Your action item for this month …

Jonathan and I have been asked on several occasions this question: “What got you into pediatric cancer fundraising? Do you know someone who has cancer?”

Honestly, we were pretty oblivious to pediatric cancer prior to 2007. And I mean oblivious as in ‘head stuck in the sand because you just don’t want to know about such awful things’ oblivious. But in 2007, a friend told us about Taylor Love. I still have the email and vividly remember watching the video for the Loneliest Road Campaign. At the time, our first born was not even a year old. It hit us so.very.hard. What if this was our child? The sorrow and desperation we felt was immediate – and we both said, “what can we do to help?” We started by holding our first ever cut-a-thon to “cut out” neuroblastoma, the rare pediatric cancer with which Taylor was diagnosed at just 18 months of age, and have held six annual cut-a-thons.

Fast forward to 2010. I wanted to re-connect with a mother I’d met on a cloth diapering network. I had been meaning to reach out to her as I wanted to get our kids together for a play date and I felt awful that I hadn’t even met her newest, then 6 month old Casey. The email I received back made my heart stop and my eyes immediately fill with tears. Her son, at just 6 months old, was diagnosed with atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumor (AT/RT), a rare form of brain cancer. He was undergoing extremely toxic treatments of chemo as there was no drug or therapy formulated specifically for babies. So toxic that she would have to wear gloves to change his diapers as his urine was toxic. Casey fought his battle with pediatric cancer until he was 14 1/2 months old. I can’t write anymore about Casey because I will start crying (again). Please read his CaringBridge site to learn more about the wonderfully cute little baby boy, Casey Kropf.

So yes, this is the really, really bad stuff — the stuff no one wants to talk about because it’s kids and it’s so awful. This is the stuff I tried hiding from for so many years. But the truth is, it’s real, and it is awful, and if we DON’T talk about it, nothing is going to get done. 

About that same time in the summer of 2010, we learned that Taylor Love, who was showing No Evidence of Disease from the neuroblastoma, was diagnosed with chemo-induced leukemia. Yes, you read that right — the very chemo she was given to cure her of neuroblastoma gave her a secondary cancer. Taylor has fought both cancers and is in school living a mostly normal life. But she and her parents live in fear every day of several scary thoughts: will the cancer return and what long-term effects did treating her cancer have on her body?

Unfortunately, our list of “do you know someone who was diagnosed with pediatric cancer” didn’t end with Taylor or Casey. In late 2011, we learned that a client’s 2 1/2 year old daughter, Ava, was diagnosed with Pre-B Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, or ALL. Little Ava has been undergoing chemo since 2011, and has six more months to go. And, just about three weeks ago, a long-time friend shared that her 2 year old, Kate, was also diagnosed with ALL. Pictures of Kate from just three weeks ago show a healthy, happy 2 year old. This is a startling contrast to the photo that her mom Lindsay posted today of a newly bald Kate, recovering from a fever and bone marrow biopsy in a hospital bed. This one hit me especially hard as Lindsay and I were pregnant at the same time — I with my third and her with her first. Again, this could be my daughter.

There are more kids — an acquaintance on a yahoo group lost her 11 year old Stephan to a brain tumor. Our friend’s nephew lost his battle with leukemia at age five. A friend’s neighbor also lost their 5 year old son to leukemia. Isabella Santos, whom we heard of through a client and friend, lost her battle with neuroblastoma last year — she was just 7 years old and had been fighting for five years. Now we are up to eight children, and that’s just children in my circle of friends and doesn’t include the many others I read about daily.

After having our eyes open to this epidemic the last several years, there are a few things that have really stood out. The first is that most of the folks out there doing the fundraising and trying to spread awareness are the parents and families of those directly affected. This just isn’t right. They have enough on their plate – it’s our duty to relieve them of that burden. Second, childhood cancer, to us, isn’t rare. We’ve heard the words “proportional funding” and “rare” often in this world of childhood cancer — this needs to change. These kids need more funding; childhood cancer isn’t rare (at least not anymore).

Here are some of the hard truths about childhood cancer from The Truth 365:

  • Of the $5 billion of federal funding allotted for cancers, pediatric cancers receive only 4% of those research dollars.
  • Pediatric oncologists spend 60% of their time fundraising as there is not enough money to keep research flowing for these kids.
  • Childhood cancer is the leading cause of death of children under the age of 5.
  • One in 330 children will be diagnosed with cancer by the time they are 20.
  • Each year, there are 13,500 children diagnosed with cancer.
  • Incidence of invasive pediatric cancers is up 29% in the past 20 years.

