Maryland nonprofit offers hope to breast cancer patients and families

10/03/2022| Maggie Whitescarver

Maryland nonprofit offers hope to breast cancer patients and families

10/03/2022 | Maggie Whitescarver

When tragedy strikes, it is important to find support and light in the dark times. That is exactly what Marshall Moneymaker did, but his light was a bright shade of pink.

Marshall, a retired career firefighter for Montgomery County, formed For 3 Sisters  – a nonprofit for the breast cancer community – in 2011 in honor of his three sisters that he lost to breast cancer in less than a three-year span.

While he was struggling with the losses, the Susan G. Komen Foundation was hosting a stop for its annual race at Marshall’s station parking lot. The family described that moment as “meant to be,” since it kickstarted the charity discussions.

Marshall felt the strength and love shared by the breast cancer community and he embraced his calling to do more to help. His goal was to make his story heard and encourage women to have mammograms and perform self exams while promoting the importance of early detection.

Four individuals from the For 3 Sisters nonprofit dressed in pink

Jennifer McNeal, Marshall Moneymaker, Shannon Moneymaker, Pat McTighe

With the charity only a few months old, it had already gained valuable support and soon a new identity for its founder. Marshall’s co-workers and shiftmates surprised him with pink fire fighting gear and the media began to call him “The Pink Fireman.”

For 3 Sisters offers extensive support to those affected by breast cancer, starting at diagnosis, staying through treatment, and continuing to check in after the healing has begun. Shannon Moneymaker, executive director, explained that the nonprofit would rather have a greater impact on one person’s life than provide partial support to many.

“We are most proud of being authentic and available to the community,” she said.

For the past decade, For 3 Sisters has been assisting breast cancer patients through their medical journey, with the nonprofit resource case managers assigned to help patients with all their paperwork.

“You can hear the emotional responses when patients learn they don’t have to tell their story multiple times and that the burden is lifted from them,” said Shannon.

The organization also focuses on supporting the family of the individual battling cancer, including providing information on how parents can speak to their children about breast cancer.

“Family and friends live through the diagnosis as well, and they need support, too,” said Shannon. “We try to help the whole unit.”

A pink-painted fire truck owned by For 3 Sisters

For 3 Sisters is also proud to have its own vehicle, a pink fire truck named Vicky after one of Moneymaker’s late sisters. This was another kismet moment as the retired fire truck belonged to Moneymaker’s former station and they reunited when it was put up for auction. The Moneymakers won the auction and Engine 61/706 officially transformed into Vicky - The Pink Fire Truck, which offers “celebration rides” to breast cancer survivors.

The nonprofit has also added an ambassador to its team, a Golden Retriever puppy named Hope. She lives up to her namesake, as she instills hope in others, just as her strength helped in surviving her own struggles at birth.

People can help support For 3 Sisters through donations, volunteering, sponsorships, and participating in events. The organization’s 2nd Annual Pink Ribbon Romp 5K occurs in October and registration is open now. Learn more about For 3 Sisters .

Golden retriever dog hanging out of the For 3 Sisters truck window

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