Every two minutes, a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer, and one in eight women in the United States is diagnosed in their lifetime. But over 85 percent of women diagnosed have no family history of the disease, making the discovery process unpredictable and alarming. However, these sobering statistics are paired with a hopeful one: according to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer has a 99 percent survival rate when detected early.  

Before founding Swig in 2010, Nicole Tanner was diagnosed with cystosarcoma phyllodes, a rare, fast-growing form of breast cancer that required surgery. Since Tanner didn’t have health insurance at the time, she not only had to worry about battling cancer, but also a mountain of medical bills. After her cancer was successfully removed, Tanner learned that her medical bills had been completely paid off by generous donors, which inspired her to pay it forward with Save The Cups.

Since its creation, Save The Cups has raised $300,000 to help pay for patients’ medical bills, and, this year, the goal is to add $150,000 to that figure. Throughout Breast Cancer Awareness Month, customers can buy specialized drinks, tumblers, stickers and apparel, as well as simply donate directly at their local Swig, with all proceeds used to financially support affected families, just like the hospital fund supported Nicole’s. 

“Save The Cups means the world to me,” Tanner said. “It’s tender and close to my heart. At first, this started as a way to give back, but the momentum and support we’ve received has turned this into a movement. It’s so much bigger than me, and it almost feels as if Swig was born so that it could lead us to Save The Cups.”  

Awareness is a key factor in the Save The Cups campaign. If breast cancer is found early, there are more treatment options and a significantly better chance for survival. 

“By far and away, I just wish everyone would go get their stinking mammograms,” says Dr. Jennifer Tittensor, M.D. “Insurance pays for women 40 and older to get a free mammogram every year and, if we find it early, we can fight it. Grab your girlfriends and go get a Swig and a mammogram.”

Last year, Utah resident Karli Hanks heard Nicole Tanner speaking about the Save The Cups campaign and subsequently scheduled her very first mammogram at age 42. A month later, she found out she had breast cancer. 

“Don’t wait,” says Hanks, who had her medical bills paid for through Save The Cups. “Even if you think you’re a healthy woman, don’t wait! Schedule a mammogram. It’s awkward for 30 minutes, but it could save you a lifetime.”  

“We have to tell our stories,” Tanner said. “I held mine in for too long, but I’m so happy to be sharing it now. We owe it to each other! We never know whom we’re going to help.” 

Charitable Giving, Fast Casual, News, Swig