Back in 2013, I was sitting in a corporate office roughly five years after going through cancer treatment and I wanted to help women battling cancer feel strong and beautiful. My first "Pretty Package" went out the door, and thus, Fighting Pretty began.
With the COVID-19 pandemic, like many other organizations, we were hit with a stay-at-home order and I looked at Nancy and Corinne and knew there was no way we were going to continue working the way we normally would. So, we came together and decided as a team we needed to find a way to continue sharing strength - from home.
After many Zoom calls in our PJ's, we embraced this new time and had some hard conversations to figure out how to dive into our mission. We all came together with one common thought - this health crisis created even more of a need for strength among our cancer community. After chatting with followers on our social channels and hearing their anxiety, we had to continue doing something. Cancer doesn't care about COVID. So we adapted and responded.
We decided Nancy would continue to be our Director of Operations and send only our mini boxing gloves from her home. So we created a #SendingStrength program to reinforce a new focus on women in the midst of cancer treatment: women who are forced to attend exams, surgeries and infusion appointments alone through COVID-19.
Corinne, our Director of Events and Outreach immediately started reaching out to hospitals and treatment facilities around the country to send strength and encouragement to these women by donating our mini boxing gloves and notes of inspiration. Already, we have sent hundreds of our mini pink boxing gloves - full of love and strength - to seven hospitals in New Jersey, Ohio, Louisiana, Oregon and Washington. Hundreds more will be sent out through the rest of 2020.
Our nation’s recent tragedies, including the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor among so many others, have sparked reflection, conversation and a call to action among all humankind. We believe wholeheartedly: Black Lives Matter.
At Fighting Pretty, we support our Black community. The Black Lives Matter Movement has put a spotlight on a myriad of issues that have been overlooked for many, many years. This has made us reflect on our own organization and know that we can do better. We strive to provide relevant resources and lift our voice to support the women battling cancer who have not been granted the same opportunities as those of other communities.
After listening, researching, reading and watching, I found some very disturbing and scary statistics
- Minority participation in clinical trials is at an all time low – this limits our learnings on how to cure or treat specific cancer types in minority populations
- Women in rural areas are 2x as likely to die from cervical cancer as women in more urban areas
- African American women are nearly 2x as likely as white women to be diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer and 2x as likely as white people to be diagnosed with and die from multiple myeloma
- The highest rates of kidney cancer cases and death in the US occur among American Indians/Alaskan natives
- Colorectal cancer is very treatable when caught early, but it remains the third-leading cause of cancer-related deaths among African American and Hispanic populations in both men and women
- Rates of liver cancer are higher among American Indians/Alaskan Natives and Asian and Pacific Islanders than other racial/ethnic groups
Unfortunately, Fighting Pretty doesn’t have the resources to help medically treat cancer. However, we have relationships with community partners who can help and are offering resources below.
American Indian Cancer Foundation
Provides cancer education and resources to eliminate the cancer burdens of Native people through improved access to prevention, early detection, treatment, and survivor support.
Informs, supports and empowers Latina families in the Washington, DC, Richmond, VA, and Baltimore, MD, metropolitan areas whose lives are affected by cancer. Services include patient navigation, individual therapy, support groups, and peer-counseling.
Know your Girls
An online resource to close the health disparity by helping black women take charge of their breast health by knowing their risk, knowing their bodies, getting screened and talking with their doctors.
From the bottom of my heart, I promise to do better.
Cancer doesn't discriminate and neither do we.
Founder and Breast Cancer Survivor
Direct email: email@example.com