Remembering Mathias Through our December Community Outreach Partner: Team Mathias

Mathias’ smile could make all your worries go away. His drive to help others, even when he himself was battling osteosarcoma, was truly inspiring. He wanted everyone to know that kids get cancer, and he wanted to do something to change not only the lack of awareness, but to change the landscape of funding in the childhood cancer field. Mathias’ epic compassion lives on through the work being done by Team Mathias, the non-profit founded by Mathias’ parents, Roya and Chris Giordano.

December 7th, 2019 marks five heartbreaking years since cancer stole Mathias Giordano from his family and friends. We are honored to remember Mathias through selecting Team Mathias as our December Community Outreach Partner. We are donating $1 from every haircut from our Fairfax and Loudoun locations this month to this local, non-profit who is making a difference in the lives of children battling cancer. We will promise to do random acts of kindness in Mathias’ name and would love for you to join in using the hashtags #PayItForward and #MathiasStrong.

The work being done through Team Mathias is bringing hope, comfort and blessing to others. Through providing meals to pediatric nursing units, hosting blood drives, providing care packages to pediatric cancer patients and their families (Mathias’ idea, by the way), to being the driving force behind the Virginia Cure Childhood Cancer license plate (also Mathias’ idea!), we are humbled by the constant service this non-profit is providing to our community.

We urge you to please learn more about the facts of childhood cancer. Then we urge you to do something. There are some amazing ideas on the Team Mathias site, on their Take Action page. Register with Be the Match, donate blood, sponsor a Team Mathias Care package, volunteer at an event, share facts on your Facebook page.

 

 

How we are helping our wounded warriors this November with Luke’s Wings

Jennifer Elkhouri

I just finished reading The Trident, the Forging and Reforging of a Navy Seal Leader, by Jason Redman, which I purchased after having the honor of hearing Redman speak at the Business Mastery by Millennium conference in October. In the book, Redman tells of his journey to leadership and the many challenges, both physical and personal, he faced along the way. In 2007, Redman was struck by machine gun fire — twice in the arm and once in the face — on a mission in Iraq hunting down a key al-Qaida commander. Reading Redman’s words of his perseverance through his injuries, even after many setbacks, was absolutely inspiring. Jonathan and I are truly thankful for Redman and every man and woman who have put themselves in harms way defending our freedoms.

We are also thankful that our salons are able to give back to our wounded soldiers through our November community outreach partner, Luke’s Wings, whose mission is to support wounded, ill and injured service members by providing families with a means to visit during their recovery and rehabilitation. For over a decade, Luke’s Wings has provided complimentary airfare to wounded warriors and their loved ones to bridge the gap of separation during rehabilitation, helping keep them physically and emotionally connected on their journey to recovery.

We’d love to take a moment to share a few stories of those who’ve been helped by Luke’s Wings.

U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Ricardo P.U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Ricardo P. is a dedicated patriot with a combined 37 months in combat tours. During his time overseas, he sustained multiple injuries due to combat with the enemy, exposure to blasts and IEDs, and running with heavy equipment. As a result, he underwent months of treatment related to a spinal injury, a traumatic brain injury, PTSD and hearing loss, among others. As he continues to receive treatment here in the United States, he reached out to Luke’s Wings with a simple request – to see his family in Cali, Colombia for Christmas. For our wounded warriors, seeing family gives them hope, purpose and motivation to take the next step in their recovery. We are proud to support warriors like Ricardo who have sacrificed so much for our freedom.  “I could not be blessed a better way by having the team allowing me the chance to travel to South America and visit my family.” – U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Ricardo P.

 

 

U.S. Air Force Staff Sergeant Brandon B

U.S. Air Force Staff Sergeant Brandon B was involved in an accident during his deployment, resulting in complete numbness in his entire lower body and the inability to walk. Before long, his kidneys and liver began to shut down and they were immediately medevaced to the United States for critical treatments. They soon found themselves at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, MD with no idea what would come next. After multiple tests, MRI’s and consultations, he finally began down the path to recovery. When the Christmas season soon approached, they were far from family and unable to afford travel home to Tampa, FL. However, through Luke’s Wings, Brandon’s family was provided four flights so that they could surrounded him with family during the holidays, including his grandmother who was battling stage 3 ovarian cancer. These flights gave a family, who has been through so much, a chance to return to normalcy among the chaos of uncertainty.

