One woman’s mission to increase awareness and make a difference
by Erin Powell
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and for one York Electric Cooperative member, it’s also a time that once marked the beginning of a long, arduous journey.
At age 31, Kelly Kashmer was diagnosed with stage 2 triple negative breast cancer, setting her on a difficult path that included 10 months of chemotherapy and 11 surgeries.
“It was difficult; there was a lot of loss for me, my friends and my family,” recalls Kashmer, who was diagnosed in the month of October.
From that moment forward, Kashmer was motivated to do everything in her power to help others going through the same experience, or who were at risk. She founded NothingPink, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to increase awareness of hereditary breast and ovarian cancers and provide personalized support for individuals at high risk.
“My correlation with the color pink was everything positive,” says Kashmer, now the organization’s executive director. “It meant my girls, sunshine, cupcakes and smiles. For me and my experience with my diagnosis, there was nothing pink about breast cancer.”
Joined by a team of passionate women, Kashmer has brought the positive impact of NothingPink to the lives of women in need of support and guidance on their own journeys with breast and ovarian cancer.
Kashmer’s organization provides a local peer support program, which supplies information and shared stories of others who can understand the uniquely difficult experience of cancer. Whether an individual is at high risk, is BRCA positive or currently has cancer, they can find the help they need with NothingPink. Should a woman require surgery, NothingPink is also there to supply care packages with all the materials one might need post- surgery. Additionally, Kashmer’s group strives to provide financial assistance for those facing a variety of BRCA gene mutations, breast and/or ovarian cancer diagnosis-related difficulties, regardless of insurance status.
This Breast Cancer Awareness Month, join us in helping bring awareness to the risks of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. Kashmer reminds us, “It is important to get the conversation started. Get the preventative scans and talk about your family history. It can end up saving your life.”
Visit the Nothing Pink website to find out how to get support or how you can get involved.