Christina Merrill
President and Chief Executive Officer
Bone Marrow & Cancer Foundation

Since beginning the Foundation in 1992, Christina has touched the lives of thousands of children and adults. She has dedicated her life for the past 27 years to improving the quality of life for cancer patients and bone marrow/stem cell transplant patients and their families. While attending Columbia University School of Social Work, Christina interned at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in pediatrics and worked with adult cancer patients at Mount Sinai Hospital. These hands-on experiences changed her life, and she knew she wanted to provide patients and their families the necessary support to navigate their cancer journey. Her passion for patient support and advocacy lead to founding the Bone Marrow & Cancer Foundation.
Many of the patients Christina assists are unable to afford pre- and post-treatment expenses such as temporary housing near a cancer center, transportation to medical appointments, health insurance co-payments, and medication, all enabling patients to qualify for the treatment they require. Through her vision, the Foundation has allowed children, adults and their families to begin a new chapter in their lives, and therefore fills a vital gap in the healthcare system.

Since its inception, the Foundation has connected patients and their families with essential resources and programs to meet patient and family’s needs, all free of cost. Says Christina,

“Through programs like Airbnb Open Homes Medical Stays, which offers free temporary housing for cancer and transplant patients and their caregivers, or One-to-One Funds, which enables patients to reach out to family, friends, and social networks for financial support, more than 100,000 patients have benefited from the Foundation’s services. Other programs such as Supportline and Ask the Expert connect patients and family members to survivors, and to experts in the medical field.

At the Bone Marrow & Cancer Foundation, a patient is not just a number but a part of a thriving and caring community of people that build powerful relationships from diagnosis through survivorship. With resources for the patient, family member and caregiver, the Foundation’s work is impactful to cancer patients and the medical community alike.”

The youngest of four girls, Christina and her sisters traveled in the equestrian world of show jumping or with their musician father, and had a life filled of spending time with legendary artists like Bing Crosby and Louis Armstrong. From her unconventional homeschooling which lasted until she was 21 years old, to competitive equestrian training, Christina acquired the dedication and discipline to start and maintain an organization that impacts the lives of those most in need.  

Christina received her Master’s Degree in Social Work at Columbia University and received the University’s Social Work Alumni Association’s 2016 Hall of Fame and Pioneer Award. She is raising 4 sons ages 15, 18, 20 and 24.