Real Stories Ep 36: Molly MacDonald Survives and Builds a Financial Bridge for Others

  • February 15, 2023
  • By: Greenpath Financial Wellness

Molly MacDonald has lived at both ends of the financial spectrum. As a single mom of five, she rebounded from a financial catastrophe – only to be faced several years later with a new one after a breast cancer diagnosis.

She was unable to start her new job as planned. Her family’s already tight budget was immediately overburdened with the addition of a monthly COBRA health insurance payment, coupled with the loss of her income. Within months, MacDonald and her family faced the potential loss of their home.

As she came back from the financial abyss, she was determined to help others suffering from lost income as a result of their diagnosis and treatment. She founded The Pink Fund, which provides 90 days of non-medical financial aid to cover the basic costs of living expenses, such as health insurance, housing, transportation, and utilities. To learn more, please visit

Key Moments

3:41 Molly reflects on the early part of her life and the circumstances that led to her wealthy lifestyle.

6:03 Her family’s finances come crashing down after she learns that her husband’s business deals led to 15 million dollars of debt.

9:12 She makes some difficult transitions to re-establish financial independence for her and her five children.

17:06 She’s about to start a new job but the results of a routine mammogram put these plans on hold.

19:18 Her financial outlook suffers after she’s no longer able to work and must cover medical insurance out of pocket.

22:02 With her treatment successful, she struggles to put food on the table and turns to a food pantry.

27:06 Molly talks about the financial struggles that other patients undergoing treatment were experiencing.

32:38 She discusses how she started the Pink Fund and how it works.

40:55 She explains the concept of financial toxicity and how it affects people who have a long-term illness.

46:09 She offers financial advice for people facing a medical crisis.

52:16 Our hosts reflect on some of themes that came out of Molly’s story, including pride, uncertainty and the impact of the Pink Fund’s work.

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Music by Hir-O