 

This November, we are donating $1 from every haircut at our Fairfax and Dulles locations to support Luke’s Wings. If you have unused Delta SkyMiles, please consider donating them to Luke’s Wings.

Providing Hope through Living MS: Our July Community Outreach Partner

In 2011, local Loudoun resident, Beth Donaldson, was given news she had long feared: she had Multiple Sclerosis. A mother of two and wife of a police SWAT officer, Beth was no stranger to the disease as her paternal grandfather and two paternal aunts had the disease.

The grueling treatments began right away — treatments that would help to keep the disease at bay, but which also brought on other debilitating symptoms. Beth has been through multiple treatments, infusions, has seen lesions, fatigue, nausea, brain cloud, but endures it all with grace and a smile that would melt even the Grinch’s heart. In 2015, from osteoarthritis caused by the multiple sclerosis, Beth underwent her first hip replacement, and in 2017, a second hip replacement.

Beth’s husband, Mike, an amazing supporter to Beth, began immediately raising money for research. From 2012 through 2016, the two raised approximately $17,000 for the MS Society through Mike’s bike rides for the MS Society. It was in 2016 when the two decided to create Living MS, a 501(c)3 charity focused on raising money for MS research and awareness.

 

Living MS gives directly to support research being done at The James Q. Miller MS Clinic at UVA — all monies are used to fund research for a cure for MS. Please be sure to follow the Living MS Facebook page for updates on this amazing and *beautiful* ride through one of the most scenic counties in the nation!

This July, we are honored to partner with Living MS and will be donating $1 from every haircut from our Fairfax and Loudoun locations to this local non-profit whose mission is to end MS.

A little side note that we love: Beth originally found Salon Khouri by winning a gift card she won through a fundraiser in 2013 for the Isabella Santos Foundation.

Helping children through ChildHelp – our April community outreach partner

Helping victims of child abuse is more than just a desire, it is the lifetime commitment for ChildHelp. This commitment began when their founders, two young Hollywood actresses, encountered 11 homeless orphans abroad, and their lives were forever changed. Sara (Buckner) O’Meara and Yvonne (Lime) Fedderson went on to found ChildHelp and is now an internationally respected nonprofit and the largest organization dedicated to helping victims of child abuse and neglect as well as at-risk children. Though it has grown beyond their wildest dreams, CEO and Chairman, Sara O’Meara, and President, Yvonne Fedderson, who still work every day for this critical cause, have never forgotten those eleven little orphans in a storm that inspired their mission of hope.

And, with the Alice C. Tyler Village located in Lignum, VA, our local children are being served and protected. The Alice C. Tyler Village has served survivors of abuse and neglect since its opening in 1993. Situated on 270 picturesque acres in Culpeper County, the village serves children from across Virginia and West Virginia.

We are honored to partner once again with ChildHelp as our April Community Outreach partner and will be donating $1 from every haircut from our Fairfax and Dulles locations this April.

Paying it Forward in Memory of Mathias: Our December Community Outreach Partner

Mathias Giordano

This December marks four years since cancer stole Mathias Giordano from his family and friends. We are honored to remember Mathias through selecting the non-profit created in his name, Team Mathias, as our December Community Outreach Partner. We are donating $1 from every haircut from our Fairfax and Loudoun locations this month to this local, non-profit who is making a difference in the lives of children battling cancer. We will promise to do random acts of kindness in Mathias’ name and would love for you to join in using the hashtags #PayItForward and #MathiasStrong.

The heartbreaking yet beautiful words from Mathias’ mom, Roya, are shared below:

“4 years ago today our world changed forever.

I now realize that the hardest part of losing you, wasn’t to say goodbye but to learn to live without your beautiful smile, your hugs, your sense of humor, your love for life, your care for friends and family, your passion for food and your sophisticated taste for beautiful & contemporary things in life.

The emptiness that your dad, Troy & I feel in our hearts and in our home not just today but EVERYDAY is killing us. There is truly no greater heartache than having to live our lives without you! I was convinced that my heart would stop beating when yours did. 4 years later I’m still wondering how am I still breathing? If the broken heart syndrome is as real as they say it is why hasn’t it made my broken heart stop!

