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Conversations with Kelly Kashmer

Voyage Ohio

Nov 17, 2022

Kelly's Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kelly Kashmer. Them and their team share their story with us below:

Kelly Kashmer is the founder and Executive Director of 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. Kelly formed the organization following a positive cancer diagnosis only two weeks after a BRCA2 positive result.

After finishing chemotherapy and 11 surgeries, Kelly formed the 501(c)3 organization in order to make a difference in the lives of women in her community. From that moment forward, she has served as founder and Executive Director to increase awareness of hereditary breast and ovarian cancers and provide personalized support for individuals at high risk.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?Throughout her battle, Kelly underwent 11 surgeries in total and suffered through 10 months of chemotherapy, she was extremely sick with countless infections during the entire process, leaving her body tired and weak. The hardest part was that Kelly had two young daughters who were one and three at the time. Kelly was unable to parent and be active in their lives due to all of the surgeries and chemo she was going through. One of Kelly’s most dreaded memories of cancer was not being able to hold her one-year-old daughter and having to have assistance doing basic mom things. Imagine having to live through something that robbed you of these opportunities.

If Kelly had not been educated about genetic testing and her risk of carrying a genetic mutation, she would have never undergone genetic testing that found her mutation and would not have scheduled a mammogram. Inevitably, she would have never known that she had breast cancer. This test not only changed Kelly’s life, but it saved her life.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?What makes us Unique I’m proud to say that NothingPink is a very specific and unique organization. There are no other nonprofits in existence in the Carolina area. While we support the diagnosis of breast and ovarian cancer, our mission is prevention!

At NothingPink, we strive to educate the masses on genetic testing for hereditary breast and ovarian cancer and support those who are at risk of hereditary breast and ovarian cancers. This includes testing, appropriate scans/blood work, and possibly preventative risk-reducing surgery. Another reason we are set apart from other organizations is that we see and believe in the value of local serving. Our connection to the community is extremely invaluable. Peers are able to connect locally with individuals who are experiencing the same challenges.

Our Founder serves on the board of the Mecklenburg Breast Health Coalition to ensure no overlapping occurs and to utilize resources that are not directly part of our mission. Obtaining additional funds (specifically due to covid) this 2021 year would be extremely beneficial as we are receiving a record number of requests for financial assistance to due breast/ovarian cancer diagnosis.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?Organization Background: Our Mission Statement: “To increase awareness of hereditary breast and ovarian cancers and provide personalized support for individuals at high risk.” NothingPink is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded in 2015 in the State of South Carolina. The organization was founded by President and Executive Director, Kelly Kashmer. After receiving a positive breast cancer diagnosis only two weeks after she received a BRCA2 positive result, Kelly underwent months of testing, chemotherapy, and eleven surgeries. As a result of this incredible hardship, she formed the non-profit in order to make a difference in the lives of women in her community through awareness and support surrounding genetic testing and preventative options for breast and ovarian cancer.

Now in its 7th year of operation, NothingPink is governed by an active volunteer Board of Directors and is successfully partnered with major advocacy groups, healthcare providers, and a team of genetic counselors to promote awareness and early intervention for individuals at high risk for breast and ovarian cancers to optimize their outcomes. NothingPink is focused on providing support for women and men and their families in and around the Greater Charlotte, NC, and Fort Mill/ Rock Hill, SC areas. With the possibility of national impact, the scope for support that NothingPink provides remains localized to maintain an individualized service model for women at high risk of breast and ovarian cancer and those who are already on a cancer journey.

NothingPink is committed to:

• Providing awareness about cancer prevention through genetic testing and by sharing personal testimonies from individuals who have experienced the path of prevention.• Educating others at risk of breast and ovarian cancer by directing them to qualified genetic counselors and through our network of 1:1 meetings and support groups.• Assisting those facing a high risk of and/or currently in treatment for breast and ovarian cancer through our financial assistance program and other community resources.• Operating our organization with integrity in all legal and fiduciary responsibilities; following all reporting guidelines defined by the IRS and the Secretary of the State of South Carolina.Patient Giving ProgramNothingPink understands there are a lot of questions and decisions upon receiving genetic testing results or a cancer diagnosis. There are many different programs available including our local peer support, care package, financial support, and our BRCA Navigator page.Peer Support Program

Our local peer support program provides you with information and support whether you are at high risk, BRCA+, or currently have breast or ovarian cancer. We have women who have been through some tough times and just want to be there for you. NothingPink understands there are a lot of questions and decisions upon receiving genetic testing results or a cancer diagnosis. We also understand having someone here locally can make a huge difference. Talking with a peer who is going to local doctors and undergoing local treatments reminds us that we are “real people” going through a “real thing”. Support meetings are currently held monthly in Fort Mill, SC, and Charlotte, NC. Fill out our Support Form to find out more information about dates and locations.Care Package Program

Our care packages have been carefully curated by women who have recently had breast surgery, and include everything a woman needs post-surgery. If you or someone you know within the Carolinas is facing an upcoming breast surgery (preventative or post-diagnosis), please complete the Support Form.

Financial Assistance Program

NothingPink is dedicated to increasing awareness of hereditary breast and ovarian cancers and providing personalized support for individuals at high risk. An important step toward achieving this goal is NothingPink’s financial assistance program.

Who can apply? Assistance is for individuals who have tested positive for a BRCA gene mutation, have tested positive for a gene mutation with a breast and/or ovarian cancer diagnosis, or electing preventative surgery due to a positive BRCA gene mutation. You are eligible to apply for assistance regardless of your insurance status. Applicant must be 18 years or older

How do I get started? Apply online today through our support form.

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