Fight Like A Girl

by Linh Sasser
Communications Coordinator & Bookkeeper
Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits

Tenacious is defined as: tending to keep a firm hold of something; clinging or adhering closely.

Teal: The color used in support and awareness of ovarian cancer.

In late 2012, founder of Tenaciously Teal, Tarah Warren was diagnosed with Stage IV ovarian cancer.  With support from her friends and family, Tarah was able to “Fight like a girl” to become a cancer survivor.

During her treatments, Tarah saw other warriors without the same support she had. She thought of what is it she can do to provide support for those who have none. She began to make note of the things she used every day during her chemotherapy treatments. Such items lip balm, tissues, journals, power bars and electrolyte drinks. Tarah began making cancer care packets for those who were receiving treatment as well.

Tarah wrote a blog titled Tenaciously Teal following her journey as a cancer warrior. After completing treatment, she wanted to do more for those still battling cancer. Her faith led her to continue building cancer care packages for those receiving cancer treatment, to encourage others to “fight like a girl” and thusly becoming the moto of Tenaciously Teal.

With the support of friends, family and other cancer survivors who had received cancer care packages from Tarah, she turned her blog and her desire to care for others into a nonprofit.

In 2017, Tarah, her one staff member and volunteers continue to distribute cancer care packages to cancer fighters at 15 treatment centers across the state of Oklahoma. In addition to providing cancer care packages, Tenaciously Teal gives $100 gas and grocery cards to those receiving treatment. These cards assist in getting patients to and from treatment and to help with the loss in wages while receiving treatment.

One of the most powerful services Tenaciously Teal provides is the Brave Shave Empowerment photo shoots (Brave Shaves). The idea came forth when Tarah began to lose her hair during treatment. In Tarah fashion, she refused to let the hair-loss control how she identified herself as a cancer warrior. She invited her friends over to help shave her head. Though there were tears, there were more laughs and memories made, even with the loss of her hair, she continued to fight.

Tarah realized how empowering it was to shave her hair on her own terms. She wanted to do this for other cancer fighters. Tenaciously Teal schedules a Brave Shave with a photo shoot, makeup artist and reception (if desired) for friends and family. These Brave Shaves help to bring supporters into the ring with their fighter. Brave Shaves are held 1 to 2 times at month in partnership with various salons in Oklahoma City.

Tenaciously Teal does more than just provide care and comfort to those in Oklahoma, but across the United States. For a $5 donation, individuals can have a cancer care package mailed to a cancer warrior in the United States.

Tarah and Tenaciously Teal volunteers, according to the sign outside their door, have distributed more than 10,000 cancer care packages in Oklahoma, and are planning to continue distributing as many as they can.

On December 11 at University Christian Church in Norman, volunteers will gather together to accept donations and fill the cancer care packages for distribution, in hopes to remind all those with the diagnosis to be like Tarah and fight like a girl. Volunteers and donations of needed items are still being accepted.

For more information about Tenaciously Teal and how to donate, volunteer or send a cancer care package, visit their website at #TTeal

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