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E.A.C. LOCAL Grant Recipient Spotlight – The Carin MacLean Foundation

Posted by Casey Paton on

An unfortunate reality is that tragedy and loss will always be a part of life. What you choose to do in the face of that tragedy will ultimately define the event.  The Carin MacLean Foundation is as much about celebrating a woman’s beautiful existence, as it is about what a group of close friends dedicated themselves to building in the aftermath of a significant loss. 

Cancer.  It’s one of the few words in our daily vernacular that will stop you right in your tracks and demand your attention.  No matter who you are or what you do, that one word hits like a hammer.  Being one of the most common diseases facing humanity today will bring you no comfort.  When you hear someone mention cancer it’s almost like darkness falls, a black cloud has suddenly drifted into your world blocking out everything else. 

Chances are we will all be impacted by cancer at some point in our lifetimes.  Whether it be a parent, a sibling, a coworker, a spouse, or even that person you look at in the mirror every morning, there is no hiding from this disease.  It goes by common sounding names like breast, throat, or skin cancer as well as ominous diagnoses like intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma or neuroblastoma.  Regardless of the name or form, we’ll all inevitably be touched by this killer.

Carin MacLean was one of those unsuspecting people that woke up one morning okay and went to bed later that evening with a diagnosis that changed the rest of her life.  Having never had the pleasure of meeting Carin personally, just listening to the reverence her close friends continue to hold for her speaks volumes about the type of person she was.  Simply looking at her picture you can clearly see that spark, that love for life that is always present in those we truly cherish and admire. 

Carin was a giving soul who was committed to her family, her friends and to living life the right way.  A woman full of energy, she fought her diagnosis physically, emotionally and medically with everything she had, but essentially she was dealt an unwinnable hand.  Sadly, Carin passed away on May 27th, 2013.  She left behind her husband Dan, two lovely children Elisabeth and Andrew, as well as countless friends.

Founders Alison Fitzgerald, Trish McCoy and Jill Pine, took their grief and instead of just being disenchanted about the unfairness of losing a close friend, they channeled that energy into creating the Carin MacLean Foundation.  Seeing first-hand the daily struggle Carin had endured, they vowed to create an organization in her memory that would lend assistance to women and men, namely mothers and fathers, fighting similar battles.

Established in mid-2014, the Carin MacLean Foundation is committed to providing a small measure of financial assistance to families rocked by all the tribulations that come with a cancer treatment. Grants are given to supplement medical bills, pay for a family vacation, or to simply cover daily needs that no longer can be handled, like hiring a housekeeper or having dinner delivered.  It’s an incredibly personal measure of assistance made to families facing true hardship.

In the first six months of existence, the foundation has raised close to $25k all through grassroots fundraising.  This amazing result was accomplished by three dedicated friends using their own time and resources, all while balancing the needs of their own families.  Through the ongoing efforts of Alison, Trish and Jill, substantial grants were provided to two mothers going through trying circumstances related to cancer diagnosis and ongoing treatment. You can read in detail the stories of ’14 grant recipients April and Toni on the CMF foundation website.  The commitment of the Carin MacLean Foundation to make life for a family dealing with cancer just a touch brighter is truly a testament to the generous and compassionate spirit of its founders.

Cancer is so scary because it’s not an immediate solvable situation.  There is no pill to take where you go back to how you were yesterday. Regardless of your age, race, family history or how ‘healthy’ you feel, the possibility exists that you’ll wake up tomorrow and have it.  And once you have it, a line gets drawn thru that day that divides the rest of your life from everything that came before.   

Without a doubt it’s important we continue to donate to medical research and larger scale programs dedicated to helping solve this disease.  Exciting progress and breakthroughs are being made all the time.  But maybe it’s even more important that we support those individuals that are currently waging their own personal battle against the disease.  That’s exactly what the Carin MacLean Foundation is doing every day.

Please visit to follow the inspiring work being done by three women in remembrance of a special friend. 

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The Encore Apparel Company R.O.C.K. Foundation is proud to be highlighting and supporting the Carin MacLean Foundation thru January 31st.  Please see the section titled LOCAL on our website for details on our charitable giving philosophy.

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