March 16, 2021
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Taylor Porter Partner Kiki Bergeron is featured in the Woman's Hospital blog, "Fighting Cancer with Positivity and Joy," highlighting the success of her nonprofit, Totes de Joie. Since 2017, Bergeron, a cancer survivor, has led the organization's efforts to deliver more than 500 "totes of joy" care packages to cancer patients throughout Baton Rouge undergoing chemo treatment.
Bergeron was diagnosed with breast cancer at Woman’s Hospital on July 27, 2016. From the moment she got her diagnosis, she said she was overwhelmed by the love and support she received from her friends and family. The active mother of three never found herself worrying about cooking a meal or gathering supplies while going through chemo because her village took charge. However, she quickly noticed that not everyone with similar diagnoses was as fortunate. “Chemo takes a toll on you, both physically and mentally,” Bergeron said. “And when my husband, Chris, and I went in for my treatments we saw so many people at the infusion center going through treatments alone. They were waiting for rides, sitting alone, or otherwise unsupported. It bothered us greatly.”
When her friends, Kerry Capron and Amanda LeBlanc, asked to do something in her honor in October 2017 for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Bergeron suggested they create chemo care bags for other patients undergoing treatment instead. So they did, and Totes de Joie was born.
What started out as scraping together supplies on a kitchen table has grown into a successful nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing cancer patients comfort and joy. These “totes of joy” packages include everything from practical items like unscented hand lotion and kleenex to inspirational items like prayer cards and hand-written notes of encouragement. “We know this isn’t anything groundbreaking,” Bergeron said. “But a cancer diagnosis is difficult and scary, so when you are going through something like this, a little bit of joy can go a long way. We want the patients to know that they are not alone and that we are praying for them daily.”
The ultimate goal for the organization is to give every cancer patient going through chemo at the Breast and GYN Cancer Pavilion and Mary Bird Perkins a care package during their cancer treatment. This is why they deliver their totes directly to the hospitals – so they can be distributed directly to patients in the infusion centers. “With COVID-19 restrictions, our mission is more important than ever before, as so many patients are getting treatment alone. We hope our care packages make the patients feel loved and supported. Our only mission is to put a smile on their faces and bring them joy! Just last week we received a couple of emails from patients who said thank you for the tote bags. It was a full circle moment for me.”
At Taylor Porter, Bergeron practices in construction law, commercial litigation, and insurance coverage and insurance litigation. She is active in the Baton Rouge community, volunteering for various pro bono projects with the Baton Rouge Bar Association, and formerly serving as a member of the BRBA’s Belly Up at the Bar and Law Day committees. She formerly served for three years as a board member for The Foundation for Historical Louisiana, and she is a founding board member of the Baton Rouge Youth Hockey Association.