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.

 

 

Hearts of Gold: Alex’s Army Childhood Cancer Foundation – our October Community Outreach Partner

This is our fourth year that we have selected Alex’s Army Childhood Cancer Foundation as a Salon Khouri community outreach partner and it’s because we love their mission so much! Alex’s Army Childhood Cancer Foundation is a 501c3 whose mission is to raise awareness and funding for Childhood Cancer Research while providing Christian focused support to the Childhood Cancer Community.

A majority of their funds go directly towards funding childhood cancer research initiatives through world class organizations such as the Children’s Oncology Group (COG). Because childhood cancer remains the #1 cause of death by disease for children in our country and because childhood cancer research currently receives less than 4% of the total national cancer research budget, they remain committed and passionate about doing their part to help find cures! The goal of AACCF is to help support new research through providing whatever funding they can in order to help make a difference in treatment options available to children fighting childhood cancers.

Here’s the impact AACCF had in just 2018 alone:

  • $100,000 Research Grant to Children’s National to help fund the REST Immunotherapy Trial (more).
  • 260 Care Packages delivered to children at Fairfax Inova Children’s Hospital and to families and children in 14 different states
  • 12 Prayer Team visits which included bringing gifts, breakfast, coffee, and lots of LOVE to the families at Inova Children’s Hospital. In 2018, they incorporated a few themed visits including an EMOJI party and one time bringing Rapunzel with them!
  • 70 Prayer Pillowcases sent out to children and families
  • 60 Super Hero Dolls made lovingly by their friend Kristi Catlett at GoldRibbonCrochet
  • 100 parent toiletry kits delivered to Fairfax Children’s Hospital to be kept on the unit and distributed as needed to parents unexpectedly staying overnight
  • Additionally, they embarked on a few new things this year:
    • They sent families to Minefaire and gifted them with tickets for the whole family!
    • They created Forever in our Hearts Kites and mailed them to 18 different families.
    • They also helped provide meals to 4 different families locally in 2018.

And, on November 16th, 2019, they will be hosting the Hearts of Gold Gala to celebrate Five years of giving back to our local community. You may register for the gala here.

This October, we are donating $1 from every haircut from our Fairfax and Dulles locations to Alex’s Army Childhood Cancer Foundation and we know that every single penny will bring blessings to those in our local community battling childhood cancer.

Our Community Outreach Partner for September: The Truth 365

Over 15,000 kids will be diagnosed with cancer in the next 365 days.

The goal of The Truth 365 is to educate and mobilize millions of people through Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and other social networking sites. Their full-length documentaries and shorter films inform the public that there is a critical need for funding for childhood cancer research. Through increased awareness comes increased funding. You see, children *should be* our nations’ priority. Yet, the shocking lack of funding for childhood cancers indicates otherwise. Over the past years, we have shared a statistic that we thought would surely have changed by now. Sadly, we are reporting the same this year: the National Cancer Institute allocates only 4% of it’s cancer research budget toward childhood cancers. And 4% is simply not enough. Drug companies aren’t allocating research dollars either, as there are 16 major types of pediatric cancers and over 100 subtypes – all of which need to be approached differently. Much of the funding for new therapies are left to be raised by the parents, which is a burden they should not have to bear. Yet, they do, faced with no other options for helping their children. They bike, run, shave their heads, participate in ultra marathons — just about anything they can do — they will to raise money to give to advance research.

We would love for you to spread the word about CureFest, an amazing and FREE, family-friendly childhood cancer event in Washington DC! This year, CureFest will be September 20-22nd with singer Chris Daughtry performing. Be sure to register for this FREE event.

We are donating $1 from every haircut from both locations this September to The Truth 365. We hope and pray that we will see an end to childhood cancers in our lifetime and awareness is the KEY to funding, which will be a KEY to a cure!

