Patient gives back through “More Pasta, Less Sarcoma”

In July 2021, Margaret Schroeder became a Jimmy FundRaiser when she held her first-ever Jimmy Fund virtual event in support of Cigall Kadoch, PhD, a cancer biology researcher and rising star at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. A synovial sarcoma cancer patient, Margaret is helping to fundraise for Dr. Kadoch’s research so she can continue to make breakthrough discoveries in synovial sarcoma and other rare diseases.

“Shortly after my 25th birthday, as an otherwise healthy, happy, and active young woman, I was diagnosed with a rare (~1 in 1,000,000) cancer called synovial sarcoma,” Margaret says. “While my case can be successfully treated using the standard of care, we are in dire need of treatments for metastatic disease, which is often lethal. Fortunately, scientists have identified the unique genetic cause of synovial sarcoma, and amazing researchers just around the corner from me in Boston are translating these findings into potentially transformative therapeutics.”
As a neuroscience doctoral student at MIT, Margaret understands the power that both research and fundraising can have. Her event, “More Pasta, Less Sarcoma” on July 28, 2021, was born from her passion to support Dr. Kadoch’s work—and was an enormous success. Chef Ashton Keefe led participants through a virtual cooking demonstration of Roman pasta via Zoom. Participants were asked to donate to the Jimmy Fund and purchase a list of ingredients prior to the event. The event raised more than $27,000 in support of this vital research.
“Our first event was a huge success,” Margaret says. “I learned that people are often willing to give more than you think. I encouraged everyone to share the event with their friends and family and got many donations from people I haven’t met. I also learned that many people still want to donate even if they can’t make the event. I love that the Jimmy Fund allowed me to channel funds to a lab of my choosing.”

While in treatment, Margaret has begun her healing journey through programs at Dana-Farber’s Leonard P. Zakim Center for Integrative Therapies and Healthy Living, which help patients focus on their minds, bodies, and souls during treatment. “I try to live as joyful, healthy, and full a life as possible. I’ve taken advantage of acupuncture, Reiki, massage, and nutrition counseling,” she says. “These practices have helped me recover and stay mentally and physically strong during treatment.”

When asked about her advice for new Jimmy FundRaisers, Margaret suggests: “Spend time researching a cause or beneficiary that is meaningful to you. Be sure to explain to prospective donors specifically why you chose this cause and what impact their donation will have. Reaching out to friends and family via phone/text and asking them to spread the word really helps, as does sharing via social media. Also, virtual events work really well—take advantage of the Zoom era!”

To learn more about starting your own Jimmy Fund event, fill out our event inquiry form.