Jet Linx Fundraising Helps Tutu Project Address COVID-19 Health Crisis
Record-breaking Fundraiser, Right in Time
When Jet Linx raised upwards of $92,000 for The Tutu Project in October 2019, the financial aid could not have come at better time. Unbenknownst to all, the COVID-19 pandemic would strain resources and impact employment across the globe, bringing additional stress and worry to immunocompromised populations – like those facing cancer.
The pandemic poses new problems for those battling cancer. On top of the extensive health concerns that come with a cancer diagnosis – and being at a higher risk for infection – breast cancer patients are subject to the same financial woes brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. This is not to mention the mental health concerns compounded by unfortunate but necessary isolation. The need for support right now is more critical than ever, and thankfully, funds raised by Jet Linx are making an impact.
“It is difficult to put into words exactly what the loyal and unwavering support if Jet Linx has meant during these challenging times,” said Bob and Linda Carey, co-founders of The Tutu Project. “So many non-profits have not been able to deliver on their promise because of financial restraints. Your support has allowed us to execute on ours.”
Tutu Project Faces a Growing Need for Support
Annually, 315,000 women and 3,000 men are diagnosed with breast cancer. Another 42,000 women and 550 men lose their lives to breast cancer each year. The devastation of this disease continues to cause distress to thousands of Americans and their loved ones. The onset of a global health crisis does not mean that other diseases take a rest. Fortunately, The Tutu Project remains nimble, both recognizing and addressing the changing needs of patients in the midst of the worst health crisis in a century.
It is insufficient to measure the impact of COVID-19 on breast cancer patients by the number of high-risk cases of the immunosuppresed. In many ways, the public health crisis has compounded the problems that cancer patients would face in an otherwise normal world.
- Many patients have lost jobs, leading to loss of income and insurance coverage, resulting in unrecoverable financial devastation.
- Some hospitals were forced to postpone or cancel cancer treatments.
- Extreme isolation has resulted in increased anxiety and stress.
- Due to stress and financial concerns, nutritional neglect has risen.
- For the immunosuppressed, the health crisis is causing increased rates of death, depression and suicide.
On top of changing needs, The Tutu Project continues to see more and more patients in need of help. Overall, support requests have increased by 43% due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Tutu Project receives over 550 support requests weekly, and 61% of those requests come from unemployed, uninsured, or impoverished cancer patients. Necessities such as groceries (85%) and utilities (15%) form the bulk of requests for aid.
“As we reflect on our work to provide community advocacy and financial support to the cancer patients who need it most amidst the pandemic, we are fortunate to have the Jet Linx family as our partner,” noted the Careys. “Each time we are able to help a family with a ride to treatment, pay utilities, or purchase groceries, we are reminded that the support of Jet Linx makes it possible.”
Jet Linx Funds In Action
Through bold steps and initiatives, the Tutu Project has strengthened support for those in need. On April 9, 2020, The Tutu Project announced the immediate release of $15,000 to aid breast cancer patients struggling to feed their families and pay bills due to the impacts of COVID-19. A partnership with Vital Options International (VOI) allows for management and distribution of aid. This 501(c)(3) nonprofit is a cancer communication, education and advocacy organization that partners with leading health organizations to deliver support for those enduring financial hardships brought on by battles with cancer. The partnership with VOI provides grants in a straightforward process. The online platform allows immediate fund distribution.
Aside from the creation of the grant program in April, there are many other ways in which The Tutu Project is assisting cancer patients. Bob and Linda have organized free educational webinars covering nutrition. They also plan to provide access to a nutritionist in the form of a giveaway in coming months. In order to keep their audience informed, many COVID-related blogs have been published by Bob and Linda or shared from relevant third parties. In order to lessen the impact of isolation, the Tutu team uses social media as a means of community support, and Linda offers personal access to patients upon request.
The Tutu Project faces a growing need for support, and donations can be made right here. Stay tuned as Jet Linx plans another fundraiser this October in support of The Tutu Project.