Making people smile is one of many talents in Bob Carey’s tulle belt, and one he has been putting to frequent use ever since his wife was diagnosed with breast cancer nine years ago.
“It’s about keeping everything light and not so serious,” Mr. Carey said in an interview with Deutsche Telekom, published to YouTube Dec. 3, of his humorous globe-trotting antics which include dozens of photographed scenes in which the photographer poses in a pink tutu — partly to deal with his wife’s illness but also to make her chuckle.
“So, after Linda was diagnosed, that’s when I went into self-therapy mode; I grabbed the tutu and went out and started making pictures,” Mr. Carey said.
“That’s what I do when things are getting hard. I start making photographs.”
From ocean-water plies to a parking-lot image reminiscent of “Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind,” Mr. Carey strikes poses worldwide in an effort to encourage those suffering from the ravages of breast cancer.
“It just makes me laugh to see my husband dancing around in a tutu,” Mrs. Carey said. “It helps me be positive; the more I laugh, the better I feel.”
The couple — flooded with positive responses from fans — recently compiled and published a book, titled “Ballerina,” of images and anecdotes from Mr. Carey’s tutu travels. The net proceeds from the book will go to cover medical and non-medical costs that come with the fight against breast cancer.
“There are so many expenses not covered by insurance, but what’s so great is that for every $1,000 raised, we can make a significant difference to these women,” Mr. and Mrs. Carey say in a statement posted to their website. “We’ll be able to help with transportation to doctor appointments; wigs; lymphedema sleeves; childcare and counseling.”
And, while treatment can be all-consuming — Mr. Carey stresses the need to look beyond the cancer and not be defeated by the severity of the situation.
“This all sucks, you know. And, it’s stupid that it’s happening,” he said. “[But] there is no reason for us to suffer through it like this.”
And, thanks to his devotion, Mr. Carey is dancing his way into the hearts of many around the world.
“Women really like the fact that he’s standing out — that he’s standing by me,” Mrs. Carey added, noting many women’s spouses or significant others don’t have the fortitude to stand by their loved one during such trying times.
Mr. Carey, however, gives his wife all the credit.
“During these past nine years, I’ve been in awe of her power, her beauty, and her spirit. Oddly enough, her cancer has taught us that life is good, dealing with it can be hard, and sometimes the very best thing — no, the only thing — we can do to face another day is to laugh at ourselves, and share a laugh with others,” he said in a statement posted to the the Tutu Project website.