In the News: 2023 Canvas Rebel

Meet Carrie Madrid

November 20th, 2023

We caught up with the brilliant and insightful Carrie Madrid a few weeks ago and have shared our conversation below.

Alright, Carrie thanks for taking the time to share your stories and insights with us today. So let’s jump to your mission – what’s the backstory behind how you developed the mission that drives your brand?

My nonprofit, The CARE Project, Inc., as well as my small business, Care and Beyond Consulting, LLC,, were born out of my personal experience with cancer and a near-death experience. TCP, Inc., was formed in 2013 and became an official 501c3 nonprofit in 2014. My LLC was formed in 2022 and integrates my nonprofit work by exclusively serving the terminally ill or actively dying.


Carrie , love having you share your insights with us. Before we ask you more questions, maybe you can take a moment to introduce yourself to our readers who might have missed our earlier conversations?

In 2012, at the age of 41, I was diagnosed with advanced stage breast cancer. I was a single mother of 3 with two daughters under the age of 16 and a young adult son serving in the United States Air Force. As part of my treatment plan, I underwent a single mastectomy, chemotherapy, radiation and multiple surgeries to complete a second mastectomy and DIEP flap reconstruction. I survived a life-threatening sepsis infection in which I was in the ICU for 11 days, while my kids continued to go to school, participate in team sports and wait for me to come home. I did finally discharge home, with a PICC line inserted in my arm, so I could give myself IV antibiotics and begin the long process of healing from the life-altering infection. With the help of my close friend, Vern, we cleaned and packed an open wound 3 times per day and eventually, I was healed up and rebuilt my strength.

Throughout my multiple phases of “active treatment” I realized there were other patients who did NOT have the help I had, financially and physically. Some patients were choosing between a $100 copay for chemo/radiation or purchasing groceries for their kids. No one should have to make that choice! I had a vision of creating a nonprofit to help with everyday necessities that become luxuries when you’re not working full time. Rent, utilities, copays, groceries and transportation assistance is what I would focus on. My best friend, Christina Gonzalez helped me form The CARE Project, Inc. and our community supported us. We have been in business for almost 10 years now and have supported countless men and women affected by breast cancer. YES, MEN GET BREAST CANCER TOO.

After 8 years of supporting patients with breast cancer, I found I was more comfortable with the terminally-ill/actively dying patients than with the newly diagnosed. I decided to become educated and certified as an End-of-Life Doula, also referred to as a Death Doula. I studied under hospice nurse, Deanna Cochran at The School for Accompanying the Dying and became a Certified CareDoula. I supplement my education by following Hospice Nurse Julie McFadden on TikTok and have had the pleasure of having Julie in my home to meet a group of Metastatic Breast Cancer patients. In 2022, I created Care and Beyond Consulting, LLC., specifically for my Doula work. I provide no-cost services to patients who come through my nonprofit and am for hire outside of that. Doulas serve as advocates, companions, coordinators and so much more. Just like a Birth Doula plans for birth, Death Doulas help dying patients prepare to die. I help them work through final conversations with loved ones, setting up their space just the way they want it, make a list of who they want to visit them, and who they do not and so much more. I also will sit vigil with them at the very end so their loved ones can take a break.

To say cancer changed my life would be an understatement. It really saved my life by giving me purpose outside of my family and full time job. Yes, I still work full time while volunteering as President for my nonprofit, The CARE Project, Inc., and running Care and Beyond Consulting, LLC. I also have a podcast called, Handle with CARE; Cancer and Beyond, which allows cancer patients to express themselves and impart their lessons learned on others.


How about pivoting – can you share the story of a time you’ve had to pivot?

With regards to my nonprofit, The CARE Project, Inc.; When Covid hit the world and public gatherings came to a halt, I had to pivot in a major way. You see, we are funded by special events, grants and monthly donors. Some of our monthly donors had to stop donating, or reduce their monthly donation, special events couldn’t take place and clients couldn’t come in to see us for supportive services. We managed to get a grant that helped us fulfill our lease but then made the decision to move operations back to my home, where it all began. By moving the nonprofit home and my Doula business, I saved over $17,000 per year in rent. This allowed us to stay in business and continue providing financial support to patients.

Sometimes, what seems like the end is actually a beautiful beginning.

What’s worked well for you in terms of a source for new clients?

The best source of new clients for both my nonprofit and my Doula business is local hospitals and treatment centers. Many social workers at various hospitals like Kaiser Permanente, City of Hope, Riverside Community and Loma Linda refer breast cancer patients to The CARE Project, Inc. If the patient is within the Inland Empire of Southern California, The CARE Project can usually assist and support them. If the patient is outside of that service area, we can usually provide emotional and Doula support through Facetime, Microsoft Teams and Zoom. Often, it’s simple word of mouth referrals that land people in my inbox as well.



Link to original article.

In the News: 2023 Canvas Rebel
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