Nov. 15, 2018 | Mastercard® celebrated its second year as the largest corporate sponsor for the Greater New York Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, bringing in over $90,000 from the chapter's Great Strides walk this year. This relationship was started by two Mastercard employees with a personal connection to cystic fibrosis -- Tim Berger, executive vice president, global tax, and Linda Kirkpatrick, executive vice president, merchants and acceptance.
Tim's two children were diagnosed with CF in 1998, and he has been fundraising for a cure ever since his first Great Strides walk 20 years ago. Today, Tim's children are both in their 20s and hoping to benefit from treatments coming down the pipeline.
“My kids both have a rare mutation of CF,” Tim said. “My son has been able to benefit from medications through participating in clinical trials, and my daughter is currently on the waiting list for a double-lung transplant.”
Like Tim, Linda also is passionate about supporting the Foundation's mission. “I started fundraising for cystic fibrosis when my aunt was diagnosed at age 25,” Linda said. “Today she is 51, and 5 1/2 years ago she received a double-lung transplant, which has allowed her to extend her life.”
Since becoming board members, Linda and Tim have gotten their Mastercard colleagues to participate in CF Foundation events and engage with the Foundation's mission.
“Mastercard has a very strong commitment to what we call 'doing well by doing good.' It's in our culture and our DNA to commit ourselves to giving back to the communities in which we serve,” Linda said. “This sponsorship is a natural extension of that.”
Mastercard supported multiple events in 2018 including the Breath of Life Gala, Great Strides, and Cocktails for a Cure. “What I love about our partnership with the Foundation is it's not simply a 'one-and-done' passive sponsorship. It's one that engages lots of employees. The connection of our business, our employee base, and the board has made for a very successful collaboration,” Linda said.
Mastercard's connection to the Foundation goes beyond sponsorship. By hosting several speakers to talk to employees about cystic fibrosis and encouraging employees to attend various Foundation events, employees are truly connected to the mission. Mastercard's young professional group, called the YoPros, has even joined forces with the Foundation's Tomorrow's Leaders program to build programs at Mastercard offices around the country.
“When I started fundraising for CF, life expectancy was less than 30 years old and now it is into the 40s,” Linda said. “A cure is in our reach, and Mastercard can say that it has been a part of that journey, which is very personal and very meaningful to me.”