Foundation brings joy to those with breast cancer

Youngest recipient so far was in her teens.

VANDALIA – The Breast Wishes Foundation is stepping up its efforts to bring joy to women and men living with breast cancer.

The nonprofit foundation was founded by sisters Elesha Snyder and Mandi Snyder Moore to honor their sister, Kelli James, who died in 2006 during her third battle with breast cancer.

The foundation, founded in 2015, has granted more than 200 wishes so far. Wish requests are accepted on behalf of breast cancer patients in Montgomery and contiguous counties who are receiving cancer treatment. Wishes can be for up to $1,500 and have included requests for furniture, spa days, a vacation and home repairs among many others. One woman wanted a walk-in tub while another wanted an electric bike so she could still enjoy a nearby bike path.

“You never know what somebody wants. Our tagline is, ‘we grant wishes that bring joy to the recipient’,” Snyder said.

“Hope is so critical,” said Jan Hillman, a longtime volunteer and new foundation board chair.

The youngest recipient so far was in her teens while others are in their 30s, 40s and into their 80s.

Breast Wishes doesn’t grant financial wishes such as paying bills. It does, though, refer those in need of that assistance to other organizations who do provide that relief. “The things we do, I think, bring a little more lasting joy,” Snyder said.

Anyone who would like to support a wish can make tax-deductible gifts online, and, if desired, designate the community to which they would like to direct this gift.

The foundation remained active granting wishes during COVID-19 but not as many and held no events and few meetings, said Snyder.

As Breast Wishes emerged from the pandemic, its foundation chair since 2016 Ken Herr of Dayton, decided to retire at the end of 2022. Hillman of Tipp City was elected as new board chair effective Jan. 1.

The foundation also has moved operations from Snyder’s home to 115 E. National Road in Vandalia. The building has space for meetings with wish recipients, donors and others including those wanting to learn more about the foundation.

So far this year, the foundation has added Bonnie Baker as marketing committee chair and Leigh Ann Fulford, diversity, equity and inclusion task force chair.

Interns from the University of Dayton are being hired to help out this summer.

“We have been meeting with a lot of people, bringing people into the organization,” Snyder said. “Jan and Bonnie have a lot of contact, which was a missing piece.”

The biggest event of Breast Wishes each year is the Run for Kelli.

Among organization goals is granting 500 wishes by 2025.

It is looking for more volunteers and more board members, in addition to more recipients and donors, Hillman said.

Wish applications and other information are available at The phone number is 937-793-9474.

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