Our Story

Our Mission

Pink Pearl Foundation is a community-oriented organization that provides support, facilitates connections and empowers young women who are courageously overcoming the social and emotional challenges of being diagnosed with cancer.

Our Story

Pink Pearl Foundation was conceived by 32-year-old ovarian cancer survivor Elise Gasbarrino. While undergoing cancer treatment in her early twenties, Elise felt certain elements were missing from her experience—a way to connect with women her age facing the same issues, and a means for them to conquer their issues together. Her vision transformed into Pink Pearl Foundation, a not-for-profit organization made up of more than 25 dedicated volunteers, focused on bringing together young women affected by cancer through a network of peer support and innovative programs. The Foundation has successfully raised nearly $300,000 to date through reputable fundraising events initiatives, such as the Black & White with a Touch of Pink annual springtime event in Toronto. Funds raised provide effective and fully-funded programming for young women, between the ages of 18 and 40, battling cancer of any type. Continual programming for participants currently includes: wellness retreats; support packages distributed in hospitals and cancer centres; local social gatherings; and post-secondary scholarships.

 The Need

In March 2015, the Canadian Cancer Society released survey results reporting that more than half of Canadians do not feel well-equipped to support themselves, a friend, or a loved-one with cancer. Pink Pearl Foundation has identified this as a prominent feeling among young female cancer patients between the age of 18 and 40. Through important discussions about their needs and fears, the Foundation works to identify gaps between the emotional needs of a patient and the treatment provided by the medical community. Before the age of 40, cancer is not an expected reality for anyone. Educational and professional goals and personal relationships are often put on hold. These areas are where peer support can have the greatest impact. The ongoing support of Pink Pearl Foundation provides young women with an outlet to discuss individual challenges and works to help reduce feelings of isolation. Pink Pearl Foundation believes that through its year-round innovative programming, annual events, and awareness initiatives, our community can band together to help bridge these gaps.

Our Values

Our 2016/17 Annual Report

We are dedicated to supporting young women facing cancer and are committed to organically growing Pink Pearl into an organization that provides support across Ontario. Join us as we add a much needed touch of pink to young women’s lives.