Supporter Spotlight: The Tutu Project
Thanks to a generous contribution from The Tutu Project for the Carey Foundation, women across the country can access financial assistance as they cope with the challenges of a breast cancer diagnosis. Grants made available as a result of this donation may be used to help cover to cost of cancer-related expenses, like transportation to and from treatment, home care, and child care.
“It eased the burden a little bit,” said one grant recipient. “Gas is not free, and at the time gas was high. Some friends told me not to worry about it, because I had enough going on, but you need gas no matter what.”
For many, being able to know that gas money or child care money has been taken care of offers some relief. When CancerCare surveyed financial assistance grant recipients in 2015, 72 percent said our financial assistance improved their emotional well-being. 80 percent of grant recipients surveyed said our financial assistance increased the likelihood of completing their treatment.
“The Tutu Project” was created by professional photographer Bob Carey, who took a self-portrait wearing only a pink tutu after he and his wife Linda moved to New York in 2003. Eight months later, Linda was diagnosed with breast cancer, reminding Bob that laughter can be the best medicine. The tutu returned, and Bob photographed himself wearing it in unlikely places–subway stations, amusement parks, beaches, parking lots– lifting the spirits of Linda and her fellow patients.
The work, now referred to as "The Tutu Project,” went viral in 2012. The overwhelmingly positive reaction inspired Bob and Linda to self-publish a book of the images entitled “Ballerina” and create the Carey Foundation, a nonprofit foundation supporting women, men and their families during their journey with breast cancer.
For more information or to apply for assistance, patients and health care professionals can visit cancercare.org or call 800-813-HOPE (4673). CancerCare’s oncology social workers are available Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. EST, and Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST. View a complete list of CancerCare’s eligibility requirements and financial assistance programs.