Maimah Karmo is the Founder of Tigerlily Foundation and a five year survivor of breast cancer, who recently received the Congressional Black Caucus Leadership in Advocacy Award for her work with young women and breast cancer. In 2009, she spoke on Capitol Hill, alongside Representative Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, now Democratic National Committee Chair, to introduce the Breast Cancer Education and Awareness Requires Learning Young (EARLY) Act; and in October 2010, Maimah was appointed to the Federal Advisory Committee on Breast Cancer in Young Women, a committee established by the Affordable Care Act, on which she will work to develop initiatives to increase knowledge of breast health and breast cancer, particularly among women under the age of 40 and those at heightened risk for developing the disease.
On February 28, 2006, at 4:45 p.m., she was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer. She had no family history of breast cancer; and was only 32-years old. While undergoing chemotherapy, she made a promise to God that if she survived, she would create an organization that would educate, empower, advocate for and support young women affected by breast cancer. After her second round of treatment, Tigerlily Foundation was born.
Since starting Tigerlily, Maimah has dedicated her life to helping young women around the world. She is a speaker and has appeared in various media outlets, to include O, the Oprah Magazine, Essence, Ladies Home Journal, Cosmopolitan, Seventeen, Good Housekeeping, Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire, Redbook Women and Cancer, Cure Magazine and more. She has also been featured on Fox 5, ABC 7, CBS, the Oprah Winfrey Show, Good Morning America and numerous national radio stations. In 2009, Maimah was awarded a L’Oreal Paris’ Woman of Worth award, among others. Maimah is a member of the Lance Armstrong Foundation Young Adult Alliance and the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Advocates in Science program. She is also a National Breast Cancer Coalition Project LEAD graduate and is an active member of other advocacy organizations. In May 2011, she was awarded as one of Running Start’s “Women to Watch”. Most dear to Maimah’s heart is being the mother of a beautiful 8-year old girl, whom she adores.
While breast cancer was an unwelcome experience, Maimah would not give back the experience. “I’ve lived more in the past four years than I did the years before, and when I die, I want to know that I made the best use of my “after life” and impacted the lives of as many people as possible.” Maimah is dedicated to changing the breast cancer landscape and creating a legacy of a world free of breast cancer.