January 18, 2012 was like any other day in my busy mom life: carpool, meetings, conference calls, grocery runs, the usual. Until I got a phone call from my dear friend and Smarty co-worker, Kaylee. She told me she had a chest X-ray and they found a mass on her lung – which was the last thing I expected to hear. Four years ago, I got the exact same call and a week later, it was the worst day of my life when I lost Jen Bunich. So I tried to compose myself and sound strong, but I was terrified for what was to come.
Lucky for us and after tons of tests, Kaylee does not have the scary, scary lung cancer like Jen. But she does have a cancer, Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, and is currently engrossed in the fight of her life. What is bringing us comfort is that Kaylee’s prognosis is really good, but she has a 6-month fight ahead of her with intense chemotherapy and with that, hair loss.
So I was desperately trying to think of something that I can do to lift my special girlfriend up during her battle. To me, hair loss makes cancer official, there’s no denying it and no turning back. Your reflection will now scream “I have cancer!” and maybe people will look at you differently.
I put my thinking cap on – how would I handle my own battle with cancer and hair loss? What would I do to make my HUGE head (trust me, I was born with a crazy round and big head:-) a little prettier? It came to me in pink and green fashion as always. Enter our wonderful friends at Lilly Pulitzer SouthPark. God love those bright and cheery gals!
We decided to have our Smarty family all wear Lilly scarves for a week and walk in Kaylee’s shoes as she enters this next stage of treatment. We summoned the smiling dedicated face of the best photographer in town, Brooke Brown, and we decided to start a Smarty movement here in the Queen City.
We will be wearing these scarves 24/7 (with the exception of working out, we don’t want to ruin our silk!) this week. Each one of us represents the love and support we have for our girlfriend and all of the other girlfriends out there in Charlotte facing the fight of their lives, no matter how big or small. We invite you to stop us and say hello and we can share a prayer, even better snap a photo and load to our facebook page and we can share it there. Maybe even share your story on our facebook wall and together, let’s lift up this entire Smarty community – in honor of our Kaylee and all of the other women out there. A pay it forward so to speak.
(All of these photos were taken when we surprised Kaylee with “the plan”! Not photographed: Krista & Wendy, but they’ll be up on facebook)
Bloggers include myself (you can’t miss me in the Smarty Party!), Courtenay, Susan, Cheryl, Lisa, Wendy, and our newest Smarty sister, Jen Voorhees. And let me tell ya, there was not a second of hesitation when I presented the plan! We will be in meetings, presentations, airplanes, dance lines, soccer games, you name it, we’ll be there with what looks to be a bald head hidden under a gorgeous pink & green scarf.
A Lilly Giveaway!
We invite you to join our movement, lift up Kaylee and lift up our community this week. Lilly Pulitzer SouthPark wants Y-O-U to be a part of it and is giving one lucky Smarty a free Murfee scarf, value $118. We will select our winner on Sunday, May 20th. The winner will be selected based on the story and interaction that moves us.
Have a wonderful Monday, Smarty Charlotte!