Being your mom has and will always be my biggest accomplishment in life. Your strength, determination and your love for life will always guide me to be a better person & my one and only mission in life is to protect your name and your legacy and to make you proud. I want you to keep smiling down on us in knowing that we are making a small difference each and everyday in the lives of those effected by cancer in your LOVING Memory.

We are blessed to have a lot of loving, caring & supportive friends and family who still remember and honor you daily.

Friends please #PayItForward in Mathias’ memory today. Go out of your way to make someone smile today because of Mathias. Make a donation to your favorite childhood cancer charity, Donate blood or platelets, do something small or big just to remember my sweet, beautiful, handsome boy. My soulmate, my Mathias.”

 

We urge you to please learn more about the facts of childhood cancer. Then we urge you to do something. There are some amazing ideas on the Team Mathias site, on their Take Action page. Register with Be the Match, donate blood, sponsor a Team Mathias Care package, volunteer at an event, share facts on your Facebook page.

 

 

Our November Community Outreach: Coalition to Support America’s Heroes

Jsalute-heroes-logoonathan and I, and our entire team at Salon Khouri, are humbled by the sacrifice of those in our Armed Services. They risk limb and life for the freedoms that we get to enjoy each and every day in our great nation. We look at guys like Rob Jones, and what he has overcome after losing both legs above the knee in an IED explosion while he was serving in Afghanistan. It’s astounding to think about his courage, absolute grit and utter determination to overcome injury and become truly inspirational to others. I think we sometimes take for granted just how much these men and women — and their families — sacrifice so that we have the freedoms provided for us in our Constitution. In the 241 years since this nation was founded (and in those years leading up to our independence), there have been countless men and women willing to give up comfort and safety so that generations after them would not have to. We may not be a perfect nation, but we are a very good nation striving to be a better one. And we are a nation founded upon the truth that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”

We are taking time this month to thank those men and women, through the Coalition to Salute America’s Hereos, who have defended and who continue to defect these rights afforded to us in the United States.

Coalition to Salute America’s Hereos is a local non-profit, but one that serves wounded vets from across our nation. Their mission is to help severely-wounded veterans and families of Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operation New Dawn recover from their injuries and illnesses, and to inspire other organizations and the general public to participate in this effort.

Coalition to Salute America’s Hereos has many great programs. One of them is is emergency financial assistance given to our wounded veterans to help pay for necessities such as food and rent.

Their Road to Recovery Conference is a life-changing experience that brings severely wounded troops and their families from all across the U.S. together to encourage hope, healing and to continue on the Road to Recovery.

Through their Employment Initiatives, Coalition to Salute America’s Hereos provides job placement through partner organizations as well as part-time employment for the catastrophically wounded, which provides income through customized jobs for these wounded vets.

It is our honor to partner with Coalition for America’s Hereos this November. We will be donating $1 from every haircut from our Fairfax and Dulles location to this amazing, local non-profit.

Providing Hope through Living MS: Our July Community Outreach Partner

In 2011, local Loudoun resident, Beth Donaldson, was given news she had long feared: she had Multiple Sclerosis. A mother of two and wife of a police SWAT officer, Beth was no stranger to the disease as her paternal grandfather and two paternal aunts had the disease.

Beth undergoing an OCREVUS infusion in December of 2107.

The grueling treatments began right away — treatments that would help to keep the disease at bay, but which also brought on other debilitating symptoms. Beth has been through multiple treatments, infusions, has seen lesions, fatigue, nausea, brain cloud, but endures it all with grace and a smile that would melt even the Grinch’s heart. In 2015, from osteoarthritis caused by the multiple sclerosis, Beth underwent her first hip replacement, and in 2017, a second hip replacement.

Beth’s husband, Mike, an amazing supporter to Beth, began immediately raising money for research. From 2012 through 2016, the two raised approximately $17,000 for the MS Society through Mike’s bike rides for the MS Society. It was in 2016 when the two decided to create Living MS, a 501(c)3 charity focused on raising money for MS research and awareness.

 

In 2017, Living MS hosted their first annual Bike Ride, called Gravel de Loco, and raised an impressive $6,000. On November 8, 2017, the couple and their two children drove to The James Q. Miller MS Clinic at UVA and donated a check for $5,000 to be used to fund research for a cure for MS. Beth and Mike are planning a second Gravel de Loco, tentatively scheduled for October 13, 2018. Please be sure to follow the Living MS Facebook page for updates on this amazing and *beautiful* ride through one of the most scenic counties in the nation!