  • In 20 years the FDA has initially approved only one drug for any childhood cancer.
  • The average age of death for a child with cancer is 8, causing a childhood cancer victim to lose 69 years of expected life years; a significant loss of productivity to society.

  • Childhood cancer survivors are at significant risk for secondary cancers later in life.
  • Cancer treatments can affect a child’s growth, fertility, and endocrine system. Child survivors may be permanently immunologically suppressed.

ChildhoodCancerActionMonth2

After reading this post — and let me warn you, the post is, with every right, edgy — we decided we weren’t going to call our September community outreach “Childhood Cancer Awareness Month,” but instead, “Childhood Cancer Action Month.” What one or two things can you do this month to help these kids? We’ve got some ideas for you, and many of them don’t cost a dime, but will have a profound impact as you spread information about pediatric cancer.

First, here’s what we are doing:

  1. We will be donating $1 from every haircut in September to The Arms Wide Open Childhood Cancer Foundation.
  2. This year, instead of a cut-a-thon which only lasts one day, we wanted to do
    Gold Hair for a Cure

    Gold Hair for a Cure

    something that people could participate in for the entire month. Similar to the Pink Hair for Hope campaign, we are launching a Gold Hair for a Cure campaign. Come and have a SO.CAP gold extension added to your locks for just $10 and we will donate 100% of our profit to finding a cure for pediatric cancer. When people ask why you have a gold hair extension, tell them about Pediatric Cancer Action Month! (And, we have contacted SO.CAP USA to see if they can make this a national campaign. We’ll keep you posted!)

  3. We will be asking every person checking out if they would like to add $1, $3 or $5 to their ticket to be donated to pediatric cancer research funding.
  4. I am hosting a Silpada fundraiser this month. I am donating 100% of my profits from this fundraiser and am raffling off free jewelry for those who order. Need gifts, want something for yourself and want to help? Easy! Shop the fundraiser here.

Here’s what you can do:

  1. Take a Crazy Hair Day for Kids’ Cancer flyer to your school and have your school host a no-cost fundraiser. It’s so very simple. Kids get to wear their hair crazy for a day and they bring in a small donation. We have a flyer for preschool and elementary schools, and one for middle and high schools. When other kids ask why their hair is ‘crazy’ for the day, it’s a *great* opportunity for these kids to share why. Don’t have kids in school? Take a flyer to work and hang it in your office kitchen. And if you are not a client of ours, take the fliers to your salon. Share with your stylist or the owner of that salon. Get them involved in promoting this amazingly easy fundraiser.
  2. Donate to any one of the many organizations helping kids battling cancer. Here are just a few great ones we know about or have donated to in the past: The Band of Parents, The Isabella Santos Foundation, Journey 4 A Cure, Arms Wide Open Childhood Cancer Foundation, and the DC Candlelighters. Please do not think any amount is too small. If everyone gave $1, these organizations and the children they serve would benefit tremendously!
  3. Participate in a walk or run, or triathalon.
  4. Get involved through a social media outreach campaign through The Truth 365.
  5. Watch the Truth 365 Documentary to learn more about the state of pediatric cancer.
  6. Write your Congressperson, and ask him or her to sign The Pledge. We need more than 4% of federal cancer research dollars going toward pediatric cancers.

Hopefully one of these will speak to you. These kids do not have a voice. They are busy fighting for their lives. Be their voice, take action for them.

Our August Community Outreach: Autism Speaks

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and autism are both general terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors. They include autistic disorder, Rett syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder, pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS) and Asperger syndrome. An estimated 1 out of 54 boys and 1 in 252 girls are diagnosed with autism in the United States each year.

Jonathan and I have several friends whose children have been diagnosed. Having witnessed their diagnosis as an outsider, we’ve seen the grieving stages the parents go through as they grapple through denial, anger, bargaining, depression, then ultimately acceptance with the disorder. We are oftentimes at a loss with what to say or how to help. It’s frustrating for everyone not knowing the true cause of the disorder. It makes parents question every little thing of the child’s past, all the way to conception, which leaves parents’ minds on an eternal treadmill of questioning thoughts — which for anyone can be exhausting. What we do know about children with autism spectrum disorder is that they are each amazingly gifted and unique. We know they are loved very deeply by their friends and family, even though it may seem at times that these same family and friends are exasperated. The truth is autism is exasperating. It’s also, at times, wonderfully incredible. As our friend said of her sweet, adorable son, “He teaches us something new about ourselves and about the truly important elements of life.”

We’d love for you to take a moment to browse through the Autism Speaks website. For the month of August, Salon Khouri is donating $1 from every haircut to Autism Speaks.

