I can hardly believe it! I'm over-the-top excited to launch our new blog, "A Day in the Life of..."! I know, I know - it's a little overdue but what's that old adage - better late than never? And trust me, it's worth the wait. New blog - new website - new content! Some things get better with time - like wine - or bacon. Who am I kidding. We all know good and well that bacon is great from the get go.
So what on Earth do I write about in an inaugural blog? I hemmed and hawed (that really is a term) about the perfect inaugural blog and then decided on a tutu. Not just any tutu but a man and a pink tutu. And not just any man and a pink tutu, but a man in nothing but a pink tutu, and a beautiful woman by his side.
Now hang on, before you start thinking this is a grand work of fiction, or worse, a trip into the sultry gutter, I assure you what you're about to read is true. And better yet, it's beautiful. And even better yet, it's a story and philanthropic effort that will restore your faith in humanity. I promise.
Meet Bob Carey. The best word I can use to describe Bob is groovy. Yes folks, groovy. He's funny, creative, low-key, charismatic, and just an overall great human being. He's a professional photographer with a genius eye for capturing the beauty in anything.
Now meet Ballerina Bob. The best word I can use to describe Ballerina Bob is uplifting --- no wait --- motivating --- no wait --- inspiring! Wait, there's not actually just one word that best describes Ballerina Bob. They all describe him!
During a TEDMED talk (yah, he's that cool), Bob shared that he uses self portraiture as a form of therapy; a way to help him deal with life when it throws him a curve ball. When his beautiful wife, Linda, was diagnosed with Metastatic Breast Cancer, Bob took his self-therapy to a new place. That place involved a pink tutu.... and a cow pasture in Riverside, California...
...and the Brooklyn Bridge in Brooklyn, New York....
...and the Theatre of Ancient Messini in Kalamata, Greece...
... and so many other places across globe!
What started as a means for Bob to cope with his own feelings about Linda's diagnosis, and a means to bring light and laughter into a dark place in Linda's life, quickly turned into a viral sensation and a global phenomenon. Bob and his pink tutu, better known now as The Tutu Project, is a beacon of hope, of light, and inspiration to people across the world looking for that special and powerful little something that reminds them that no matter what lay ahead of them, it's okay to smile and it's okay to laugh - you are not alone.
So if that's not enough to love, just wait. There's more! Meet the beautiful Linda Carey.
Linda is a force to be reckoned with. She's beautiful, smart, talented, creative, and behind that wonderful smile of hers is a boatload of sassiness! She's sassy and she's fierce. And she is living --- THRIVING --- with Metastatic Breast Cancer. Don't for a second feel sorry for Linda - don't you dare - she won't let you! Linda doesn't let Metastatic Breast Cancer define who she is. Despite her ongoing treatments, she is living life to its fullest.
She's a doting wife, a loyal friend, a successful small business owner (Bob Carey Photography) AND she's running The Carey Foundation, the 501(c)(3) nonprofit that she and Bob founded together to raise funds for women, men, and their families to ease the financial burdens that come with a breast cancer diagnosis. Pretty fantastic, right?
But wait. It STILL get's better! There's more! (Am I starting to sound like a Sham-Wow infomercial?)
So why am I using our inaugural blog post to talk about someone else's charity? Well, besides the fact that their story and their philanthropy is just awesome, I am proud and honored to say that we are partners in the mission to ease the burdens for people affected by breast cancer!
That's right, I'm so proud to announce that For 3 Sisters was one of the selected 2016 charities to receive a grant from The Carey Foundation. It is because of their generosity, past and present, that our Road to Resources program can continue to grow and flourish, and provide personalized resource case management services and financial support to men and women fighting and surviving breast cancer! Check out their official announcement!
We're truly excited and beyond humbled that The Carey Foundation and TuTu Project Team continue to believe in our mission and to invest in our Road to Resources program, allowing us to provide quality, personalized support to the breast cancer community across the United States.
I invite you to check out the Tutu Project and The Carey Foundation for yourselves, and share the love you have for For 3 Sisters with them, as well. Support for them is support for us too.
Did you love the Ballerina pictures? You can purchase prints or even a calendar from their website. Want to participate in a Ballerina shoot? Then check out their #Dare2Tutu campaign! You could win a trip to New York City and an opportunity to participate in a Ballerina shoot!
So the next time you see a picture of Ballerina Bob remember.... that THAT tutu is more than just a tutu. It's a promise; a promise that it's okay to laugh, a promise that help is never far, and a promise that together with other passionate people and organizations we can and we will make a difference in the lives of people affected by breast cancer.
Faith. In. Humanity. Restored.
Shannon Moneymaker is the Executive Director of F3S and experiences life in the breast cancer community, not through just her own eyes but through the eyes of others.