Cancer Cartel Helps People One Kindness at a Time

Little kindnesses can add up to life changing differences, which is precisely what the Western Washington based Cancer Cartel aims to do.

Sisters Katy Tinney and Shelly Tinney-Miller along with their friend, Kerry Solmonsen, launched the Cancer Cartel in May 2019 with a goal of making life a little easier for those with cancer. The motivation to develop new supports for cancer patients stems from their own treacherous experiences with the disease.

Seattle resident Tinney-Miller survived breast cancer. Tinney survived stage 4 non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma after a life-saving stem cell transplant, and Solmonsen — who’s neighbors with Tinney in Enumclaw — battled and survived skin, thyroid, cervical, and breast cancer.

“The push to really get this off the ground was our own personal experiences with the expense and emotional drain of cancer,” Solmonsen said. “We knew that we could do something about it, and we knew we could do it in a fun and creative way.”

Armored with fashion connections, the trio launched the Closet Challenge with an eBay page of donated high-end garments, with 100 percent of the proceeds going toward individuals with cancer.

In the short time since they’ve formed, their nonprofit has donated roughly $5,000 and garnered the attention of a few Real Housewives of Bravo cast members, as well as influencers in California, Dallas, and New York.

The funds have been donated in the form of Visa gift card giveaways with the help of the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance — where Tinney and Tinney-Miller were treated — and two local families fighting cancer were nominated and selected to receive a check to help ease the ache of battling the disease.

Even though the nonprofit is young, the founders have set their sights at $11 million as their target, so they can help many cancer patients pay for anything from gas and groceries to mortgage payments.

Interested in supporting their cause? Mail in your donations or swing by its permanent drop-off location in Enumclaw. Those that don’t have a clothing donation but still want to support the work of the Cancer Cartel can donate funds online.

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is an assistant editor at 425 magazine. Email her.
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