Our July Community Outreach – Keeping Our Kids Safe via The ART of Driving

Image

Ashley Renee Thompson lost her life in a singular vehicular accident on June 10, 2003 — she was just sixteen years old. She was an advanced placement student, a competitive gymnast, and loved by her friends and peers. Her mother created The ART of Driving program in memory of her daughter to increase awareness among teens and parents of the unique risks faced by young, novice drivers and to impress upon them the need for improved training, increased supervised time behind-the-wheel, and increased parental involvement. The ART of Driving is also advocating for improvements in driver education for our youth and seeks to change the mindset of teens and their parents that tragedies like this “won’t happen to me”.

The ART of DrivingIt is our hope to help bring awareness to this organization. If just one parent or teen gains a new piece of knowledge from The ART of Driving that saves a life, then this will have been our most successful community outreach event to date! Please take a moment to Learn the Top 5 Reasons for Teen Crashes and Injuries, as well as an overview of programs offered through The ART of Driving.

For the month of July, Salon Khouri will donate $1 from every haircut to the Ashley Renee Thompson Memorial Foundation.

Our June Community Outreach – Help Us Bridge The Gap

FoodBridge_logoThis June, Salon Khouri will be donating $1 from every haircut to Our Daily Bread Fairfax in support of their Food Bridge program. Also, upon checkout, you can donate $1, $3, or $5 toward this program.

With the down economy, many Fairfax families are struggling. Luckily, Our Daily Bread Fairfax is there to help. Our Daily Bread identifies and addresses the unmet fundamental needs of Fairfax area residents and empowers the community to help these neighbors maintain self-sufficiency. They are a volunteer-based organization focused on easing the plight of low income residents in Fairfax County, drawing volunteers from local faith-based groups, community organizations, local businesses, schools and universities.

We specifically are reaching out to help Our Daily Bread’s Food Bridge Program, which provides short-term food assistance to Fairfax County area residents who are struggling to make ends meet – helping them bridge the gap until they can achieve self-sufficiency. Needy families are referred to the Program by social workers, and generally receive assistance for approximately four to six months. Some clients receive emergency assistance once or twice to get them through a brief crisis.

Here’s how it works, with every haircut the month of June, Salon Khouri will donate $1 toward the purchase of a gift card for the Food Bridge program. Gift Cards allow Our Daily Bread’s clients to meet the specific dietary needs of their family, which many times includes managing specific food allergies. Grocery store gift cards also allow parents to make good nutritional choices for their children that include fruits, vegetables and dairy items that cannot be stored at the ODB panty. In addition, grocery store gift cards help Our Daily Bread’s clients to practice newly acquired financial management skills in getting the most out of every dollar they spend for food. Their Food Bridge Supporters collect and deliver either non-perishable food items and supplies or grocery cards to 30 of their Food Bridge clients each Sunday.

The goal of the Food BRIDGE is to take Our Daily Bread’s clients from a place of crisis to a place that is stable where food insecurity is concerned. Our Daily Bread helps their clients make good choices, teaches them how to manage resources and to go forward with new skills in being informed consumers.

If you would like to volunteer to help deliver food to families, please contact Christina Garris of Our Daily Bread Fairfax at 703-273-8829.

The Wind Can’t Stop This Pony

The wind in the DC area today is enough to make anyone’s beautifully styled hair look like a bird was trying to nest in it. Thankfully, high winds don’t always have to mean bad hair days. Here, we give you a step-by-step on the high ponytail. Bring it wind!

Start by taking the front, top section of your hair ...

Start by taking the front, top section of your hair …

Gently tease at the root to provide a little volume ...

Gently tease at the root to provide a little volume …

Pull top section to back of head ...

Pull top section to back of head …

Spray with a medium to heavy hold hair spray ...

Spray with a medium to heavy hold hair spray …

Holding hair in a high pony, comb stray hairs back toward pony, then spray again ...

Holding hair in a high pony, comb stray hairs back toward pony, then spray again …

Secure pony with a coated elastic band ...

Secure pony with a coated elastic band, holding a small piece down with one hand…

Wrap strand around elastic band, then pin with bobby pin ...

Wrap strand around elastic band, then pin with bobby pin …

Spray again on a very windy day for good measure!

Spray again on a very windy day for good measure!

