ATLANTA, Nov. 14, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Diagnosed with aggressive Stage II breast cancer in 2004, Mary Ann Wasil Nilan, a mother of three, underwent eight surgeries in only 14 months. She continues to battle breast cancer every day. However, she has not stopped thriving, continuing to display determination and poise as she educates young girls about the importance of doing breast self-exams.
Her fight and dedication to the cause earned Mary Ann the honor of a Pink Power Mom by Bright Starts™, an innovative brand of infant and toddler products. She and 39 other breast cancer survivors have been selected as Pink Power Moms since 2007. For five years, Bright Starts has annually recognized eight breast cancer survivors whose lives and triumphs inspire others as part of its Pink Power Mom national program.
Creating Lasting Connections
Not only does the Pink Power Mom program celebrate remarkable women, it also serves as a bridge that connects survivors to one another and supports their choice breast cancer charities throughout the year. So far, Bright Starts has honored 40 women and made donations to their 40 respective charities from coast to coast, contributing nearly $500,000 to breast cancer awareness, research and support initiatives nationwide and reaching every state in the U.S.
"Our national program gives these extraordinary women a chance to create a legacy in the communities where they live and beyond," said Miles Bohannan, vice president of marketing for Kids II™, the parent company of Bright Starts. "We're proud to help these women expand their influence by establishing a platform for them to make connections with other survivors and get support for charities that meet their specific needs. Together with these women, we have been afforded the opportunity to make a difference across the nation."
Like so many other breast cancer survivors, Mary Ann's experience showed her how strong she truly is. She shares this message of strength with girls in grades 5-12 through The Get In Touch Foundation, her Connecticut-based non-profit whose mission is to encourage girls of all ages to "get in touch" with their bodies, information and each other. Because of this and many other reasons, Mary Ann was selected as Pink Power Mom in 2011 and then became the 2011 Pink Power Super Mom and spokesperson for the program.
Celebrating Pink Power Moms
Each year, family and friends across the U.S. nominate women who have persevered through breast cancer while courageously managing their families and making a positive impact in their communities. A panel of judges commissioned by Bright Starts selects eight winners. This year's panel of judges included celebrity actress Marcia Cross.
The company rewards the eight winners with a weekend retreat and an exclusive gala in Atlanta. This year, it has invited all previous winners – a total of 40 moms – to the "Pink & Powerful: Celebrating 5 Years Strong" weekend event, November 18-21. The highlight of the weekend is an evening at Atlanta's High Museum of Art to be held Saturday, November 19.
National winners receive a $5,000 donation to the breast cancer charity of her choice, a weekend of pampering and recognition during an annual gala. One mom will be selected as the 2012 Pink Power Super Mom and will receive an additional $20,000 donation to her charity. The other 32 moms will receive a legacy donation of $1,000, which each mom receives for an additional four consecutive years following her Pink Power Mom selection.
The 2011 Pink Power Moms and their charities are:
- Crystal Brown Tatum, Sisters Network
- Diana Klunk, Pink Out
- Jocelyn Banks, The Image Reborn Foundation
- Katherine "Cass" Capel, Save Ourselves Breast Cancer Resource Center
- Tammie Denyse, Carrie's TOUCH
- Maimah Karmo, Tigerlily Foundation
- Rebecca Byrne, We Will NOT Lay Down 2 Cancer (Dana-Farber Cancer Institute)
- Sue Glader, Nancy's List
To view a complete list of Pink Power Moms and their charities through the years, visit www.pinkpowermom.com.
About Kids II, Inc.
Kids II has been inventing and reinventing infant and toddler toys and gear for more than 40 years and has quickly become one of the world's fastest growing baby product companies. Headquartered in Atlanta, Kids II spans globally with operations in six continents serving customers in more than 70 countries. Driven by innovation, design and a comprehensive brand portfolio, Kids II is the next generation leader of infant and toddler products.
Kids II designs, markets and distributes more than 400 unique infant and toddler products, selling more than 22.8 million items per year. On average, it launches 125 new products a year. Under its flagship brands, Kids II has produced more than 100 award-winning products.
The brand portfolio strength runs deep under the Kids II umbrella, which includes its signature brands Bright Starts™, InGenuity™ and Comfort & Harmony™, as well as licenses to design and manufacture products for Disney™, Baby Einstein™, Rhino Toys™ and Taggies™.
Kids II's international affiliate operations are located in Australia, Canada, Europe, China, Hong Kong, Japan and Mexico. Visit www.kidsii.com.
SOURCE Kids II, Inc.