Pink power moms unite

This weekend I was surrounded by 40 powerful women, all mothers, all breast cancer survivors. We gathered in Atlanta, the home base of Kids II,a Georgia-based company that makes infant toys and educational products. Since 2007, Kids II has identified eight Pink Power Moms annually from around the country, women who have made a difference since their diagnosis. Kids II honors the women by supporting the nonprofit of her choice. These women were nominated because they have created solutions where they saw need in their communities. One mom decided there needed to be waiting rooms for the children, another decided to create a program for young women and another created Breastfriends, which teaches friends and family how to support a person with cancer.What is wonderful about these initiatives is that they are locally grown and supported and reflect the energy of women. The programs are as varied as the women, who come from more than 20 states. You can read about each one and her mission on the Pink Power Mom website. I was particularly impressed with the organization created by Mary Ann Wasil Nilan. She was initially diagnosed in 2004 and founded the Get in Touch Foundation to educate young girls about breast cancer and encourage breast self exams. She created an interactive tool called the Daisy Wheel that is aimed at girls in grades 5 to 12 to encourage BSE. Since launching the Daisy Wheel earlier this year, it has been downloaded globally. Nilan, the mother of three, was named the Pink Power Super Mom by Kids II this year, an honor that brought with it a $20,000 check for her endeavor. Nilan brought her daughter with her for the weekend, as many of us did, and it was hard to know that she is also dealing with a recurrence this year in her spine and bones. But, it has yet to slow her down.In all these women, many of whom are metastatic, comes the power for change. And that is strong stuff.