Helping You Get There: Small Organizations Step Up to Fund Conference Travel
In April LBBC hosted Thriving Together: 2017 Conference on Metastatic Breast Cancer, one of our annual programs for people with stage IV disease. Women travel from around the country to participate in this conference because there are so few opportunities for those living with metastatic breast cancer to come together and be part of an event specifically designed for them.
We keep our registration fee low and waive it for those who can’t afford to cover the cost, but paying for travel and a hotel room can be a barrier, especially for those whose jobs have been disrupted due to treatment and whose savings have run out. For the last 10 years LBBC has offered travel grants to make it possible for more people to attend.
Generous donations from our travel grant sponsors allowed us to help 140 people attend the spring conference. Support was provided by the AmerisourceBergen Foundation, the Paula A. Seidman Fund/Alan Saltiel, the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade, and two small organizations that stepped in to fill a gap in travel grant funds when the major sponsor of the program left.
The Forward4Tobi Foundation
The Forward4Tobi Foundation was established in 2013 to honor the memory of Tobi Klonecki, who was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer at 38. The foundation was founded by Tobi’s husband, Tom, and her best friend, Jodi Servino, with the mission of helping women living with breast cancer improve their quality of life. After Tobi’s diagnosis she attended LBBC’s metastatic conference twice. There, Tobi connected with others who shared her diagnosis and she received peer support and a deepened sense of community. She also appreciated learning about the complex medical, emotional, social and practical challenges that accompany a metastatic diagnosis.
“Tobi always came back from the LBBC conference excited and energized,” says Rebecca Linscott, president of the Forward4Tobi Foundation.
The Tutu Project of the Carey Foundation
The Tutu Project of the Carey Foundation’s goal is to make a difference in the lives of those with breast cancer and inspire them to live a full life. President and co-founder Linda Carey is passionate about providing support to those diagnosed with breast cancer. Having lived with metastatic breast cancer for 12 years, she understands the emotional roller coaster brought about by a diagnosis of cancer. Linda has been a participant and speaker at LBBC’s metastatic conference in the past, so when the chance came to help others attend, her organization jumped on it, says its business advisor and digital strategist Marcela Shine.
“As someone with metastatic breast cancer, Linda really understands how important not only education but support from the community is to her mental well-being,” Ms. Shine says. “She really walked away from that conference with months and months’ worth of support and information that she was able to take action on. So we really felt strongly about that.”