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MassChallenge profile: A Little Easier Recovery

Posted by Chad O'Connor  October 23, 2013 11:00 AM

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[Editor's Note: This week we are featuring MassChallenge startups as the anticipation builds towards next week's MassChallenge Awards Ceremony]

Another installment in our ongoing series to help innovative MassChallenge companies get the word out about what they offer and get connected with what they need to thrive.

What does A Little Easier Recovery do?
A Little Easier Recovery pioneered addressing the many pitfalls advanced breast cancer patients endure following extensive surgery (mastectomy, dissection and reconstruction) typically followed by chemotherapy and radiation at a devastating time both physically and emotionally. The 501(c)3 non-profit was founded in 2006 by a stage II breast cancer patient who quickly realized all the key components that must be addressed when enduring treatment from both a patient’s needs as well as the hospital oncology caregiver’s needs.

A Little Easier Recovery offers educational programs and essential tools that are donated to hospitals throughout the U.S. and delivered by oncology staff directly to the patient at one-on-one care planning. Currently, A Little Easier Recovery’s programs are distributed throughout 81 hospitals in 20 states including Alaska. The organization has helped improve the quality of life for over 12,000 patients enduring breast cancer.

A Little Easier Recovery’s Jacki Program includes a patient designed surgical recovery garment that helps patients manage their post-surgical drains, while also reducing pain, increasing mobility and independence. The Organization System is a unique educational tool to help patients navigate through the onslaught of medical paperwork, and educates how to be a better communicator and self-advocate for their care. A Little Easier Recovery is proud to help level the playing field in this unfair fight.

How did A Little Easier Recovery benefit from the MassChallenge accelerator?
MassChallenge provided the resources and environment to accelerate the growth of A Little Easier Recovery’s programs. MassChallenge provide the opportunity to connect with their incredible network of business executives, entrepreneurs, investors, consultants, and Boston politicians. The MassChallenge mentors provided expertise across every industry. The mentors willingness, and engagement made all the difference. We put together an all-star team of mentors whom assisted us in business strategy, and provided essential healthcare knowledge. Without their expertise, the progress we made in 4 months would have taken 4 years.

Through MassChallenge we had the honor of discussing our start-up with Senator Elizabeth Warren and Senator Ed Markey. The accelerator also provided opportunities for media and promotion, such as NECN Business, Boston Business Journal, Start-up Watch, Boston Herald and pitching at the Boston Foundation.

Our favorite part about MassChallenge is definitely the people. Being part of the MassChallenge alumni community is such an incredible honor. The other start-up teams are made of young enthusiastic, brilliant minds that are excited about making an impact in their field. The teams are all so diverse by providing solutions to unique issues. I look forward to watching the MassChallenge alumni of entrepreneurs continue to create and shape their brilliant ideas into successful companies.

Key take-aways from MassChallenge Bootcamp are the speakers and serial entrepreneurs who provided such a valuable insight to their success and mistakes along the way. We definitely want to be like Diane Hessan from Communispace when we hit success. Her presentation was amazing. The way she described handing out those “big” checks and awarding her staff that believed in her vision during the lean years was fantastic. Also, Colin Angle from iRobot had the best slides ever, which included Rosie the robot. He taught us to not always think the obvious invention is the winner to bring to market. Scott Griffith from Zipcar taught us to think big and to have peripheral vision.

What's next for A Little Easier Recovery?
Currently, A Little Easier Recovery is cooking up a new business model and key partnerships that will enable every patient to have access to A Little Easier Recovery’s programs in their hospital. Our proven patient program is also set up to cross over to help patients enduring other chronic illnesses, and surgeries. We plan to expand to the other 100 hospitals on our waiting list in the near future.

We are so grateful for all that MassChallenge has provided us in both education and connections. It was a privilege being part of such an inspiring and exciting program. We hope to fulfill our goal to help these amazing women endure cancer and make it all ‘a little easier’.

Danielle Flynn is Marketing Manager / Grant Writer at A Little Easier Recovery.

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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