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Congressional Black Caucus Honors Breast Cancer Activist

Reston, VA, -- Less than a month after the historic Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act passed, which included provisions for the EARLY Act (Breast Health Education and Awareness Requires Learning Young Act, H.R. 1740), Maimah Karmo, President of the Tigerlily Foundation and key participant in the genesis and development of the EARLY Act, was awarded the 2010 Congressional Black Caucus Minority Quality Health Forum’s Leadership in Advocacy Award, for her efforts to educate young women about their breast health. Rep. Wasserman Schultz, who introduced the legislation, was also honored that night, receiving the Susan LaFlesche Picotte Award for her landmark work, including the EARLY Act. Rep. Donna Christensen, MD, also a co-sponsor of the legislation and Chair, CBC Health Braintrust, hosted the day’s events.

After being diagnosed with breast cancer at 32 years old in 2006, while undergoing chemotherapy, Karmo founded the Tigerlily Foundation to educate younger women about their breast health. Karmo was initially told she was too young to have breast cancer. After pushing for a biopsy, she was diagnosed – and later learned she had aggressive breast cancer. Younger women often have more aggressive breast cancers and higher mortality rates. Without important education about their breast health, they are often unaware about the risks. Tigerlily Foundation focuses on providing services that empower and support young women – before, during and after breast cancer.

The Foundation hosts many outreach events, and last year, held a Congressional Reception on Capitol Hill to focus on the EARLY Act legislation, and subsequently being invited to the White House to attend First Lady Michelle Obama’s Breast Health Awareness Event in October.

“More and more young women are getting diagnosed daily. Young women need to be aware of the risks, and be advocates for their own health,” Karmo said. “I thank Representative Donna Christensen and the Congressional Black Caucus for recognizing Tigerlily Foundation’s work by honoring me with the 2010 Leadership in Advocacy Award. It was also wonderful to be part of such an important piece of legislation (EARLY Act), and I look forward to continuing to impacting young women.”

About the Tigerlily Foundation
Tigerlily Foundation’s mission is to educate, advocate for, empower and provide hands-on support to young women affected by breast cancer.

According to the National Cancer Institute, breast cancer is the leading cause of death in American women ages 15-54. More than 250,000 women age 40 and under in the U.S. will be diagnosed with breast cancer during their lives, and more than 11,000 women will be diagnosed next year. Younger women often have more aggressive breast cancers and higher mortality rates. For more information, visit www.tigerlilyfoundation.org.

About Maimah Karmo
Maimah Karmo is a breast cancer survivor who was diagnosed at 32. Determined to provide resources to other young women, Karmo founded the Tigerlily Foundation in 2006, and gave the name of a beautiful flower that represents beauty, strength and transformation. She recently appeared on the “Oprah Winfrey Show,” sharing her story and encouraging young women to be their best advocates when it comes to their health.

###
Tigerlily Foundation
Anna Marszal
888-580-6253
info@tigerlilyfoundation.org
www.tigerlilyfoundation.org



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