Our Mission

 At The Firefly Sisterhood is to foster one-to-one connections between women who are impacted by a breast cancer diagnosis and inspirational survivors.

What we do

The Firefly Sisterhood provides one-to-one social and emotional support to women who have been impacted by a breast cancer diagnosis.  We are founded and based in the Twin Cities, MN, while most of our matches are within the Twin Cities, Greater MN and Western Wisconsin, we can support women from coast to coast.

Whether you have just received a breast cancer diagnosis or you are decades past, The Firefly Sisterhood pairs women who not only share a similar diagnosis and treatment, also who have common interests, personal traits and family dynamics.  We meet you where you are at within your breast cancer diagnosis and support you are looking for.

The Firefly Sisterhood supports services are free and delivered at the time of diagnosis, during treatment and into survivorship.

Research has showed that “treatment that deals with emotions and relationships (sometimes called psychosocial interventions) can help people with cancer feel more upbeat and have a better quality of life.” Strong personal relationships help reduce tension and anxiety in women with breast cancer, and may lower their risk of depression.
-Research by The American Cancer Society

Through our efforts, we hope to usher in a future where no woman faces breast cancer alone.

 

Our Staff

Amy Gallagher, Executive Director

amyg@fireflysisterhood.org  952-428-8945

Executive Director, Amy Gallagher, comes to The Firefly Sisterhood in April 2021 with a deep connection to the mission of helping women diagnosed with breast cancer. Having an extensive family history of breast and ovarian cancer, Amy was prompted to test for a genetic mutation in the BRCA1 gene, which came back positive. In June 2017, Amy opted to have a prophylactic bilateral mastectomy to reduce her chance of developing breast cancer.

Amy has an extensive background in health and wellness nonprofit work, especially those that help people diagnosed with cancer. She has strengths in event project management and logistics, volunteer and committee planning, fundraising and development, and organizational strategic planning.

Having spent the last five years working alongside volunteers within breast cancer organizations, Amy understands the importance of the connections formed at Firefly Sisterhood. Ensuring that women have the support when they need it most is what motivates her every day.

Laura Feile, Program Manager

Laura@fireflysisterhood.org, 612-412-7713

Laura joined Firefly Sisterhood in 2020, but her connection to Breast Cancer dates back many years ago when a close family member received a breast cancer diagnosis and went through treatment. Laura has worked in a professional and volunteer capacity to support individuals and families facing life’s challenges—such as cancer—ever since.

Before coming to The Firefly Sisterhood, Laura worked as a supervisor at the American Cancer Society’s Twin Cities Hope Lodge. Laura earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Drake University and her Master of Arts degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from St. Mary’s University of Minnesota. She is also a certified Yoga Calm teacher.

Laura believes that connection is paramount when facing life’s challenges and is looking forward to facilitating these connections through The Firefly Sisterhood match program and beyond.

Melissa Gruber, Program Manger

Melissa@fireflysisterhood.org, 612-513-5026

Melissa has previously participated in The Firefly Sisterhood program, having been diagnosed with breast cancer in July of 2017 and matched with a Firefly Guide for support. Her husband and daughters were her rock and inspiration during treatment. Fortunately, Melissa shows NED (No Evidence of Disease) and will celebrate three years of survivorship this summer. She has supported other women going through breast cancer and worked with Compass Research to help women find purpose in their life following a breast cancer diagnosis and treatment. She hopes that her girls have learned and will continue to grow to be strong and confident women in the future and that there will soon be a cure for breast cancer.

Melissa comes to The Firefly Sisterhood with a background in retail merchandise and corporate training and formal education in Communications from the University of St. Thomas. She enjoyed the special bond between her and her Firefly Guide before, during, and after treatment. This positive experience inspires Melissa in her current position with The Firefly Sisterhood: to ensure that women have the support they need and when they need it most, whether immediately after receiving their diagnosis, during treatment, or years into survivorship. The support of someone who has been through it before is so important.

Amy Tix, Communications Manager

Amy@fireflysisterhood.org

Amy has previously been involved in The Firefly Sisterhood as a Guide, having been diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006. Her two beautiful children were her inspiration during her journey through treatment. Breast cancer family genetics keep Amy involved in a variety of breast cancer research and review agencies in hopes that her girls will grow to be women, confident in the knowledge that there will be a cure for breast cancer.