 

We love what Ellie’s Hats is doing for children battling cancer — our February community outreach partner

In the spring of 2013 a little girl named Ellie was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. By the time she started kindergarten in the fall, she had lost most of her hair and was wearing hats to school every day. Ellie’s Hats was born after one of her teachers, Jay Coakley, noticed how much cheer and individuality the hats brought to Ellie. He wanted to share that feeling with other children who suffered from childhood cancer and to also raise awareness.

Ellie’s Hats mission is to brighten the day of a child who is battling cancer. They do this by sending a package of hats and other items for the child battling cancer and their siblings. They include hats for the siblings too because often they feel left out. They have sent over 1,300 special packages to children across the country. For families in Northern Virginia, which is where they are located, they are able to do more than send them hats. They provide financial support and do whatever they can do to make these kids’ days a little brighter.

Ellie’s Hats is a 100% volunteer run non profit.

Here are a few other things Ellie’s Hats has done for kids battling cancer: #morethanjustahat

  • Donated $1,000’s worth of gift cards and checks
  • The “Hero Bag” Program at Inova Children’s Hospital. (A special bag is given to every newly admitted pediatric cancer patient)
  • Supply the food and drinks for the nourishment room and the PSV Clinic in Falls Church
  • Donated $10,000 to The Pediatric Oncology Family Support Fund in 2016
  • Donated $10,000 to Novant Hemby Children’s Hospital in 2016 to help them remodel their treatment room.
  • Gave three $1,000 Gift Certificates from a local auto repair shop to local families.
  • Helped a teenager go to a Wizards game and get to meet Steph Curry.
  • Had Kirk Cousins record a special video to a high school senior who was recently diagnosed with cancer.
  • Donated ipads, VR goggles, Play Stations, Nintendo Switches, Robots from Double Robitics.

It’s an honor to once again support Ellie’s Hats this February as our community outreach partner. We will donate $1 from every haircut this February from our Fairfax and Dulles locations to this very special, local non-profit.

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 Community Outreach Partner for September: The Truth 365

Over 15,000 kids will be diagnosed with cancer in the next 365 days. Cancer kills more than 2,500 children in our country every year.

The goal of The Truth 365 is to educate and mobilize millions of people through Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and other social networking sites. Their full-length documentaries and shorter films inform the public that there is a critical need for funding for childhood cancer research. Through increased awareness comes increased funding. You see, children *should be* our nations’ priority. Yet, the shocking lack of funding for childhood cancers indicates otherwise. We are sad to again be including this fact in our blog: the National Cancer Institute allocates only 4% of it’s cancer research budget toward childhood cancers. And 4% is simply not enough. Drug companies aren’t allocating research dollars either, as there are 16 major types of pediatric cancers and over 100 subtypes – all of which need to be approached differently. Much of the funding for new therapies are left to be raised by the parents, which is a burden they should not have to bear. Yet, they do, faced with no other options for helping their children. They bike, run, shave their heads, participate in ultra marathons — just about anything they can do — they will to raise money to give to advance research.

We would love for you to spread the word about CureFest, an amazing and FREE childhood cancer event in Washington DC! This year, CureFest will be September 15th and 16th, with the 1.8 mile walk on Sunday.

We are donating $1 from every haircut from both locations this September to The Truth 365. You also have an opportunity to help by donating at our front desk where you can fill out a Childhood Cancer Awareness Square to hang in our window to help us #GoGold this September! To read more about the shocking facts of childhood cancer, please read our blog post from last year.

childhoodcancersquare

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.

 

Our Community Outreach Partner for August & September: The Truth 365

We cannot say enough good things about the work The Truth 365 is doing in the childhood cancer community. Their beautiful (and Emmy award winning!) documentaries and media campaigns (such as this breathtaking one of Kylie Myers) are bringing awareness to a cause that so desperately needs it. Through increased awareness comes increased funding. You see, children *should be* our nations’ priority. Yet, the shocking lack of funding for childhood cancers indicates otherwise. We are sad to again be including this fact in our blog: the National Cancer Institute allocates only 4% of it’s cancer research budget toward childhood cancers. And 4% is simply not enough. Drug companies aren’t allocating research dollars either, as there are 16 major types of pediatric cancers and over 100 subtypes – all of which need to be approached differently. Much of the funding for new therapies are left to be raised by the parents, which is a burden they should not have to bear. Yet, they do, faced with no other options for helping their children. They bike, run, shave their heads, participate in ultra marathons — just about anything they can do — they will to raise money to give to advance research.

