Tigerlily Foundation is making strides in the Metastatic Breast Cancer Field

Tigerlily logoWe are so happy to be once again partnering with Tigerlily Foundation, a local non-profit committed to educating young women around the world about breast cancer and empowering them to be their own best advocates. Tigerlily Foundation was founded by Maimah Karmo after she was diagnosed with breast cancer at just 32 years young. Thankfully, Maimah’s faith and tremendous family support got her through her treatments. She emerged on the other side a transformed woman and wanted to create an organization that would help other young women diagnosed with breast cancer.

Tigerlily Foundation recently partnered with Dr. Nikhil Wagle, of The Metastatic Breast Cancer Project, led by the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, a nonprofit academic research institution whose mission is to dramatically accelerate the understanding and treatment of disease. The Metastatic Breast Cancer Project is taking a new approach to cancer research itigerlilyalertsn which researchers partner directly with patients, who share their samples and clinical information in order to speed important discoveries. The project is being launched and funded by the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard — a non-profit academic research institution with a mission to dramatically accelerate the understanding and treatment of disease — and conducted in collaboration with Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School, and advocacy partners. The project’s goal is to reach out to patients with metastatic breast cancer around the country in order to study their cancer using cutting-edge genomic and molecular research studies performed at the Broad Institute by allowing patients to participate in these studies regardless of where they live. If you have been diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer while you were 45 years or younger, you could help! Please visit the Tigerlily Foundation website to learn more. Additionally, you are invited to participate in the 5th Annual Young Women’s Breast Health Day on the Hill on Tuesday, 12/6/16.  The focus this year is related to metastatic breast cancer with Dr. Wagle participating. See the flyer below for more details.

This October, Salon Khouri will donate $1 from every haircut from our Fairfax and Dulles locations to Tigerlily Foundation. Additionally, we are participating in our 11th year of the Pink Hair for Hope campaign! Come in for a pink extension for $10 per strand with all proceeds going to breast cancer research funding through the Pink Hair for Hope project.

Tigerlily Foundation Young Women's Breast Health Day on the Hill

Imagine being diagnosed with breast cancer at 32

Tigerlily logoThe reality for Maimah Karmo, at just 32 years young, was a diagnosis of breast cancer. Maimah’s daughter was just three years old at the time. Thankfully, Maimah’s faith and tremendous family support got her through her treatments. She emerged on the other side a transformed woman and wanted to create an organization that would help other young women diagnosed with breast cancer. Thus was born the Tigerlily Foundation. Tigerlily Foundation committed to educating young women around the world about breast cancer and empowering them to be their own best advocates. She is dedicated to changing the young adult breast cancer landscape and seeks to impact the quality of care and lifestyle for young women affected by this disease.

A few quick facts about breast cancer:

  • Every 3 minutes a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer
  • 1 out of 8 women will be diagnosed
  • 70% of those diagnosed have zero family history of the disease
  • 81% of those diagnosed will beat the disease

Please take a moment to watch this short video to learn more:

This October, in addition to participating in our 10th annual Pink Hair for Hope campaign, we will be donating $1 from every haircut to Tigerlily Foundation.

Will you join us in going pink this October?

This October, Salon Khouri is once again partnering with Pink Hair for Hope and the local non-profit, Tigerlily Foundation. We will be donating $1 from every haircut to the Tigerlily Foundation this October. Additionally, we are once again participating in the Pink Hair for Hope campaign with So.Cap. Pink extensions are $10 each, and the proceeds are donated via the Pink Hair for Hope foundation to various breast cancer research non-profit organizations, including the American Cancer Society, National Breast Cancer Foundation, and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

Tigerlily logo
Tigerlily Foundation was founded by Maimah Karmo, after she was diagnosed with breast cancer at 32 years old. Maimah is committed to educating young women around the world about breast cancer and empowering them to be their own best advocates. She is dedicated to changing the young adult breast cancer landscape and seeks to impact the quality of care and lifestyle for young women affected by this disease.

Through education, support and advocacy, the Tigerlily Foundation is changing lives and helping women in the Northern Virginia area cope with their diagnoses and recovery. Tigerlily hosts two staple events each year, the Pajama Glam and the Pink Boa 5k. The Pajama Glam was created by Maimah’s 10-year old daughter, Noelle, who wanted to design an event to attract and educate young girls about their breast and body health, while raising awareness towards the younger generation.

Pajama Glam Umbrella Syndicate

Photo copyright: The Umbrella Syndicate

The Pink Boa 5k is an inspiring walk/run event that brings supporters and patients together to help raise money for Tigerlily Foundation.

PinkBoaRun

Photo by: Kipp Burgoyne

A survivor’s journey.

