Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Digging Pretty at Livonia Stevenson High School

Last fall, volleyball coach Beth Bushey organized a fundraiser with her high school volleyball team. Beth is the volleyball coach at Livonia Stevenson High School in Michigan where the team held different events during one week to hit their goal of raising $1000. In the end, they graciously donated $1,245 to Fighting Pretty!

From Beth:

Fighting Pretty lifted my sisters spirits during her treatment. I love that Kara is a survivor that began the organization to help others. We wanted to be a part of something that we know will make a difference to women battling cancer. 

The girls were excited to be involved. Many had never heard of Fighting Pretty before I told them we would play to raise money for them. Many checked out the website and started following on social media. It helped bring awareness to another organization other than the big ones so many people support. 

I would love to make a tradition out of this. Not only help Fighting Pretty, but other smaller organizations that need awareness for all the good they do to help those in need. Woman battling cancer hit homes for me, but I don't want to exclude others that need help. If we could support an organization each month of the season, I would love to do that!
We were able to raise $1245 through selling pink bracelets, Penny Wars, and a bake sale at the game. 

Thanks for everything you do!!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Fabulous Materials Needed in 2016!

In 2016, Fighting Pretty is up to good things. We are making partnerships, we are getting brand ambassadors to raise awareness and we are connecting with hospitals to distribute Pretty Packages. But we are struggling with get materials donated!

We know our followers on social media have big hearts and big networks, so we wanted to ask for your help. Do you know anyone that could donate any of the following in bulk (minimum of 100)?

  • Stamps ~ we like to send out mailers to all ladies Fighting Pretty! In fact, next week, we are sending out coloring sheets from students around the country with "Lots and Lots of Love for Valentine's Day!"

  • Socks ~ we are looking for socks that are bright colors, say something inspiring on them, or are just cozy and lovely. They are a perfect addition to our Pretty Packages for all ladies in treatment! (Those exam rooms are freezing!)

  • Lipstick ~ Mary Kay has been donating a ton! But we are running out! Anyone work for an organic cosmetic company that can donate some bright pink lipstick? 

  • Scarves ~ we purchase these quarterly...and they don't go down in price, the more you buy. Anyone work for a retailer that would donate bright colored, beautiful scarves for us? Please?
  • Ribbon ~ we use ribbon for our Pretty Packages so when every lady who gets one, opens it up just like a present. We love using sparkles, pink, gold or silver. 

So if you're looking for a way to donate, but you don't necessarily want to donate cash, please consider using your coupons at Michaels for ribbon, reaching out to your old high school friend who runs a beauty company, or picking up an extra roll of stamps at the post office. Send them to us, so - together - we can help women battling cancer feel strong and beautiful! 

If you are interested in donating, please send to: 
Fighting Pretty, 2645 SW Maple Lane, Portland, OR 97225 ATTN: Kara Dolce
We will be forever grateful (and can send you a tax receipt of course!)

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Inspiration from Steve Jobs

I found this article as I was looking through my Facebook feed, and was shocked to find this is the first time I read it. As we all know too well, life is short. Life is worth living and we all need to stop and smell the roses while we are here to enjoy them. 

Read on for some inspiration from one of the most treasured men in the history of technology. We know him as a symbol of success, though he says he has little joy.  Read on for the last words of Steve Jobs:
"I have come to the pinnacle of success in business.In the eyes of others, my life has been the symbol of success.However, apart from work, I have little joy. Finally, my wealth is simply a fact to which I am accustomed. 

At this time, lying on the hospital bed and remembering all my life, I realize that all the accolades and riches of which I was once so proud, have become insignificant with my imminent death. 

In the dark, when I look at green lights, of the equipment for artificial respiration and feel the buzz of their mechanical sounds, I can feel the breath of my approaching death looming over me. 

Only now do I understand that once you accumulate enough money for the rest of your life, you have to pursue objectives that are not related to wealth. 

