The altruistic entrepreneur
As a radiation oncologist with a family history of breast cancer, Elizabeth Chabner Thompson, Med '93, knew what to expect after her 2006 prophylactic mastectomies. But she knew that many patients do not have that same advantage, and that procedures often leave them feeling frightened and alone. In 2011, she launched Best Friends for Life, an online retailer of care packages and other products that she designed to facilitate healing. The company's signature items are BFFLBags, colorful duffels and totes packed with wound-care supplies, healthy snacks, note-taking tools, and more. "Instead of flowers or chocolates or other things that are traditionally given to patients when they have breast cancer or other diseases," she says, "I wanted to make something useful." More than 10,000 have been sold. Why the name Best Friends for Life? As Thompson says, "What you're doing is telling every patient that they have a friend cheering for them to live and get back out there."