Caring Arts

Weigand Family
The Weigand family with Mary (center) in 1996

Cancer Impacts Families
Formed in 2000 as Strike at Cancer, the Caring Arts Foundation has grown from a single fundraising event, as a way for the family of Mary Weigand to pay tribute to her 10-year battle with breast cancer, to a full program that touches hundreds of families annually.

The Weigand family has had a lot of experience with cancer. Mary Weigand lost her battle with cancer following the first fundraiser. Her eldest son developed testicular cancer soon after at age 42. Two years later, Mary's youngest grandchild was diagnosed with leukemia at age 3. Mary's youngest daughter, a certified oncology social worker, never imagined that her own child would also be her most important patient.

Through each of these encounters with cancer, our understanding of what it takes to cope with this disease expanded. The foundation was created as a means to share this understanding, and to assist other families.

We know that when an individual is diagnosed with cancer, it’s not just the individual, but the entire family that is impacted. It is our hope that the support we offer through the escape of the arts enriches the daily lives of patients and their families, providing joy, stress release, and a reprieve from treatment.

The Foundation name was changed in 2012 to Caring Arts Foundation, to better reflect our mission.

“Your whole life changes with a cancer diagnosis. What my wife, Charmaine, and I got out of Caring Arts at Gilda’s Club is you totally forget about your problems. You get into a simple world of canvass and paints and putting your thoughts down on paper.   For somebody who is dealing with a serious disease, it’s the best thing they can do. It offers an escape from worry and medical  procedures and things like that.”

— Ken Crane, Gilda’s Club member

A Mother’s Story
Ann Hamilton speaks about the impact of the Caring Arts program on her daughter.
Caring Arts Foundation
301 S. Lombard Ave.
Oak Park, IL 60302
© 2020 Caring Arts Foundation, all rights reserved