Our breast cancer survivor role model for October, Allison Kelly.

Our most beautiful role model for the month of October, Allison Kelly.

Six years ago, Allison Kelly was turning 40. With no family history of breast cancer, she had very little anxiety about scheduling her first mammogram. She did all the right things like monthly self-breast exams and yearly check ups at the doctor. And, to add to her sense of ease, Allison nor the doctors ever felt the slightest lump during her exams. Then everything in her life changed in an instant. “My mammogram lit up like a Christmas tree,” Allison recalls. “There were two tumors growing and my results were triple positive.” Allison, married with two young children who were just three and seven at the time, had a lot of big decisions to make.

Allison and her doctor’s decided on a treatment consisting of a lumpectomy, radiation, and chemotherapy. The treatments lasted a year and a half. “I can go on for hours about that hell,” Allison lamented. Then, while sharing her story, Allison paused for a moment and said, “You know what’s funny? When I started the chemo, I thought the hardest part would be losing my hair. It was my signature — my thick, long, curly hair. Turns out that was the easiest part. Chemo was a bitch.”

To get her through it all, Allison relied heavily on her strong network of friends. “Thank God for friends and family. They were my support.” They walked side-by-side with her in her first Avon walk, while she was undergoing chemo. Friends brought meals, helped keep her spirits up — one even broke into her house and cleaned it while she was sick during her treatments. It was encouragement from friends and family, especially her husband, that helped her get through each day. She described him as a stoic man who picked up all the pieces when she was sick, but who never let her lose her sense of humor. “He could always make me laugh,” Allison smiled, “even on the worst days.” Allison also drew support from her Oncologist. She recalls telling her Oncologist, “Just help me see my kids through high school.” Her Oncologist looked her straight in the eyes and firmly stated, “You’re going to live to be a grandmother.”

It took Allison a year after her last treatment to finally feel normal again. Allison went about her life, working, raising money for breast cancer research, and spending time with her husband and children. And, not one to be beaten, Allison continued walking in Avon walks. To date, Allison has participated in 8 walks, and will be walking her 9th in 2014. One year Allison was going to walk two walks, one in DC, then one in October in New York with her family. But when October came, Allison was too sick to travel or walk. Her family in New York walked in her honor.

A few years passed and Allison approached her five year remission anniversary. “For my five year anniversary on 12-12-12, my husband planned TWO parties. I’ll never forget it.” Her doctor’s assured her she had beat cancer — she was given the all clear. Glad to put cancer behind her, Allison scheduled a follow up mammogram two weeks after the party. She recalls how, in the early stages of her cancer, days seemed like years when waiting for results. “There was one point I went for five weeks without knowing if I would live or not.” However, when speaking of her first post-remission mammogram, she recalls her complete lack of worry, “I walked in there not worried one bit.”

Then, she got the results. It wasn’t good. The cancer had returned. Luckily it was caught early, but her doctors told her chemo wouldn’t work this time. In February 2013, Allison underwent a nine hour double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery then went on to spend three days in the cardiac ICU. Allison spent weeks sleeping in a recliner at home as it was too painful to lie down in a bed, but, in typical Allison fashion, she kept her positive attitude and sense of humor, posting hysterical quips about pain meds to her Facebook page. Allison has a third and hopefully final surgery scheduled this month. Allison described the surgery as “intense” and “painful,” but, she would do it again in an instant to know that she probably won’t have to face breast cancer again.

Allison is our role model for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. She is a force to be reckoned with, but warm and sweet at the same time. Her personality is infectious. Her eyes are full of light and kindness, yet at the same time, you immediately sense you would not want to throw down with Allison. Cancer didn’t stand a chance with this gal.

Asking Allison to share some final words of wisdom, Allison spoke of finding local support even beyond friends and family. She received from INOVA tremendous help from a local organization called, Life with Cancer. “They helped me with how to talk to my children about what was happening to mommy, and three things were key. One, it’s not your fault, two, it’s not contagious, and three, I’m going to look funny.” She also said her friends used the free scheduling service, Take Them a Meal to help schedule meals for the family. But, her biggest piece of advice was to get a mammogram. “I shouldn’t have had cancer. I didn’t fit the profile. That 10 minutes of discomfort saved my life.”

During the month of October, we will be again participating in Pink Hair for Hope, which has helped raise over $2.5 million dollars to date for cancer research and advocacy programs. Through this program, pink extensions can be added to your hair for $10, with the proceeds going to breast cancer research programs. We will also be donating $1 from every haircut in October to the local organization, the Tigerlily Foundation. And, kicking it off, we are hosting a Pink Hair for Hope night on Thursday, October 10th from 6-8 PM.