Believe Project: Woman with breast cancer, father of five

Posted12/1/2017 5:30 AM

The holidays, more than any other time of the year, show us that joy comes from caring for each other. And that's the point of the Believe Project.

For the past three years, an anonymous donor has given us 31 envelopes, each containing a $100 bill, and we've mailed them to readers who shared the most compelling stories for helping someone in need.


This year, a second donor has joined the original benefactor, allowing the Believe Project to send $100 to two readers every day in December.

In past years the money has gone to people who struggle to make ends meet, who have been beset by tragedy or illness, or who simply need a little joy in their lives.

Today we introduce you to the first two recipients, one here and one inside, where the series will continue daily through the end of the month. We hope they give you reason to Believe.

Elise Carbine of Bloomingdale plans to help her friend Karen Carlquist make memories in her final days. Carlquist is battling stage 4 breast cancer and recently was told she has just weeks to live.

"This lady has such a remarkable attitude and it's contagious," Carbine said. "It would be something she could share with her husband. Maybe a dinner to remember.

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"Every day she makes it through the day, she is glad to be alive."

The second recipient of a $100 bill through the Believe Project is Dan Conley of Schaumburg. Here is an excerpt of his story:

"My wife and I work in a local food pantry the third Saturday of each month. Each family we serve has a unique story and we are touched in some way by all of them. However, certain stories tugged much harder at our heart strings. We experienced one of those stories yesterday.

"A father of five, Jason, visited the pantry with his oldest daughter who is 10. They walked two miles from their home pushing a baby stroller in the rain, sleet and snow because they were desperate for food. The baby stroller was used to bring the food home to the rest of the family.

"We told Jason that his family was eligible to receive food for Thanksgiving as well as food and gifts for his children at Christmas.

"Jason was very grateful and said that his kids needed socks and T-shirts. Families typically ask for toys or games for their kids because they can't afford to buy them. My wife noticed that his daughter's clothes and shoes were worn and had holes in them. It was obvious to us that Jason could not afford to buy socks and shirts for his kids.

"If chosen in this contest we would use the $100 dollars to shop for clothes for Jason and his family. We would match the $100."

• The Believe Project is awarding $100 each day in December to two people with good ideas for how to use the money to do a good deed for someone else. If you'd like the chance to help someone, submit your idea at by Friday, Dec. 8.

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