The Tutu Project has awarded its first direct grants to patients and families battling breast cancer, as part of a new pilot program to help patients with their daily expenses.
Previously, the Tutu Project, a nonprofit that raises funds for breast cancer patients, had only offered grants through its charitable partners. The new $1,000 grants support patients’ non-medical expenses such as mortgage and car payments, utility bills, and transportation to and from treatments.
“When we first founded the Tutu Project, my wife Linda and I wanted to help those affected by breast cancer with the everyday things that can become unaffordable or unmanageable, from paying monthly bills to keeping the house clean,” Tutu Project co-founder Bob Carey, said in a press release.
The Tutu Project is funded by individuals and corporations, including top supporter Jet Linx. In the last five years, the Omaha, Nebraska-based private jet company has raised more than $180,000 for Dare2Tutu, a fundraising campaign that uses the project’s signature pink tutu to encourage breast cancer patients.
After his wife was diagnosed with the disease in 2003, Carey began photographing himself in public, wearing only a pink tutu, to brighten her mood. His playful, supportive gesture went viral, leading to the Tutu Project’s creation.
“It is incredibly rewarding to know that our partnership with the Tutu Project truly helps the women, men and families struggling with the financial burdens caused by breast cancer,” said Jamie Walker, Jet Linx president and CEO. “To watch the Tutu Project continue to grow and give back to others is truly inspiring. We are proud to be part of a charity that is so dedicated to supporting individuals and families facing breast cancer, and we were honored to help them kick off their new grant program in Omaha.”
During a recent Omaha visit, the Careys stopped by CHI Health Center, where they awarded the first grant to a single mother of four who has stage three breast cancer. The Tutu Project also donated $1,000 to the cancer treatment center Hope Lodge, and is working with Nebraska Medicine to pay two cancer patients’ medical bills. Depending on funding availability, the aim is to expand the pilot project throughout the United States, Linda Carey said in phone interview with Breast Cancer News.
Visit this site to contact the Tutu Project for grant eligibility and other information, or call 201-785-7974.
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