We are encouraged by a few amazing breakthroughs in recent weeks. The RACE for Children’s Act became law, which will significantly increase the number of new drugs available to children with cancer as well as increase new research dollars flowing into childhood cancer research. And on August 30, 2017, the FDA approved a groundbreaking CAR T Cell Therapy for kids battling leukemia.

But there is more to do, which is why Salon Khouri will continue to partner with The Truth 365 #UntilChildhoodCancerIsExtinct in honor of Kate, Mathias, AlexGabby, Kyle, Gavin, Chris, Delaney, Casey, Declan, Isabella

We would love for you to spread the word about CureFest, an amazing and FREE childhood cancer event in Washington DC! We will once again be volunteering at the Crazy Hair Day booth! And this year, CureFest has some AMAZING headliners! Sabrina Carpenter, Caly Bevier (Simon Cowell’s Golden Buzzer pick from last year) and World of Dance qualifier Diana Pombo! Please share this page to let people know about the awesome talent lined up for this year and encourage them to join in being a voice for children battling cancer.

SabrinaCarpenter

 

 

We are donating $1 from every haircut from both locations in August and September to The Truth 365. You also have an opportunity to help by donating at our front desk where you can fill out a Childhood Cancer Awareness Square to hang in our window to help us #GoGold this September! To read more about the shocking facts of childhood cancer, please read our blog post from last year.

childhoodcancersquare

Gold Hair for a Cure!

We are once again offering yellow-gold extensions for $10 with all proceeds being donated to the Pediatric Dream Team through The Truth 365! Please come in this September and show your support – #GoGold!

We are working hard to turn Gold Hair for a Cure into a national program with She by SO.CAP. If you have two seconds, please send them an email to let them know how much it would mean to you if they implemented a National Program with The Truth 365!

 

GoGold

Promise us this …

The Childhood Cancer Awareness movement is growing. Our hope is that the color gold instantly makes people think, “childhood cancer awareness” just as pink conjures up “breast cancer awareness” for many. Yes, the movement is growing, but there is still a lot of work to be done.

There have been only three drugs in the past twenty years approved by the FDA that were specifically developed to treat children with cancer. And that number grew from two to three just this year. This is simply not acceptable.

The National Cancer Institute spends just 4% of it’s federal research dollars on childhood cancer research funding. Just 4%. This is simply not acceptable.

The incidents of childhood cancer have increased 29% in the past twenty years. As our friend Tom Mitchell at Stillbrave said, “we spend more as a nation on potato chips than we do finding a cure for various childhood cancers.” This is simply not acceptable.

There are more facts on childhood cancer, but you are probably getting a little overwhelmed thinking, “what can I do?” Well, the truth is, there’s a LOT you can do!

First, you can sign the Petition on The Truth 365 website asking Congress to make children a national priority by increasing federal funding for childhood cancer research.

You can volunteer with local organizations such as Stillbrave, Ellie’s Hats, Kyle’s Kamp, Journey4ACure, participate in CureFest on September 20th, or email us to get connected to other many wonderful groups.

 

You can come into Salon Khouri during the month of September and get a haircut or a yellow-gold hair extension. We are donating $1 from every haircut in both our Dulles Landing and Fairfax locations to The Truth 365. We are donating net proceeds from the $10 yellow-gold hair extensions as well! Or, come see us at CureFest to learn more about how to implement a Crazy Hair Day at your school to raise money and awareness for childhood cancers.

Will you promise that you will do just one thing on this list? Then, tell someone about it. Ask them to do one thing too. Let’s keep the movement going! Help us spread awareness!

 

#GoGold