Recently, I lost my aunt to her battle with breast cancer. In her memory, we wanted donations to be made to increase the funding for research to cure not only breast cancer but also the stage IV metastatic breast cancer, which is what took my aunt away from us.

Cancer is a difficult beast to tangle with because of its diversity and unique qualities with many people's cancer diagnoses. With cancer affecting the lives of so many and then, in turn, touching everyone's lives, we cannot idly stand by and hope and pray that the doctors will discover something to stop the spread.

What is needed is action. What is needed is education so that you get tested early and frequently to make sure that you can live a long and great life. These things can't happen unless there is enough money behind programs to be able to go above and beyond what is currently available and put our medicinal research into the future.

Not every non-profit organization is created equal, as there are some that work more effectively towards a goal than others. Each non-profit has a mission statement which should specifically outline what the actual goals for the organization are.

With the myriad of non-profits available for cancer research, it can be difficult to decide which one works the best. Below is an outline of the cancer organizations that will make the most difference.

1. Cancer Research Institute

Mission: To support and coordinate research that will yield an understanding of the immune system and its response to cancer, with the ultimate goal of developing immunological methods for the treatment, control and prevention of the disease.

With an easy to navigate and easy to donate website, this organization focuses on immune-based ways to combat cancer. With 86 cents of every dollar put towards research, this is a great non-profit to donate to.

2. Susan G. Komen

Mission: Save lives by meeting the most critical needs in our communities and investing in breakthrough research to prevent and cure breast cancer.

Solely focused on breast cancer, this organization runs many nationwide events to raise money for the disease. While it has been criticized for not having enough of the money donated go directly to research, if you have a loved one affected by breast cancer, this is usually the organization to go through.

3. Mission4Maureen

Mission: To provide financial assistance to families who are burdened with the staggering cost of brain cancer treatment.

One of the frequently overlooked problems with cancer is the cost of living with it and the damage that can make on families. This organization is centered around brain cancer and is based in Ohio for its treatments.

4. The Cure Starts Now

Mission: Educate, aid and fund the homerun cure for cancer, starting with one of the most difficult of all cancers, a rare form of brain cancer called DIPG.

This organization focuses on pediatric brain cancers, and in particular, the type called: DIPG. Pediatric cancer is a horrible way for a family to start off their lives, and the work to stop this is incredibly important as well. 100% of donations go towards research (minus the credit card fees).

5. Cancer Connection of Northwest Ohio

Mission: To journey hand-in-hand with those who are afflicted with cancer by connecting individuals and their families to vital resources, providing hands-on support and creating programs that meet the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of cancer patients and their families in our community. They serve ALL cancers and ALL ages.

Targeted for northwest Ohio, this organization covers all of the bases and creates a connection, which is important for cancer fighters to have while going about their fight.

Overall, any group that is putting money towards cancer research is a good one, but there are ways to more effectively donate to further the research along. Being knowledgeable about where your money is going is also a benefit for your pocket as well.