The guy in a Tutu on a Harley…

Dave Duplay is the CEO and Chairman of Vital Options and our connection to helping reach more people who truly need financial support while dealing with cancer. The Vital Options foundation is a patient and caregiver foundation started in 1983 by Selma Schimmel. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in her early 20’s and felt there weren’t many places to go for support. She began the foundation as a place for young adults to go for inspiration, motivation, community support, and education. Today the foundation focuses on educating patients and caregivers, providing an online community for virtual social therapy, and providing financial assistance to qualified patients. The foundation provides financial by buying groceries, paying utility bills, and providing transportation for medical appointments.  This one is especially relevant today during Covid-19.

Our friendship with Dave began several years ago. This year he and Vital Options have been pivotal in helping us vet patients and distribute funds. While it’s not easy for our small team to manage and allocate where funds should go, Dave’s team has a process in place that makes sure they are allocating funds based on need. They receive hundreds of grant requests per week! Their system is key to making sure those who need it the most, get help first. Every family then gets a phone call to make sure there is direct connection to the foundation, and we kinda love that. Vital Options wanted to focus on getting people to help immediately, in a way that could be felt. We agreed! So our partnership has been an easy one to make. 

When we partnered with Vital Options, they had created a most amazing way to support families with good nutrition directly with the help of Amazon. How did that happen? A few years ago, Dave himself wrote a direct email to Jeff Bezos (founder of Amazon) seeking help on delivering goods. It seemed like a long-shot, but a few weeks went by, and their corporate team responded to the call. Together they developed a unique platform for the Vital Options Grant recipients to have a direct line to their grant money, via an Amazon portal. This system allows Dave’s team to ensure they are making nutritious choices for themselves.

Dave and the team at Vital Options work with us and several corporate sponsors to raise funds all year because cancer doesn’t only exist in the month of October.  There’s not enough we can say about this guy and the tenacity he shares with his team over at Vital Options. We are so honored to be working with someone who is focused on getting people immediate help and changing their day-to-day experience. It’s also pretty cool that he’s totally willing to wear a Tutu on his Harley. So now you, too, know more about our remarkable partner we have over at Vital Options. While our #dare2tutu campaign only lasts for two months out of the year, we are always fundraising. We are always giving and supporting, just like Dave. And we can’t wait to share what projects are to come. 


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