Your Impact: How Donations Fueled MSK’s Mission in 2020

Rihanna Plaza

Rihanna, age 3, was treated on a clinical trial of a precision medicine called larotrectinib. The groundbreaking targeted therapy was the first to be developed and approved based solely on its effect on a specific genetic change in a tumor, regardless of where in the body the tumor originated.

Thank you to Memorial Sloan Kettering’s extraordinary donor community. Your commitment to supporting MSK’s mission — this year and always — is essential to advancing our goals. Thank you for standing with us through every challenge.

This year, with the help of our donors, MSK’s 20,000-plus doctors, scientists, nurses, and staff have achieved new levels of innovation, remained steadfast in our mission, and inspired hope for people with cancer around the world.

At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we adapted swiftly to increase patients’ access to care, wherever they live. We developed strategies to treat people with cancer in their homes and pursued life-changing scientific advances to improve their lives.

Here are some of MSK’s achievements that donor support helped make possible:


To continue cancer treatment for many people during the COVID-19 shutdown, MSK rapidly increased telemedicine visits from less than 100 per day to more than 1,400. Conducting virtual appointments has allowed MSK care teams to keep people safely sheltered at home while providing necessary care.

Donate to MSK

Support the essential and compassionate work of our doctors, nurses, researchers, and staff. Your gift will empower MSK to ensure that people with cancer have access to world-class care and research.

Virtual Clinical Trials

In a pioneering endeavor, MSK developed tools to conduct virtual clinical trials so our physician-scientists could sustain the momentum of creating novel cancer drugs and treatments to benefit patients.

Social Work Fund

Nearly 50 percent of all people being treated for cancer in the United States deplete their savings during the first two years. At MSK, we have increased financial assistance to ensure that patients and their families can focus on what matters most — recovery.

Food to Overcome Outcome Disparities (FOOD)

Man wearing a mask and holding a bag of groceries outside by a car

The FOOD program was initiated in 2011 to supply healthy food to people experiencing economic hardship during their cancer treatment. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, MSK pantries and other participating pantries have gone from serving roughly 200 people to 350 people per week across all food pantry locations. FOOD staff have also begun delivering groceries and gift cards to people with cancer who should remain at home.

Looking Ahead to The Society’s 2020–2021 Campaign

Since its inception, The Society of Memorial Sloan Kettering has been a philanthropic mainstay that supports leading research and patient care programs to improve outcomes for people with cancer worldwide. In the past ten years, this essential funding has catalyzed breakthroughs in metastasis and targeted immunotherapy research and sustained the pursuit of innovative strategies to address health equity challenges.

The 2020–2021 Society Campaign will focus on pediatric precision medicine initiatives and novel research projects spearheaded by junior and senior investigators at the Sloan Kettering Institute. With donor support, The Society of MSK is helping shape a future in which every type of cancer can be understood and treated. To learn more, please visit

The Society of Memorial Sloan Kettering, founded in 1946, is a volunteer-led organization within MSK dedicated to promoting patients’ well-being, supporting cancer research, and providing public education on the early prevention, detection, and treatment of cancer.

MSK News Winter 2020
Alexander Drilon is leading the development of new targeted drugs that can control lung cancer better than ever before. Read about his work in our Winter 2020 issue.