Living MS is planning another bike ride this year, tentatively scheduled for Saturday, October 13th in Loudoun County. The ride will have a 25 mile loop and a 50 mile loop.

This July, we are honored to partner with Living MS and will be donating $1 from every haircut from our Fairfax and Loudoun locations to this local non-profit whose mission is to end MS.

A little side note that we love: Beth originally found Salon Khouri by winning a gift card she won through a fundraiser in 2013 for the Isabella Santos Foundation.

Freezin’ again for a Reason!

This is our fourth year jumping as a team into the ice cold water of Lake Anne. But, we sort of have a soft spot for kids, particularly kids fighting life-threatening diseases such as cancer. We encourage you to join our team and jump with us on February 3rd! Or, make a donation to support our jump. No amount is too small! We have learned that little makes big and appreciate every dollar you donate to support Camp Sunshine.

2017 Salon Khouri VA Polar Dip Team

This year, we are again jumping in memory of precious Kate Rhoades. Kate was just four years old when she lost her battle to leukemia on Jan 12, 2016 after a sudden and unexpected relapse. To know Kate was to love her. Her sweet little smile and curiosity about life was contagious. We will never forget her and are honored to jump in her memory so that we can share her story with others.

Adorable Kate.

Adorable Kate.

100% of money raised goes to send local families who have children battling a critical illness for a week of respite to Camp Sunshine. Camp Sunshine provides encouragement, relaxation, joy, and hope to children with life-threatening illnesses and their immediate families from around the world through the various stages of their journeys. The year-round program is free of charge to all families, and includes 24-hour onsite medical and psychosocial support. Camp Sunshine also provides bereavement sessions for families who have lost a child to supported illnesses.

We will be donating $1 from every haircut from both our Fairfax an Dulles locations this January to Camp Sunshine. Additionally, we will be drawing one lucky winner for a 60 Minute Signature Facial at Salon Khouri from everyone who donates toward our jump!

 

Honoring Mathias Giordano through Team Mathias: Our December Community Outreach Partner

MathiasGravesite

There are a million and one things wrong with this photo. It’s a photo taken by Roya Giordano at the graveside of her son, Mathias. The day Roya posted this photo, it had been 1,085 days without her precious son on this earth. Mathias passed on December 7th, 2014 after a 29-month long battle with Osteosarcoma, a bone cancer diagnosed mostly in boys, mostly whom are under the age of 25. Mathias was just 11 years old when he and his family were given the devastating diagnosis. Mom’s should never, ever have to post a photo like this, or count the number of days it has been since their little one was last kissed or hugged by them.

We wanted to share Mathias’ story with you and have again selected the foundation set up in his name, Team Mathias, as our December Community Outreach Partner as it is our hope that one day, there will be a cure for all childhood cancers. Spreading Mathias’ story is one way we can honor him, remember him, and spread awareness about childhood cancer.

Mathias had an amazing smile. Our bet is lots of 11 year old girls were smitten with him! He was funny and giving of himself, always looking for ways to serve others while he himself was battling an awful disease. Mathias, Roya, and Jay Coakley, founder of Ellie’s Hats, worked together toward the end of Mathias’ battle to create a Childhood Cancer specialty plate in Virginia, after learning one did not yet exist. (We urge you to order a CC plate through the DMV.) We posted last year about the tremendous LOVE for Mathias that is so apparent when looking through photos on the Team Mathias Facebook page. Since that post, more beautiful photos have been published of people coming together in Mathias’ memory to do good for others. Sorrowfully, another photo posted was the one above, whose realization smacks you in the face that childhood cancer is not rare, is desperately underfunded, and sadly not spoken of enough in our society. It’s a harsh reality, but one that will not be changed by looking the other way or avoiding the topic.

We urge you to please learn more about the facts of childhood cancer. Then we urge you to do something. There are some amazing ideas on the Team Mathias site, on their Take Action page. Register with Be the Match, donate blood, sponsor a Team Mathias Care package, volunteer at an event, share facts on your Facebook page.

This December, Salon Khouri will be sharing Mathias’ story with our community. We are also donating $1 from every haircut from our Fairfax and Loudoun locations to Team Mathias.