An Irvington neighborhood resident has gained recognition from Portland State University for starting an unusual organization for supporting medical research.
Molly Lindquist started a website, Consano, to enable individuals to find medical research projects that matter to them personally, whether as patients, family members or friends. Consano is Latin for healing.
She recently won the Elevating Impact Summit pitch-fest through Portland State’s Impact Entrepreneurs. Lindquist went looking for an organization to support after she was diagnosed and treated for breast cancer at the age of 32 in 2011. She wanted to donate to medical research because her two daughters, who were 3 and 5 years old at the time, are at high risk of developing breast cancer in the future. She hopes they will be spared the surgeries and chemotherapy she underwent.
When she didn’t find the organization she sought, she formed her own through crowdfunding. That’s the practice of raising small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically through the Internet.
Consano, at www.consano.org, went live in March and has raised $43,000. The organization already has funded a childhood brain cancer project at the Knight Cancer Institute at Oregon Health & Science University, Lindquist said.
Consano’s target projects include those vetted by academic institutions, she said. Consano, which has a 28-member Scientific Advisory Board, also reviews projects submitted to its website.
“It is very important to ensure that every project listed on Consano is high-quality and has the potential to lead to improvements in patient care, treatment and/or survival,” Lindquist said.
“We don’t take any percentage of the project donation, aside from PayPal fees,” she said. “We are funded separately through individual donations, corporate sponsorships and foundations.”