Salon Khouri Welcomes Aesthetician Judy Enlow

Judy Enlow, Aesthetician

Judy Enlow, Aesthetician

We are so very happy to welcome aesthetician Judy Enlow to our team at Salon Khouri. Judy has over 20 years in the industry, and a very loyal following. Some describe Judy’s facials as “a little bit of heaven”, and we’d love for you to see for yourself. We are offering 20% off any first appointment with Judy. You can view a full menu of our facials on our website. Judy has customized a unique facial just for Salon Khouri enthusiasts — the Salon Khouri signature facial. Our Signature Facial cleanses, tones, and moisturizes your skin. Extractions are performed as needed and Judy then customizes a mask according to your skin’s specific needs. Additional relaxation is achieved through steam treatment, warm towels, & calming face and body massage.

Judy comes to Salon Khouri from the Lifetime Fitness Center in Centreville, where she had been for the previous twelve years. Judy’s caring and sweet demeanor, extreme professionalism and top-notch expertise in skin care is a welcome addition to the Salon Khouri team. Welcome aboard, Judy!

Crazy Hair Day for Kids Cancer – Help Us Spread the Word

Those of you who have been long-time Salon Khouri enthusiasts know our passion for helping children with pediatric cancer. We recently became aware of a grant program from Wella, the color line we use at the salon, called Hairdressers at Heart. This program will donate $10,000 to a salon’s charity of choice. I immediately emailed Mike Gillette, long-time pediatric cancer advocate and the guy behind The Truth 365 to share the information with him and to see if he had any ideas. As usual, Mike came up with a great idea that will not only help raise money and awareness for pediatric cancer funding, but also gets children directly involved in helping. The program is called Crazy Hair Day for Kids Cancer.

Here’s where we need your help. We are just asking you for help with two simple things:

  1. First, we need you to vote, daily, until May 15th, to help us win the $10,000 grant for The Arms Wide Open Childhood Cancer Foundation. Winning the grant will directly fund pediatric cancer research. Not many people realize that there is a severe lack of funding for pediatric cancers, particularly when compared to funding for adult cancer research. In fact, most drugs given to these little guys were developed for adults 20-30 years ago, and never tested on children. These kids need donations from grants and private donors to help them win their fight against cancer with tools made for them. These kids need current medicines designed for them to fight their specific cancers. Many children with cancer are oftentimes made more sick due to the toxicity of the drugs given to them to help them fight cancer.
  2. Second, if you have kids in school, or know someone who does, please see if your school would be open to having a Crazy Hair Day for Kids Cancer. It’s a simple, kids helping kids, no frills fundraiser. We have two flyers available that you can print and bring to your school’s administrative office. For more information on scheduling a Crazy Hair Day for Kids Cancer at your school, please email info@thetruth365.org. We have one flyer for preschool and elementary schools, and one for middle and high schools. Again, every dollar raised from your Crazy Hair Day for Kids Cancer fundraiser will directly fund pediatric cancer research.

Salon Khouri will be donating $1 from every haircut the month of May to The Arms Wide Open Childhood Cancer Foundation. We would love for you to make donations in the amount of $1, $3, and $5 at checkout as well! Also, if your little one would like to stop into Salon Khouri to have a little pink, blue or purple Eufora Creative Streak sprayed into their hair for their Crazy Hair Day, we’d love to help them out at no cost! The spray washes out and is non-toxic. Just give us a ring at 703.273.7878 to let us know you are coming by. And, if your school agrees to do a fundraiser, let us know as well. We would love to send a stylist out to help make kids hair crazy, again, at no cost!

Crazy Hair Day for Kids Cancer

Crazy Hair Day for Kids Cancer

Update 5/25/2013:

We were so thrilled to be invited to Let’s Talk Live to share information about Crazy Hair Day for Kids Cancer. You can watch the video here.

Our April Community Outreach is ….

Some of the piggies from Polyface helping mix the compost.

Some of the piggies from Polyface helping mix the compost.

Growing up, I didn’t think about where my food came from. And sadly, I have to say the same about my twenties. Then, I started a family, and pregnant with my first child, I started to question everything I put into my body. Where did it come from? How was it grown? Was it sprayed with any chemicals? I began to venture out, starting small. I watched a documentary called Fresh, and was blown away by a guy named Joel Salatin. The way he argued his points and explained his passion for sustainable farming draws you in. His vocabulary is eloquent, and his speech is lyrical, forcing you to want to listen. You can see a glimpse of it here, but if you just search Joel Salatin on YouTube, you can find a plethora of interesting videos from Joel. I began ordering meat from his farm, Polyface Farm located near Charlottesville, VA. Polyface delivers to various host sites in Northern Virginia on a monthly basis.

