The Baby Formula Grant
There are so many things you are forced to think about when you are diagnosed with breast cancer, including decisions impacting fertility and family planning. Some are diagnosed while pregnant, some go on to have a baby after active treatment, others have a baby via surrogacy and there’s more. There are so many situations where people navigating breast cancer are also navigating parenthood and each is unique. Every parent has to think about feeding their baby, but the options can be limited for people with breast cancer or at risk of breast cancer. For many different reasons, some people in the breast cancer community can’t breastfeed, meaning baby formula is an important feeding option. And it’s expensive.
Knowing the impact this all has on the community, Rethink has created the Baby Formula Grant in collaboration with Dr. Arielle Cantor, a fertility specialist, mom and BRCA-1 carrier. The grant is designed to support the feeding experience of those who are unable to breastfeed due to breast cancer or risk of breast cancer. A one-time grant of $1,500 CAD will be allocated to selected individuals in Canada to offset the cost of infant formula.
• Those who have undergone a double (bilateral) mastectomy due to a breast cancer diagnosis and cannot breastfeed as a result OR
• Those who are in active treatment for breast cancer (all stages) and cannot breastfeed as a result OR
• Those who have had a preventative double mastectomy due to high-risk genetic predisposition and cannot breastfeed as a result OR
• Those who have had a baby through surrogacy after a breast cancer diagnosis OR
• Those who have adopted a baby after a breast cancer diagnosis OR
• Those who have an infant with their partner who has passed away from breast cancer
• Must have signed letter of confirmation from a healthcare professional. (Click here to download the template)
• Currently pregnant or within a 6-month postpartum period
• Canadian citizen currently residing in Canada
What is the grant cycle?
Application Round #1 — October 1 to December 15, 2023 (reviewed by early January and awarded in January)
Application Round #2 — January 8 to March 15, 2024 (reviewed by end of March and awarded in April)
Application Round #3 — April 1 to June 15, 2024 (reviewed by end of June and awarded in July)
Application Round #4 — July 1 to September 15, 2024 (reviewed by end of September and awarded in October)
This grant was inspired by all those who are navigating these decisions in the breast cancer community. However, it was through our connection to Dr. Arielle Cantor that this program came to be. Arielle was 21 years old when she found out that she carried the BRCA1 gene mutation, putting her in the statistical category of a 65-80% lifetime risk of developing breast cancer. This ultimately led her to undergo invasive surgical risk reduction. Becoming a mother not long thereafter confronted her with her most rewarding, yet challenging experience as she was faced with the complexities of feeding pressures.
“Becoming a parent can be stressful, let alone in this context. Formula feeding my children was not my initial choice, but I am so grateful that I was able to be proactive with my health, knowing that I have done everything I can to be around for my children. I hope to empower others to do the same.” — Arielle Cantor
Read more of her story here.
How many grants are there?
Up to 20 grants are available for a one-time grant of $1,500 for the 2023-2024 calendar year.
How will the grant be received?
The $1,500 will be paid out as a lump sum via an electronic funds transfer (EFT).
When will the grant be received?
Each application window is 3 months long. Funds will be dispersed within 4 weeks of the window closing after applications have been reviewed.
Can you receive more than one grant?
You can only receive one grant per baby
Is this grant classified as income?
Yes, the grant is classified as income. Grant recipients will be required to complete a T4A form and EFT banking form to receive the grant (Rethink will provide upon notice of acceptance).
Who are the grant applications reviewed by?
The applications are reviewed by a committee comprised of members from the Rethink Breast Cancer team, healthcare professionals and Rethink Key Collaborators.
If after reading the information on this page and on the application you still have questions, please feel free to direct them to firstname.lastname@example.org
Special thanks to the Cloverleaf Foundation for their support and leadership in helping make this important program a reality.
If you wish to make a donation in support of this important initiative and help us continue this program in future years, please click here.