Artbreakers                                                                    
Helping cancer patients since 2007

About Us


TWO SURVIVORS JOINED FORCES TO HELP OTHERS


Having both gone through cancer ourselves, we experienced first-hand the enormous mental and financial toll cancer takes on patients and their families. We noticed the needs of many local cancer patients far exceeded their financial means, insurance and resources available. That's why Artbreakers came to be.

We are a non-profit organization with a mission to make sure that every cancer patient has what they need to get through this life altering disease. And that has many meanings. We often take patients to chemotherapy sessions, make monetary payments to doctors, pay for utility bills, and anything else that is needed, including counseling with families and patients prior to surgeries. We tell the patients and their families what to expect, a gift that is sometimes more welcome than any amount of money. It would be correct to say that our services are needed even more today. Cancer, it seems, rarely takes a break.

Our cancer-care community has certainly changed over the last five years since Artbreakers came to be. Technology has moved forward, our Social Services are more focused and streamlined, the imaging centers are leaders in cancer care technology. All great strides, but it’s not enough to ensure that patients and families can afford these treatments.

And that’s where we come in. We create and develop within our community fun and creative fundraisers and events - we never make you walk or run, just come out and have a good time! And always, there is art.




Why we do what we do


Artist Representative, Pier Fitts, was deeply touched by t
he outpouring of love and support she received from the St. Augustine Community.  It was 2006 and she had been diagnosed with breast cancer and was facing a double mastectomy and an unsure future. Pier had no one to help her get to and from doctor visits or chemotherapy treatments. So the artists in the community that she worked with took it upon themselves to make sure she would get where she needed to go.  Not only did they shuttle Pier to chemo treatments but they also helped her family, and Pier, get through much of her difficult journey.  It was then that Pier decided she wanted to do something to give back to the community that gave so much to her. 

Gaye Jones was speaking at a networking event about her 2004 battle with breast cancer when she and Pier Fitts, met for the first time.  The two hit it off and Pier asked Gaye to pose for a series of cancer portraits by artist Hugh Holborn. Gaye has described posing for the portraits as a liberating experience making her feel both beautiful and strong. And it’s one of Gaye’s images that you see on the Artbreakers signature pink ribbon fan. Going through cancer taught her a lot; specifically that she wasn’t the only one battling. Gaye’s entire family was affected and her children were faced with their own mortality as well as hers. Family dynamics are shaken during such a trying time. Gaye realized the importance of asking for help and talking about what works. She learned what a critical role support plays in the healing process. And she knew she wanted to provide patients facing cancer with the best tools possible to prepare them for their journey.

Having forged a great friendship through a shared bond of survival, these two women discovered that while they were lucky enough to have large support groups and good medical insurance, others were not. Yearly deductibles, co-pays, weekly tests, medicines – these costs add up to incredible amounts that often put a huge burden on families already dealing with the life altering disease. So Gaye and Pier combined their business sense and creative backgrounds and founded Artbreakers. Although Pier and Gaye both endured breast cancer, they created Artbreakers to help people deal with all types of cancer.  After all, cancer doesn’t discriminate and neither do we.



How we're funded
Artbreakers is a 501 (c) 3 organization, structured to adhere specifically to the rigorous demands of the IRS and other "watch dog" organizations that exist to make sure that your money is appropriately used.

88% of every dollar Artbreakers receives goes directly towards cancer patients and their needs. We are primarily funded through donations. We also raise funds through grants, corporate sponsors, and foundations. We are incredibly thankful for the support that has enabled us to do the work that has touched the lives of so many people.


How you can get involved


Board Members
Artbreakers is a not for profit organization recognized and regulated by the IRS as a 501 (c) 3 charity.  Our board members are volunteers comprised of professionals in St. John’s County. They share the common goal of helping uninsured and underserved cancer patients in our community. We have joined together because we believe in the same thing, “changing the world one human being at a time.”

Artbreakers Board Members:
Gaye Jones

President

Mortgage Lender, Alarion Bank

Michelle Santorelli
Executive Board Member

Real Estate Professional, Building Concepts Unlimited, Inc.

Amy Kozsuch & Associates
Executive Board Member

CEO, Kozsuch & Associates LLC

Maxine McChesney, Esq
Executive Board Member

McChesney Law Firm, PA


Nancy Cilento
Executive Board Member
Hospice Nurse

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