It all started as a hobby...
Jamie and Ms. Betty Puskar
The echo fund started in 2005 as a hobby project for Jamie Miller, a graduate student who was completing her doctoral degree research at West Virginia University's Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center. Needing an extramural escape from her studies and a husband in the midst of medical residency, Jamie decided to look into some new hobbies. Knowing there was a limit as to how much good her hobbies would do her sitting upon a shelf in her home, she decided to approach the Betty Puskar Breast Care Center to see if her hobby could be put to use to help support breast cancer patients.
Originally working under the name "CASSIE's Cause" and contributing the proceeds from her work to the CASSIE Fund, a project of the Betty Puskar Breast Care Center that helps cover mammography expenses for those who need assistance, in 2007, Jamie was encouraged to set up a separate fund reflective of her desires to expand patient support. Through the help of the Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center staff and the West Virginia University Foundation, Jamie began "echo", an acronym she chose to stand for the Endeavor to Contribute to the Health of Others. The name is also reflective of Jamie's belief of how a simple act can have a resounding impact on the lives of those around you.
The echo fund, while helping to cover mammography expenses similar to the mission of the CASSIE Fund, also extends coverage to supporting other needs of breast cancer patients, such as medicine and other treatment related expenses. It is also hoped that a reduction in qualification criteria and approval paperwork incorporated into the echo fund guidelines will make a patient's access to funds more rapid.
The items offered through CASSIE's Cause and echo have received such warm support that the hobby has continued to grow even upon the completion of Jamie's doctoral studies in August 2005. Jamie now resides in Fairmont where she and her husband, Brad, welcomed their first little one, a boy (Logan Maximus Miller), this October. Jamie continues to work within the region growing biotechnology programs in West Virginia. Jamie is currently employed by MATRIC, the Mid-Atlantic Technology, Research & Innovation Center and Certus Scientific, LLC. She is also an adjunct faculty member in the West Virginia University Department of Medicine. Jamie's artwork includes beadwork, handmade rosaries (including her token breast cancer ribbon rosary) as well as hand painted and quilted items.
One of Jamie's favorite quotes is "You can't live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you." -John Wooden
Who knows...maybe it will inspire you like it has her!