina Fund live in rural areas and the number of trips needed for their radiation and/or chemotherapy can exceed 50 one-way trips. It doesn’t take long before the fuel costs really start to add up,” says Julie Keller, executive director of the Women’s Fund.  

One thankful recipient notes, “Breast cancer is frightening, and your gift helps me know that I can get to my treatment and have a little peace of mind so I can heal.” 

What started with Trina’s vision to help women with breast cancer is now a reality, embraced and supported with donations from family, friends and the community. Says Hillary of this milestone achievement, “My mom would be beaming.” 

Gifts to The Trina Fund will help female residents of Wisconsin diagnosed with breast cancer obtain the best possible care, including, but not limited to, travel to accredited cancer treatment centers throughout the United States. 

Women with breast cancer should talk to their medical provider or patient navigator about assistance. Health care providers or nonprofit organizations that provide services to cancer patients should email Julie Keller or call her at 920.702.7617 for information about how to help patients access assistance. The Women’s Fund cannot directly support individuals. Checks will be issued directly to the referring organization. 

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