Community Foundation grant supports cancer caregivers at Karmanos

The Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan has gifted the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute with a grant for the Cancer Caregiver Community Program.

The $20,000 grant from the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Fund for Caregivers at the Community Foundation was given to the program in May. Karmanos will utilize the award to continue and enhance programming for cancer caregivers in metro Detroit.

“Family and friend caregivers put the cancer patient first, often neglecting their own needs and wants. This program is an opportunity for the caregivers to connect and discover ways of reducing their stress levels,” said Kathleen Hardy, LMSW, oncology social worker at Karmanos Cancer Institute’s Lawrence and Idell Weisberg Cancer Center in Farmington Hills.

“At Karmanos, we celebrate and support cancer thrivers and their caregivers equally. With this gift, we can encourage caregivers, who often feel guilty about taking time for themselves, to reach out and replenish themselves as they continue to support their loved ones.”

The first Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Legacy Funds awarded to Karmanos assisted in starting the Cancer Caregiver Community Program in 2017. Karmanos extended the counseling support services offered at the Weisberg Cancer Center to include support groups, art therapy, massage therapy, Reiki, yoga, tai chi, meditation classes and music therapy for caregivers. The Cancer Caregiver Community Program also offers makeover days, card and jewelry-making sessions, and mindfulness-based stress reduction.

“We also make it possible for cancer caregivers to attend retreats designed for them,” added Hardy. “And, we pay for children and grandchildren to go to camp so the caregivers can have more time for themselves while their kids are having fun, as well.”

The 2023 grant will assist in building upon current programming and developing additional techniques to help ease stress and create social connections with fellow caregivers experiencing the same journeys. Workshops are available in person at Karmanos’ main Detroit campus and Farmington Hills campus. Virtual workshops are also available. Caregivers may contact Kathleen Hardy, LMSW, for more information about the Cancer Caregiver Community Program by calling 1-800-KARMANOS (527-6266).

About the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan

The Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan is a full-service philanthropic organization leading the way to positive change in our region. As a permanent community endowment built by gifts from thousands of individuals and organizations, the Foundation supports a wide variety of activities benefiting education, arts and culture, health, human services, community development and civic affairs in the seven counties of southeast Michigan. The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Legacy Funds at the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan honor Mr. Wilson’s charitable legacy by supporting efforts across the region in caregiving, design & access, and youth sports, as well as for community assets in Mr. Wilson’s home community of Grosse Pointe. For more information, please visit