Karen Wellington Foundation: How Kimberly Got Involved

What is KWF?

The Karen Wellington Foundation’s mission is simple:

“We put FUN on the calendars of women and families LIVING with breast cancer by sending them on special vacations, relaxing spa days, dinners out, concerts and other FUN-ONLY activities​. 

Our goal is to get each of the 100+ women on our ever-growing waiting list to a beach, a spa, a concert … somewhere FUN as quickly as possible. For women actively battling breast cancer, there is no time like the present! This goal will be made possible by generous people who donate a week of their vacation homes or timeshares, their airline miles, sporting event and concert tickets, or cash in order to help us connect a person in need with the chance to get away.”  (Source: KWF’s Mission)

Who Was Karen?

In Karen’s words, “I’m basically a mom, and I dabble in a lot of other things.” Yeah, a lot of things. Karen raised two young kids with her husband, played tennis, coached soccer, became an accomplished painter, ran a successful freelance retail merchandising business and even sang in a local band, “The Snake Oil Salesmen.” And lived with breast cancer for 10 years from the age of 30 to 40.

Karen liked to plan parties.  She loved celebrating for others. She didn’t like the limelight, but she was the best birthday cake designer in town, with wonderful creations of art and chocolate!

There also were many days where Karen just felt lousy. She was as human as any of us. Karen was very involved in her kid’s daily lives, volunteering as a room mother, pizza mom, soccer coach and auction volunteer for St. Ursula Villa. Every Christmas, Karen helped them express the importance of the season in the family’s yearly Christmas card, where she urged them to “be creative” and use your brain.

Karen volunteered with the Breast Cancer Alliance, the Cincinnati Youth Collaborative, the Junior League and Stepping Stones Center. Her gifts continue to live on in the work of  The Karen Wellington Foundation, the Karen Wellington Memorial Campership Fund at Stepping Stones Center, AK Steel Magnolia Award and through Foundation gifts to individuals and organizations that encourage people to LIVE more fully with breast cancer.

Karen set an extraordinary example for all of  her friends and family as someone who was courageous and victorious in overcoming obstacles with tenacity, faith, kindness and laughter, lots of laughter. Her light will shine brightly forever in the hearts of her many friends and family members and through her children Robby and Angeline.  (Source: About Karen)

How Did Kimberly Vaughn Become Involved with KWF?

Kimberly began her career in Cincinnati and focused on helping women, men and children throughout their difficult hair loss journey. After Karen’s first cancer diagnosis she knew that with treatment her hair would begin to fall out. Karen started to see Kimberly in Cincinnati

Social distancing, protection and delivering fun!

for all her hair needs. Kimberly worked with Karen throughout her entire cancer journey, Kimberly valued her time with Karen and developed an inspiring connection with her. Kimberly reminds of how Karen truly LIVED her life, despite her cancer diagnosis.

Upon moving to Nashville and taking over HPIHair Partners, Kimberly knew she wanted to remain involved with this foundation dedicated to her late client. Kimberly felt a calling to start the Karen Wellington Foundation: Middle Tennessee Chapter to bring the same mission to women LIVING with cancer in the Middle Tennessee area. Kimberly developed this chapter in 2019 with a team of devoted and caring individuals.

Kimberly’s Middle Tennessee Chapter surprised two recipients with “Fun Boxes” during the COVID-19 quarantine. These recipients will be treated to a family vacation, as well, when they feel safe to travel again.

HPIHair Partners treats hair loss for just about any reason or cause. HPI’s staff understands how devastating losing your hair to chemotherapy or radiation therapy treatments can be. Dealing with cancer can be draining physically, mentally and emotionally, and the aggressive treatments used to battle this disease can be even tougher on your confidence and comfort.

Taking control of your hair loss during treatment and recovery is the first step in the healing process.  HPIHair Partners will tailor a customized plan for every individual that walks through our door! HPI’s professional, caring team will treat you like family. The team will help restore your confidence and whether your hair loss is temporary or the result of an auto immune disease or a genetic condition.