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Kelly Turner Cole, after 20 years of service recently retired in January 2012 as a Police Officer for the City of New Haven, CT., "I was pretty healthy, and I had no reason to suspect something as dreadful as Cancer to invade my body. No family history of cancer, yet I was diagnosed
with stage 3 breast cancer in July 2001 at the age of 36. Out of work for 18 months, undergoing treatment. "I've gone through chemotherapy, surgery and radiation. As I reflect on my cancer journey, the realities I faced were both devastating and overwhelming.
I have met many cancer patients and their caretakers. I found myself deeply concerned and moved by the people who had to go through treatment suffering financial hardship. They, unlike myself, had neither financial assistance nor resources to fall back on. Many of them have had their houses foreclosed, faced eviction, cars repossessed, utilities shut off, while dealing with a cancer diagnosis and its treatment.
Statistics show that 1 in 4 people do not have assets or resources to sustain them through a crisis of 3 months, should their income be interrupted. As a result research shows that there is an incredible need to have financial resources available for cancer patients that find themselves in need. However, there are none. Leaving many working class individuals with cancer suffering and nowhere to turn.
"During my time of illness members of the Police Department, family and friends were instrumental in seeing that I had financial aid during my bout with cancer, through fundraisers given on my behalf. Overwhelmed by so many acts of kindness and experiencing first hand the effects cancer has on every aspect of ones life, I established The C.H.A.I.N Fund, Inc. to raise money to help others who find themselves in need".
The C.H.AI.N. Fund stands for (Compassionate Hands Assisting Interim Needs) a non-profit 501(c) 3 organization. Paying the bills that matter the most such as Mortgages, rents, utilities, prescription co- pays and more is The C.H.A.I.N. Fund’s Mission Statement. It’s Kelly’s way of giving back what was given to her when she was in need. And she works tirelessly at building a fund that would do just that, "Give Back".
The C.H.A.I.N Fund has assisted many families with direct financial assistance in CT, GA and Mass.
In 2005 she designed and created The C.H.A.I.N. Fund’s “Breakfast and A Movie(TM)” also known as B.A.A.M. This fundraiser has had great success and has expanded is viewing audience over four cities in Connecticut, two counties in Georgia and Massachusetts.
This and other signature fundraisers, like the Annual Ride 2 Provide and the Annual Hat Wearing Brunch produce by the C.H.AI.N. Fund is where the major and majority of funding comes from to help cancer patients.
In the Press: She was featured on National TV on National Cancer Survivors Day June 4, 2006 NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams for her breast cancer survivorship and her passion to help others through The C.H.A.I.N Fund, Inc. As well as many other CT local News Stations WTNH 8 News, WFSB Channel 3 News, CT Fox 61 News, and a host of local News Papers. Massachusetts News 22 News, African American Point of View News Paper, The Reminder and WTCC FM Radio, and WEIB FM Radio
She has been recognized and honored by several prestigious Service Organizations in Connecticut such as:
- Distinguished Woman, 2005 award, from First Baptist Church, in Greenwich, CT.
- Community Service Award, 2005, Union Temple UFWB Church, New Haven, CT.
- Community Service Award, 2006, Southern Connecticut Black Nurses Association.
- Women in Leadership Public Service Award, 2006, Women and Families Center of Meriden
- Service Organization of the Year Award, 2006 from the Hamden Chamber of Commerce
- Nominated for the prestigious “ATHENA ® Award”, 2006 from the Quinnipiac Chamber
- Woman of the Year Award”, 2007 from the National Council of Negro Women, Inc.
- Community Service Award, 2008 from the National Association of the Negro Business and Professional Women’s Club, Inc.
- Community Service Award, 2009 from Christian Community Commission, Inc.
- Community Salute Award, 2010 from WYBC FM Radio/ Foxwoods Casino
- Community Service Award, 2011 from Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.
- Kelly serves on the Executive Board of Family Options, Inc. in Watertown, CT and she is also a member of the Quota Club International - New Haven CT Chapter.
- Kelly enjoys helping others and she is resolved in her goal to help thousands with the services provided by The C.H.A.I.N. Fund, Inc.