Pat Kracker Breast Cancer Fund Celebrates 25 Years

Dave Kracker’s mission was simple. He was determined to eliminate any financial hurdle for area women in need of a mammogram. Kracker never imagined his simple fundraising efforts would turn into a countywide organization. “I didn’t plan this,” Kracker told the audience Wednesday at the 25th anniversary celebration of the Pat Kracker Breast Cancer Fund. “All I wanted to do is make sure no woman in this county is without the money for a mammogram.”

Today, the Pat Kracker Breast Cancer Fund helps women across Richland County pay for mammograms and other cancer-related costs.

The fund celebrated its 25th anniversary with a ceremonial ribbon cutting at the Westbrook Country Club. Kracker received commendations from both the City of Mansfield and the Ohio House of Representatives.

Kracker founded the fund in 1996 and named it in honor of his wife Pat, who passed away from breast cancer on her 61st birthday. “I laugh because Pat, who was kind of a private person, would not have liked seeing her face on a billboard,” Kracker said.

Kracker and the Fund’s committee are active proponents of mammograms for all women over the age of 40.“Twelve percent of all women will develop breast cancer at some point in their lives,” said Patty Kastelic, Director of Cancer Services for OhioHealth Mansfield Hospital. “While age, lifestyle, gender and genetics all play a role, 75 percent of women who develop breast cancer have no corresponding risk factors. Treatments for breast cancer have significantly increased survival rates, but early detection is crucial.”

“It’s become a curable disease,” Kastelic continued. “It’s probably the disease that’s come the farthest in terms of cancer treatment and survivorship rate.”

In its early days, the fund’s work was primarily paying for mammograms and buying copies of a breast cancer treatment guide to give away at local medical providers’ offices. The book is a comprehensive guide for treatment and recovery – covering all aspects of breast cancer treatment from diagnosis through recovery. “When you get that diagnosis, the fright of the thing is so powerful you don’t know where to start,” he said.

For additional information contact Rhonda Breit at ( 419 ) 610-4877 or