Episode 114: Carla Tardif and Rifka Coleman, Family Reach
On this episode, Karen speaks with Season 5 returning guest Carla Tardif, CEO of Family Reach, a nonprofit organization dedicated to removing the financial barriers standing between a cancer patient and their treatment, and Rifka Coleman, a patient advocate who relied upon Family Reach after her own cancer diagnosis at the age of 37 during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cancer survivor, patient advocate, and CEO of Family Reach, Carla Tardif is a spirited leader who isn’t afraid to go the distance. She’s been leading the charge to remove financial barriers that stand between cancer patients and their treatment since 2008, making tangible impacts for cancer patients and their families through innovative solutions and collaboration.
Tardif led Family Reach from a family-founded organization to a national nonprofit with the vision that no family should have to choose between their health and their home. Her knowledge about this overlooked, yet vast, reality of cancer has made her a sought-after speaker across the US. Under her leadership, Family Reach increased its hospital network from five east coast sites to more than 850 top-tier hospitals and cancer treatment centers nationwide, expanding from $200,000 annually to over 10 million dollars annually. Such tremendous growth means Family Reach can impact more than 40,000 people affected by cancer each year. And if you ask her, she’ll tell you she’s only just begun...
Expanding her reach throughout the cancer space and beyond, Tardif is also a member of various boards:
- Member of the Cancer Moonshot 2014-2016, 2021-present
- Biden Cancer Initiative 2016-2019
- Syracuse University Boston Regional Council
- Pfizer Advocacy Council
Rifka Coleman was diagnosed in February 2020 with Triple Negative Breast Cancer. She underwent 494 days of active treatment including IV chemotherapy, partial mastectomy, Radiation, and additional oral chemotherapy all during a pandemic. Rifka uses her pain and strives to create purpose from it. She advocates for herself and other women by telling her story and lobbying for change with other nonprofits, such as Family Reach.