After baby #2, I discovered Fields of Athenry on a Saturday afternoon drive with the kids while Jonathan was busy at the salon. I met the owner, Elaine on our visit there. She shared a lot of great information with me, but what I remembered most was her caring nature. One of her chickens had just had baby chicks. She showed my children and let them hold one of the chicks, then explained how they hatch. She also took them outside and had one of her girls set us up with feeding the baby lambs. I quickly made visiting FOA farm a Saturday tradition that summer, taking the kids to see the animals and learn about where food comes from as well as picking up delicious, fresh meats for the week.

Feeding chickens at Chicama Run Farm

Feeding chickens at Chicama Run Farm

Through my continued exploration of Virginia farms, I signed up for CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture), finding a winter CSA through Moutoux Orchard. (It’s now a year-round food club). Rob at Moutoux grows the most delicious, chemical free peaches I have ever eaten. I discovered another farm from a friend right next to Moutoux called Chicama Run. Dana, the owner and operator of Chicama Run is an amazing woman. I am not even sure if amazing is a big enough word to describe Dana. She cares for her farm, for her family, and for her community. She truly, truly cares about what you feed yourself. She shares a ton of great information on her blog and Facebook page. A great part for the kiddos about visiting her farm is being able to feed all the free range chickens!!

If you haven’t guessed yet, our April community outreach for Salon Khouri is to introduce you to some of these wonderful farmers. Earth Day is later this month and we can’t think of a better way to celebrate than thanking these guys for helping care for the earth through better, smarter farming.

We will also be donating $1 from every haircut this month toward a scholarship to help send a lucky individual to a Polyface Intensive Discovery Seminar where Joel helps teach others sustainable farming practices. If you’d like to donate, you can do so through our Community Page.

* updated 5/25/2013, in lieu of sending someone to the Polyface Intensive Discovery Seminar, we donated to the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund.

Have you got some spare change?

Our March community campaign is to help raise money for the Kids Helping Kids Stop Hunger drive. Please take a moment to watch this brief video to learn more. We are so very encouraged and inspired by these little guys doing what they can to help others!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dK6la8b97tc]

Please remember to drop your quarters in our collection jar at the front desk. We will also donate $5 from every kids haircut in March to this worthy cause.

Stop Hunger Now is an international hunger relief organization that coordinates the distribution of food and other life-saving aid around the world. The organization is driven by a vision of a world without hunger and a mission to end hunger in our lifetime by providing food and life-saving aid to the world’s most vulnerable and by creating a global commitment to mobilize the necessary resources.

Stop Hunger Now’s meal packaging program provides volunteers the opportunity to package dehydrated, high protein, and highly nutritious meals that are used primarily to support development programs and to save lives in developing countries around the world.

Tips for Curling Your Hair At Home

Curling your hair at home without the right tools and technique can absolutely, positively damage your hair. It can even cause your hair to burn completely off. Although we love to cut pixies, we really don’t want to cut one as a result of an at-home curling iron mishap.

So, our knowledgeable and friendly stylists have offered a few of their tips for safe curling at home.

Stylist Megan Purvis says it’s imperative you start by protecting your hair with a quality thermal protection spray such as Sebastian Trilliant Thermal Protection. She also stresses the importance of not having too hot an iron, particularly for fine hair. I completely agree. My hair is thick but fine, so I keep the temp at no more than 330 degrees. Megan also gives us a tip on keeping the curl modern and romantic: “Be sure to curl away from the face and curl bigger sections of your hair for a looser curl.”

Stylist Kristin Fletcher adds a great tip on achieving the S wave curl. “Hold the iron vertical as you curl.” Kristin also prefers a larger barrel curling iron for an up-to-date look.

An extremely important tip comes from stylist Kelly Stoneberger, “NEVER use hairspray on your hair prior to using any thermal tool.” Kelly is absolutely correct. Unless you want to stir fry your hair, absolutely, positively avoid spraying with hairspray while using any thermal tool. Only use hairspray after you are finished, and I mean, unplug your iron and let it cool before spraying so that you are not even slightly tempted to try to tweak a curl after applying hairspray. Which brings us to Kelly’s second tip — be sure to use a good shampoo and conditioner that will not build up in your hair. Hairspray can be pretty stubborn and without a quality shampoo, you may have hairspray residue that will fry your precious locks once you apply heat. We love Eufora’s Pure Cleanse shampoo because it offers a unique, non-sulfate cleansing system that gently yet thoroughly cleanses the hair and scalp.

We hope these tips have helped. If you’d like to know more, please ask any one of our professional and approachable stylists for tips for your specific hair type.

Page 14 of 15« First...1112131415