Cancer is the second-leading cause of death in our state, which unfortunately, also has the largest percentage of people without health insurance in the U.S. This means that for millions of Texans, conquering cancer is an even more treacherous journey. For nearly 20 years, local nonprofit the Careity Foundation has been helping North Texas cancer patients with limited resources on each step of their cancer battle.
The Careity Foundation was started by Lyn Walsh and Beverly Branch, who I’m proud to count among my good friends. Before starting Careity, Lyn and Beverly fundraised together for many cancer-fighting organizations, but had grown frustrated seeing funds go towards excessive administrative and overhead costs. When Lyn and Beverly both lost their mothers to cancer in the same year, it lit an even bigger flame under their pioneering spirit: together they created the Careity Foundation, with a mission focused on direct patient care, and with success measured by effectiveness and impact—not overhead.
Each year, Careity helps thousands of North Texans without adequate health insurance receive mammograms, diagnostics, biopsies, early treatments, advanced surgeries, and more. While Careity started out primarily helping women diagnosed with breast cancer, it also assists men’s cancer and children’s cancer patients, from providing early detection to support with treatments and beyond. Careity also provides a range of other resources offering help and hope, including vitamin and dietary assistance, therapy, chaplain services, and gas cards. Last year, Careity supported 7,600 people in Parker, Hood, Tarrant, Johnson and Palo Pinto Counties, with almost all its funding going straight to patient aid. Through a team of dedicated volunteers and innovative partnerships, including with the Dallas-Fort Worth Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders, Careity shows the effectiveness of caring like a nonprofit but thinking like an entrepreneur.
In North Texas, we’re no strangers to celebrating great causes alongside our Western heritage through the gritty fun of a rodeo. Since 1995, Careity’s Celebrity Cutting Horse event brings together celebrities—who have included country singers, former Dallas Cowboys, and TV actors—for a good-natured horse cutting competition that serves as Careity’s main fundraiser. The event is held at the Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum every year, and true to Careity’s mission, the venue and even the horses are provided free of charge, with contestants, hosts, and judges all participating as volunteers. In 2019, I was proud to formally recognize Careity in the Congressional Record after its 25th annual Celebrity Cutting event, publicly highlighting its quarter-century commitment to saving lives in North Texas.
As someone who has lost dear friends to the scourge of cancer, among my top priorities in Congress is securing adequate funding every year for cancer research and patient advocacy. I’m glad to have local partners in that fight like Careity, a welcome prescription for the health needs of thousands of North Texans. It’s been wonderful to support the organization as it has grown throughout the years, helping ease unimaginable burdens for our neighbors in need—carrying out its mission all the while with a Texas twist.
Member of Congress