What We Do

What We Do

The Kathleen Sutton Fund has a single mission to  assist women who are undergoing treatment for all cancers with their travel expenses. Women are referred to KSF by their healthcare social worker because they are experiencing a financial hardship. Health insurance usually does not cover these out-of-pocket expenses. Based on financial need, and the completion of a simple application process, funds are available for the client and a companion, or if needed an insured driver. Allowable costs include: all ferry fees, gasoline, parking, tolls, and any other transit expense.

KSF began in 2003 as a small local grassroots organization serving North Kitsap County and providing transportation assistance to women with breast cancer. In the beginning, fund-raising was held at a the local yacht club and raised about $5,000.00 the first year.  Later that year, Olympic Medical Cancer Center (OMCC) in Sequim opened and requests for assistance increased. The Board officially committed to hosting an annual fund-raiser auction and to also broaden it’s services to women in Clallam, Jefferson, and Mason Counties. In 2008, KSF received a 501(c)3 charitable non-profit designation. In 2015, with the support of  grants, private donations and the annual auction, the Kathleen Sutton Board was able to open it’s services to women in Clallam, Jefferson, Kitsap and Mason counties to not only breast cancer, but to all cancers!

KSF receives referrals for assistance from oncology social workers and patient navigators from medical centers such as: Olympic Medical Cancer Center, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, University of Washington Medical Center, Swedish Hospital, Salish Cancer Center, Kitsap Cancer Center, Peninsula Cancer Center, Jefferson Cancer Center, Virginia Mason, and, as of, 2016, Women’s Cancer Care of Seattle. Many of our clients are individuals who have heard about the fund from friends, family and past clients.

Many times, the travel expenses represent daunting, and sometimes life-threatening hurdles during a very difficult time. Typically health insurance does not assist with, or pay any travel expenses for these trips. An average request covers multiple trips to various treatment centers across the Puget Sound that include mileage, parking and ferry fees.

We believe that the Kathleen Sutton Fund is the only charitable non-profit 501(c)3 organization that provides this unique and specific assistance to the women of Clallam, Jefferson, Kitsap and Mason counties.

Kathleen's Story

Kathleen Sutton was a remarkable woman in many ways. While she lived in Shine on the Olympic Peninsula, she worked in Kingston as a well-respected businesswoman. She served as president of the Kingston Chamber of Commerce, organized the annual 4th of July parade, and was a tireless volunteer. Kathleen founded the community’s “Team Flo” for the Susan G. Komen Foundation’s Race for the Cure.

From 1998 until 2004 Kathleen Sutton underwent treatment for breast cancer in Seattle. A network of friends cherished their time with her as they drove her to many of her appointments. As they went back and forth from Kathleen’s home in Shine, they realized the enormous financial outlay for travel associated with cancer care. These expenses were not covered by her insurance and significantly added to the overall cost of treatment. Upon her death, as a tribute to Kathleen, a fund was established in her memory to assist other women with transportation costs.

“A dream can make a big difference in many women’s life.”

 

In May of 2003, Kathleen and I were on the ferry coming back from her weekly chemotherapy. We were talking about our upcoming fundraising for a national cancer organization. We had just bought ferry passes and they were expensive. I suggested to Kathleen that we should help other women in North Kitsap going for treatment for breast cancer to pay for the ferry cost. Kathleen didn’t buy the idea. However, late that evening Kathleen called me after wakening up from a bad dream about not having enough money to go for treatment and said: “Go for it!”

 

– Vivi-Ann Parnell, President and Founder

Kathleen's Story
Get Support

Get Support

Your journey to recovery begins with the Kathleen Sutton Fund.  It is our mission to assist eligible women living in Clallam, Jefferson, Kitsap and Mason counties with transportation costs while undergoing cancer treatment. Based on financial need, funds are available to subsidize expenses for ferry, gasoline, parking, tolls, bus, taxi, and other expenses related to transportation . We understand these are stressful times and we are here to help you.  We ask that all applications be submitted through your social worker or your physician or please click here to contact us.

Volunteer

Volunteer

The Kathleen Sutton Fund Board consists of all volunteers who’s main focus is to secure funds for women in need. Fundraising includes grant writing, procuring sponsors, soliciting donations from businesses and individuals, and hosting an annual auction.  Volunteer positions are available year round, near auction day and the day of auction.  In order for this organization to be successful, we need your help!