We are proud to announce that, thanks to our community’s generous donations, we funded groceries for over 10 families dealing with a breast cancer diagnosis in New Jersey. The funds were distributed in partnership with Pathways, a program of The Connection, which provides support, education, and wellness programs for women with cancer in New Jersey.
In 2019 Pathways was a grant recipient of The Tutu Project, and as the news of the pandemic began to spread, I reached out to her to see if the Pathways community had urgent needs that we could support. One of their programs is Pathway Cooks; cancer survivors and other community members prepare, cook, and deliver nutrient-rich, organic, whole foods meals to women undergoing cancer treatment and their families. Unfortunately, their kitchen was closed due to the government mandate, and they had a list of eleven families and individuals in need of food.
A Like-Minded Connection
Last year I received a call from the Director at Pathways. I wasn’t familiar with this organization but was glad that she reached out to share their mission. Have you ever been on call and felt an immediate connection? It feels like magic, and I savor the moment. Our phone call was full of savory moments; the Director is a lovely woman, and we fell into a comfortable space in which we began our friendship. I learned that Pathways is a program of The Connection, which provides support, education, and wellness programs for women with cancer. In New Jersey, our home state. Awesome!
It’s Beyond Putting Food in the Fridge
The Tutu Project looks for like-minded organizations that help people with breast cancer get through their day with support for all those things that cancer doesn’t care about. All the everyday stuff that suddenly becomes unaffordable – even for people with insurance. Food in the fridge is especially important during this pandemic when immunocompromised patients are especially vulnerable. We need to stay healthy, both physically and mentally. People are losing access to their jobs (or losing their jobs completely), causing unimaginable stress. It’s bad enough we have our health to worry about constantly. No one should be worried about having food in the fridge. No one.
Beyond the problem of simple affordability, medical professionals have warned that it’s extra important for older adults and those with chronic medical conditions (such as cancer) to avoid being exposed to the virus in the first place. Our hope is that with funding, families can have their food delivered, either through a service or by a loved one. Full bellies and peaceful minds. It sounds basic, but during this pandemic, these things don’t come easily.
So that brings me back to Pathways. Once we found out that they had families with this particular need, all we had to do was work out a few particulars, and we mailed a check for these families. Pathways facilitated the distribution of funds, and each person received $150 toward groceries. We’re proud of our partnership with Pathways and look forward to supporting the breast cancer community in New Jersey.
I understand that it wasn’t magic that made this happen, but I’m appreciative of the magic I felt when we were able to help these families through Pathways.
Visit Pathways to learn more about their programs.
Linda Carey is the co-creator of The Tutu Project and President of the Carey Foundation. She has been living with Metastatic Breast Cancer for fifteen years and is an advocate for the breast cancer community.