Putting Fun on Cancer Patients’ Calendars
Karen Wellington Foundation celebrates the lives of women living with Breast Cancer by sending them
After the doctor’s office, prognosis, medication and treatment is a locally-based organization that helps cancer patients celebrate their new lease on life.
Kent Wellington’s family and friends founded the Karen Wellington Foundation for LIVING with Breast Cancer organization in 2007 in honor and memory of his wife Karen Wellington. Karen was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 30. Married with two young children, she decided to live those years and each day to the fullest. Karen spent many of those special days and times on vacations where friends donated many of the vacation homes. “One of the things Karen always wanted to do once she beat cancer was for every vacation we went on, we could send someone living with breast cancer or cancer on a trip,” says Kent.
Karen lived 10 years, before passing at age 40. Kent says she inspired many people in the way she continued to live her life during her battle with breast cancer. To carry on her legacy, the Foundation honors women and families living with breast cancer by sending them on vacations, relaxing spa days with a friend, lunch or nights out on the town. The Foundation gives women something fun to look forward to, often amid a calendar filled with doctor appointments, chemo treatments and surgeries. “Sometimes, if you’re a cancer patient, you look at the calendar and there is not a whole lot of fun,” says Kent. “What we have tried to do with this Foundation is put some fun on the calendars of women living with breast cancer.”
Kent says Karen’s life as a wife and mother was always her most important role. “Part of the reason we give these gifts is because most of these women wouldn’t do it for themselves… so many of these women are so selfless,” says Kent. “What we’re seeing is women who care about their families, care about their friends and don’t want the cancer to get in the way of the lives they’re living. Not just for themselves, but for their friends and family.”
Foundation Vice President and friend, Jamie Cusick, says Karen set an extraordinary example to all her friends and family and loved celebrating for others. “Karen said she would rather live 40 years than longer and not fully. She touched so many people, 20 of us felt like we were her best friend. When someone hears the selflessness of her story, they want to share it.” says Cusick.
The Foundation holds a fundraising event each year to further share Karen’s story. The event theme reflects Karen’s personal interests and accomplishments. Past events have been fashion shows, art auctions and sporting events. In addition to the Foundation’s event, numerous volunteers hold their own fundraisers.
In order to keep costs low and ensure that all financial contributions are being used wisely, the Foundation relies on people willing to lend their vacation home, condo, timeshare or frequent flyer miles for families to enjoy. If you would like to donate a vacation spot for one week, the Foundation will coordinate a vacation for a worthy woman living with breast cancer to enjoy some time away. In addition to vacations, salons can host a spa day. A day of pampering will ease the mind. If a salon would consider offering spa treatments, the Foundation will coordinate the rest.
The Foundation reminds everyone how important it is to take time to appreciate living. To learn more about the Karen Wellington Foundation and find out how you can get involved visit karenwellingtonfoundation.org. For further information, contact Foundation Director Lisa Farrell at 513-884-0651 or firstname.lastname@example.org.