It all started with mini pink boxing gloves and some hot pink lipstick.
- Kara Skaflestad, Founder of Fighting Pretty
Since becoming a 501 c(3) non-profit organization in 2013, Fighting Pretty moved from Kara's apartment in New York City to a headquarters in Portland, Oregon, with two part-time employees. In just a few years, Fighting Pretty has impacted over 10,000 women battling all types of cancer in 50 U.S. states and 16 countries globally. Plus, Fighting Pretty has received over $1 million worth of product donations from top cosmetic brands to send to women battling cancer.
Kara and Fighting Pretty have been recognized by Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie on the Today Show, Kara has been featured as an "empowered woman who empowers women" by Gap Body, and was the Ulta Beauty survivor featured in the 2018 October global advertising campaign.
In January of 2020, Kara underwent another surgery to have her breast implants removed due to the recall on her textured, tear drop shaped, Allergan implants. She is currently "flat and fabulous" and has just reached her 11th year as a cancer survivor!
Kara works full time as the Marketing Manager at the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute and devotes her life to helping cancer patients through their fight. Kara now lives healthy and happily in Oregon with her soon-to-be husband Ben, his daughter Aubrey and dogs Archie and Zulu.
Fighting Pretty founder, Kara Skaflestad had just mourned the death of her Mema, who passed away after a long battle with breast cancer. Kara was in the shower when she performed her first self-breast exam and found a suspicious lump in her armpit area. In December of 2008, at just 26 years old, she went to her doctor and was told she was “too young to worry.” Kara pushed for 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.
Kara faced a double mastectomy, eight rounds of chemotherapy, four weeks of radiation, fertility treatments, a year of Herceptin treatments. This was followed by 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.
The Journey of the Fighting Pretty Gloves
The women featured in this photo are three out of five women who were given strength through these original pink gloves.
The gloves were originally given to Kara Skaflestad (middle) by Meg O'Hanlon. Kara sent them to Jen Lincoln, who then sent to Sandy Sopp. Sandy sent them to Dorothy Schilder (on right), who passed them to Janet Boname (on left). Janet gave them back to her daughter, Jen.
Jen and Sandy both epitomized Fighting Pretty every moment of their lives and went to heaven knowing they were strong and beautiful. Jen's sister, Carol gave the gloves back to Kara in 2017.
Fighting Pretty HQ:
2300 SW 1st Avenue
Portland, OR 97201