Mary Ostien, Co-Founder and Chair, Treatment Support Grants Program:
Mary Ostien is a newly transplanted resident of Pinellas County, Florida. Following nearly 25 years living and working in Hillsborough County, Mary is enjoying life in the bustling City of Clearwater with the ‘old Florida’ feel. Since 1994, Mary held professional positions in breast, urologic, and pediatric oncology education, research, and grant writing at Moffitt Cancer Center, University of South Florida, and Florida Hospital Tampa. Mary holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Management, which she earned as a fulltime working adult during her 15-year tenure at Moffitt Cancer Center.
In 2009, Mary joined her sister Captain Lori Deaton who proposed start-up of a non-profit organization to raise money for local breast cancer patients. The sisters desired to give back to the community that had given them so much. They combined Lori’s expertise as a fishing captain with Mary’s business acumen and professional standing in oncology healthcare to establish Hooked on Hope. Fundraising efforts were quickly underway for the patients of esteemed breast cancer clinical, surgical, and research pioneer, Dr. Charles Cox. Today, the organization’s reach has expounded to include patients across all Tampa Bay Communities; covering a broad spectrum of medical providers and facilities.
Mary feels blessed to be part of groundbreaking efforts in the non-profit sector; raising money for ‘direct patient care,’ and ‘treatment support.’ These funding criteria serve a significant need for breast cancer patients. Moreover, she feels honored to serve as Grants Chair, leading the organization’s disbursement of funds via the ‘Hooked on Hope Treatment Support Grants Program.’ Assistance such as hospital co-payments, chemotherapy office visit co-payments, and prescriptions are examples of how the organization disburses proceeds. In addition, funds keep households running while patients are unable to work. One case in particular brings joy to Mary’s heart – Hooked on Hope paid the mortgage for a young single mother of three children who earned a living as a restaurant server unable to work during chemotherapy for her breast cancer.
Mary stands proud and steadfast with the entire community of tireless volunteers and supporters who will help ensure that fundraising continues in the Tampa Bay Communities for many years to come. This is a community in action — reaching breast cancer patients throughout Tampa Bay who need help now!’
Mary has a grown son who lives and works in Tampa. When Mary is not working or serving community through Hooked on Hope and other service passions, you will find her on the golf course, at the beach, or tending to her beloved orchids.