It should be something more important:For example, stories of love, art, dreams of my childhood.No, stop pursuing wealth, it can only make a person into a twisted being, just like me. 
God has made us one way, we can feel the love in the heart of each of us, and not illusions built by fame or money, like I made in my life, I cannot take them with me. 
I can only take with me the memories that were strengthened by love.This is the true wealth that will follow you; will accompany you, he will give strength and light to go ahead. 

Love can travel thousands of miles and so life has no limits. Move to where you want to go. Strive to reach the goals you want to achieve. Everything is in your heart and in your hands. 
What is the world's most expensive bed? The hospital bed.
You, if you have money, you can hire someone to drive your car, but you cannot hire someone to take your illness that is killing you.
Material things lost can be found. But one thing you can never find when you lose: life. 
Whatever stage of life where we are right now, at the end we will have to face the day when the curtain falls. 

Please treasure your family love, love for your spouse, love for your friends...Treat everyone well and stay friendly with your neighbours."

Friday, December 4, 2015

Holiday Gifts for Ladies Fighting Pretty

When someone you love is battling cancer, we know, you want to help. You want to save them from this cancer journey and help them feel strong, beautiful and loved! Have you ordered them a Pretty Package yet? If not, click here and do it now! 

If you already have...now what? Well, here are some really great gift ideas for the ladies in your life who are Fighting Pretty!

Find these items at the following sites:
AnaOno Intimates
Victoria's Secret
Sock Dreams
Etsy / Fighting Pretty

Have any other great ideas? Share with us! Happy Shopping! 

So this is Christmas, for weak & for strong!

So this is Christmas | And what have you done?
Another year over. 
A new one just begun.

So this is Christmas | I hope you have fun.
Near and the dear ones. 
Old and the young....

...Let's hope it's a good one...without any fear.

So this is Christmas | For weak and for strong. 
For rich and poor ones. The world is so wrong. 

So happy Christmas | For black and for white.

For yellow and red ones. 

Let's stop all the fight.

War is over, if you want it.

Every year around this time, I write a similar blog post because I can't help but have old feelings about this time of year. In 2008, I was living in New York City - the most wonderful place during this time of year. Lights were twinkling in the huge Macy's Department Store in Herald Square around dusk when I got the call at the office that I - me - 26-year-old Kara - was diagnosed with breast cancer. My new office crush, Nate Dolce, had asked me out all week long and I was looking forward to our first real Friday night date with him! But instead, I was crying in a cab on the phone with my mom on my way home from work.

That's when December became the best / worst month of the year. In 2008, I was scared. I was mad. I was afraid. But... I was newly in love. And somehow, everything around me sparkled.

I remember hearing Sarah's McLaughlin's version of "Happy Xmas" and sitting in my apartment with a (huge) glass of wine and tears running down my cheeks. Knowing that 2009 - the year ahead - would be a year of cancer, this song became so full of hope for me. I kept thinking, next year at this time, in December of 2009, I will be able to look back and listen to this song and think "What have I done? I beat cancer! Another year over. A new one just begun. Thank God! So this is Christmas...for weak and for strong! I am strong, I am amazing! 

And now at 7 years since diagnosis (YEY!), I am happy to say "War is OVER! And let's hope for a good year...without any fear!" 

As we approach the holiday season, and 2016, I wish you all the best for many years to come. Stay strong, don't ever give up and keep on Fighting Pretty ladies! Have hope that you too will know that your war is over!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Pucker up with Red Apple Lipstick

We are so excited to announce we will be featuring paraben-free and gluten-free Red Apple Lipstick lip balm in our Pretty Packages for December! As the weather gets cold, keep those lips full of moisture so you can kiss your loved one under the mistletoe this Christmas. Check out founder Kara Dolce and newest member of the Fighting Pretty team, Kelly Delaney trying out the sample color - also included in your December Pretty Package!