Amy comes to the Firefly Sisterhood with administrative experience and formal education in Molecular Biology. Having been a young mom when diagnosed, a relationship with a Guide from The Firefly Sisterhood would have been a tremendous help during cancer treatment, and this is what inspires Amy in her current position with Firefly Sisterhood: to ensure that newly diagnosed women have the support they need when they need it most.

 

Our Board

Founded in 2014, our organization is governed by a board of directors, including seven survivors:

Board of Directors 2021-2022

Jane Welch, Chair‌  |  Morrison and Sund Ret.

Christine Ebert, Vice-Chair  |  Ameriprise

Stephanie Tuntland, Treasurer  |  SALO LLC

Anne Berg  |  VyWay Marketing and Brand Strategy        

Janie Finn  |  Finnesse Partners

Brighid Hansen  |  Hansen, Henley, Yoder and Lamb   

Nikki Madden  |  General Mills

Cheri Quinn  |  Well Farmer Marketing     

Ann Scott  |  Medtronic

Kris Willardson  

 

Donate Today

The Firefly Sisterhood is a non-profit organization. Every dollar we receive goes to supporting our program and matching inspirational breast cancer survivors with the recently diagnosed. Help us grow and bring more light to women in need.

Annual Report

The Firefly Sisterhood is a non-profit 501(c)(3) and donations qualify as being
100% tax-deductible. Read our annual report 2019 Annual Report.

Address: 5775 Wayzata Blvd, Suite 700, Minneapolis, MN 55416

Email/Phone: amyg@fireflysisterhood.org  952.428.8945

The Firefly Sisterhood does not:

  • Offer medical advice or opinions.
  • Endorse or recommend specific physicians, other healthcare providers, healthcare facilities, treatments or products.
  • Endorse or recommend any other product or service related to breast cancer treatment or rehabilitation.

 

FAQs–Getting Support

What information do you need about me to find support?
When you are ready to find support and a Guide (mentor), you will be asked a basic information about you and your breast cancer diagnosis.  We will match you with a Guide who had a similar breast cancer type, similar personal traits and family dynamics.
How soon will I be matched with a Guide?
Once you have talked with a Program Manager and shared information about your diagnosis, yourself and the support you are looking for in a Guide. It takes a few days to a week to match you with a FFS Guide.
What does a match entail?
When a match is created, both women are given each other’s contact details, via the Match Email. The Firefly Sisterhood Guide should reach out within the next few days to connect.  This can happen via phone, text, or email. Once matched, Firefly Sisters are free to explore their relationship at their own discretion. It may result in one reassuring phone call, or could become an ongoing, enduring friendship.
Can I have more than one Guide?
Yes, you can have as many Guides as you would like.  For example, if you are evaluating your surgical options and would like to talk with someone who has undergone a lumpectomy and someone who has done a mastectomy, we can connect you with both Guides.
Are all connections one-to-one?
Our primary concern is to create one-to-one connections. However, we regularly organize social and educational gatherings to provide connections, support and friendship. The Firefly Sisterhood is built upon the strength of women– the more we connect, the stronger we become.
Is my information confidential?
Yes, your information is confidential and only shared with your Guide.
How long will my match be? 
Your Guide will be there for as long as you are looking for support.

 

FAQs–For Guides

When will I be matched?
Once you have completed the four hours of Initial Guide Training, you will become an Active Guide.  The time it takes to get your first match may vary, as we work to carefully match Guides and Support Seekers based on diagnosis, personal traits and family dynamics. Do not worry if you are not matched right away!  You can remain actively involved with The Firefly Sisterhood as volunteer opportunities arise.
What if I don’t have an answer to a question from my Firefly Sister?
We are here to help!  The Program Managers are available to help you navigate any challenging questions and/or situations.  We can share other resources with you, that you can share with your Firefly Sister.
How to I stay an Active Firefly Guide?
We require you do three hours of On-Going Training per calendar year.  There is training offered throughout the year.

Questions about our program?

OR
call her at 952.428.8945