A recent New York Times article, “ My Brain on Chemo, Alive and Alert”, held my feet to the fire to recognize the routines in my life I sometimes abhor. Only good health affords us the priviledge of ignoring gratitude and bliss in favor of blurred images of how we spend our precious time here.
That’s why, when Marisa at the National Women’s Health Resource Center told me about Mary Beth Maida, a breast cancer survivor, and her book, “Beauty Pearls for Chemo Girls”, I knew I had to bring her story to you all. Like Lisa Martinez says, “we are all survivors of breast cancer” since we know more women each year who are diagnosed with this condition, threatening to affect one in eight women over a lifetime. That’s way too common but the good news is that more women are surviving today, based on earlier diagnosis and earlier, better treatments.
With that said, women’s health research shows and personal experience magnifies the fact that personal empowerment is absolutely key for women surviving breast cancer. Enter Mary Beth and her partner Debbie Kiederer, a dynamic and passionate duo who have just launched Beauty Pearls for Chemo Girls – the first-ever community dedicated to women who want to look and feel their best while they deal with the side effects of cancer treatment. They believe that every woman dealing with cancer deserves to look and feel as close to normal as her energy and her spirit will allow.
Marybeth Maida is a journalist and breast cancer survivor who has worked in television, film and web for more than 20 years. She is Chief Operating and Strategy Officer for Public News Service, an independent, state based network dedicated to producing news in the public interest; President of the Beauty Foundation for Women’s Cancer Care, and vice president of the Red Bank Borough Education Foundation. Marybeth lives in New Jersey with her husband and children.
Debbie Kiederer is a 25 year veteran of the retail cosmetics industry, a digital strategist, and Founder and Principal of ChalkDust Consulting. She is an executive board member of the Hunt Hill Farm Trust, Skitch Henderson’s Cultural Center; an advisory board member of the New Canaan YMCA Diving Parents’ Association; board member of the Beauty Foundation for Women’s Cancer Care, and a member of Cosmetic Executive Woman (CEW) and the Metropolitan Executive and Professional Registry. Debbie lives in New York with her husband and children.