So if you haven't ordered a Pretty Package for the lady in your life who is battling cancer, be sure to order one before December 15th so we can get it out in time for Christmas! 

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Pink is just a color

Fighting Pretty would like to introduce Alexis ~ a gorgeous MD who has had her share of cancer woes. You may have seen some pretty amazing photos of her in our newsletter, other blog posts or even on Facebook. She is incredible, she is strong, she is beautiful and truly Fighting Pretty! Alexis is a guest blogger of ours who shares her insight on her feelings around October and how we need to remember that pink is just a color.


I'm not angry.  Though I think most people expect me to be.  However, I will admit: October is a difficult month for me, and what I can only imagine are so many other stage 4 breast cancer survivors.  Pink has taken on an entirely different meaning to me.  Once my favorite color that flooded my wardrobe, baby pink, hot pink, fluorescent pink and all variations are no longer a benign hue in the spectrum of a color I once loved. 

When I was first diagnosed, pink meant sisterhood.  But as I began to see more and more pink: at car washes, ribbons on the sides of soup cans, on the sides of trucks hauling cargo across country, I began to wonder if it was losing its meaning altogether. The "October Walks" feature women infantilized  in pink boas, tutus and pink hair extensions.  Sometimes I feel very frustrated, because it doesn't seem like they are taking this extremely serious disease seriously enough.  And despite all of this awareness, I wonder how women can continue to skip their mammograms yearly? And then I wonder, not only as a survivor but as a physician: are these pink-washed awareness events effective at all?  

I feel like a veteran in this war; having survived with breast cancer for the past two and a half years. Yet its hard to not feel your foundation shattered and your resolve broken at times; having progressed from stage 3 to stage 4, enduring chemotherapy four times, and countless other therapies which failed me.  Yet I am a veteran, a veteran at age 33, but I don't wear a pink uniform. The founding force behind Fighting Pretty, Kara Dolce, once sent an inspirational card to me:  "Accept all that the day brings forth to you as a gift". I keep this on my mantle, it is the first thing I see when I awake every morning, and I'm writing now as an open letter; a call to arms.  To not become hard after life has challenged you the way it has for me.  To not allow cancer to win by destroying your heart, and your hope. When you do wake up, thank God, whatever spiritual entity you believe in, or simply yourself for the moment to live another day.  Stage 4 isn't easy.  Its full of ups and downs, disappointments and small victories.  Please don't think this is a life sentence of misery and solitude.  Work if you can, see friends, spend time with family, take a vacation, make a life move, LET YOURSELF FALL IN LOVE, (and hate the color pink if you want to).  But please, don't be angry.  You are still alive, you still have the capability to to all of these things; cancer cannot take that away from you.  Don't let yourself feel like you're dying. And if you cannot move past that fear: a stage all of us may fall in and out of at times; just remember: As much as death is a part of life, LIFE IS what you are experiencing here and now.  

Pink is just a color. October is a month full of beautiful fall leaves, pumpkins, seasonal beers and coffees, and one of my favorite holidays: Halloween.  Though its hard because it is the month that challenges my strength by forcing me to consistently acknowledge something painful that I am already reminded of daily, I am thankful that it may spark the curiosity of women to perform self breast exams, follow through with their annual cancer screening protocols, and consider the struggle of all survivors.  For me, I try to fill the days with "not-pink-related" events. The days between my scans, chemotherapy and doctors appointments can simply be October days that I share with my loved ones, colleagues and mentors. And of course I always remember: This is a fight, not only a fight against cancer but a fight against the demons that can overcome us and fill us with fear, loss of hope and the feeling that we aren't physically beautiful anymore.  That is not true ladies.  Put on your best lipstick, buy a sexy wig, throw on high heels and take on this disease as the beautiful and fearless fighter you are.  ENJOY the compliments! You deserve them, and when life gives you lemons: don't make lemonade...bake a chocolate cake in heels and leave them all wondering how you did it.    (Footnote: the heels don't have to be pink ;) )

With love,