Kara Skaflestad, Fighting Pretty since 2008
At the age of 26 years, two months after her "Mema" passed away after a long battle with breast cancer, Kara did a self breast exam in the shower. When she found a suspicious lump in her armpit area, she went to her doctor and was told she “too young to worry.” She pushed for them to have a closer examination, only to find out that she did, in fact, have stage 3 breast cancer, which is considered to be an advanced and invasive stage of the disease.
After facing a double mastectomy, eight rounds of chemotherapy, four weeks of radiation, fertility treatments, a year of Herceptin treatments and hormone therapy that would last for a total of 10 years, Kara realized she wanted to go through this ordeal by “Fighting Pretty”—with a smile on her face, lipstick on her lips, and strength in her heart.
But it was a pair of mini pink boxing gloves given to her by her best friend's mom, Meg O'Hanlon, another breast cancer survivor, that always reminded her to stay strong and never give up.
A family friend was diagnosed a few years after Kara finished treatment. Kara knew she needed to send on her strength. So Kara packed up her boxing gloves along with some lipstick and beauty accessories and the first Pretty Package had been sent.
She knew she needed to share this attitude with other women facing similar battles, even those she didn't know, which is when Fighting Pretty was born.
She began sending care packages, known as "Pretty Packages" out of her 500 square foot apartment Brooklyn, New York, creating a personal assembly line in her bedroom.
With the help of friends and colleagues, she settled on the name and logo, and watched as her project rapidly expanded.
Fighting Pretty is now based in Portland, Oregon living with her dog (and Fighting Pretty mascot, Archie) and is recognized by the American Cancer Society, has received donations from major corporations such as Maybelline and Revlon, and even has an O.P.I. nail polish named after it (“Fighting Pretty,” naturally). Plus, Kara is working with cancer hospitals all over the country to implement a Fighting Pretty Program to give packages to patients undergoing reconstructive surgeries or chemotherapy. More significantly, over 5,000 Fighting Pretty packages have been sent to women all over the world.
Get in Touch with Kara!
If you are interested in asking Kara a cancer-related question, book a speaking engagement or more, fill out the form below with details.
Send a Pretty Package
2307 NW Hoyt Street
Portland, OR 97210