Meet Kimberly Bragassa Airhart, Mom to Hayes (14), Kate (12), Carter (10), Harrison (8), Holden (6) and the Founder of Harts of Teal. Kim’s story is one of bravery and heroism!
What is your background? Tell us about your career.
Before kids, I had a lot of retail experience and spent time in medical device/pharmaceutical sales world for six years. I’ve mostly spent my time as a stay at home mom over the last 14 years, but I have always had a side hustle. I had a in-home custom monogramming and T-shirt business for nine years. Currently, I spend my time trying to grow and maintain a nonprofit for ovarian cancer awareness called Harts of Teal. www.hartsofteal.org
What called you to create Harts of Teal?
In 2020, I was completely devastated by a stage 3C ovarian cancer diagnosis. After a grueling treatment and fight, I found myself at the end of treatment, not knowing what to do next. How do I go back to my regular life now after all of this? I felt very isolated and scared. Social anxiety set in because of cognitive side effects from chemo. As a young mom of five, a cancer diagnosis just wasn’t on our radar. We have been through so much with my diagnosis and Covid at the same time as well as moving to get me closer to a big hospital for treatment/surgery that I felt my husband and I and especially our children had been so stressed and traumatized. Their entire life as they knew it turned upside down in one day.
I wanted to host an event that would raise awareness for ovarian cancer, but also would provide my children with a positive experience after all that they had been through. We decided to host a color run in Fayetteville in 2021. This community has been so amazing and rallied around us. We were completely blown away to be able to raise $72,000 at our first race. It’s called Harts of Teal because my last name is Airhart and Teal is the color of ovarian cancer awareness.
At that point, I felt God nudging me to go bigger with this initiative, so we decided to form a nonprofit to reach women in our area and beyond. I’ve never done anything like this before. My good friend that I met during treatment decided to jump on board with me and together we have been learning a lot about non profits and running a small business.
There are so many women that need this important information and if we can help women find ovarian cancer earlier, they have a much better experience with treatment and overall survival. Until there is a screening for ovarian cancer, knowledge is power and the signs and symptoms are all we have right now. You know your body better than anyone and if you experience changes to your body that are new for you and persistent, please talk to your doctor.
What is the best thing about your job?
The best thing about my job is that it is very rewarding to feel like I am hopefully making a difference in this world and hopefully saving women’s lives. Ovarian cancer is a very serious diagnosis. It’s also very isolating. So many women don’t know the signs and symptoms. I like to educate women on what to look for and to advocate for themselves and their health. The other rewarding part of Harts if Teal is meeting new people, especially the women who walk this tough road with me. The friendships that I have made through starting this organization have changed my life forever and I feel very blessed to have made these relationships. This is a diagnosis that is very near and dear to my heart as a Survivor and I don’t want any other woman to walk this road alone.
What is your best “Working Mom” tip?
I think I’m still trying to figure that out, but I think that there is a balance between both where you can feel like you’re doing well at your job and doing well with your children and your house. It’s a lot to juggle for a mom and I have surely not got it all figured out. I feel like if I keep God in the picture, he leads me and gives me strength when I don’t have any.
What is your favorite “Mom Hack”?
I don’t know if I have one, but one of the best inventions that we have discovered is called Nap Up. It literally hold your kids head up when they fall asleep in their car seat and it has been awesome.
What do you love about Peachtree City and the surrounding areas?
I love living in Peachtree city because this town has a lot to offer. There’s so many different kinds of people and it feels like a small town but you’re still close enough to the city as well so you kind of get the best of both worlds.
After growing up in Alpharetta, most of my life, we had moved to Mississippi for my husband’s job in 2014. I was super nervous, but I was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked a slower pace lifestyle and no traffic. So when we moved back to Georgia, I knew that I wanted a smaller atmosphere that still had a lot to offer and Peachtree City seemed perfect. Mr brother and his family live here as well and it’s been really fun to live in the same town and have the kids be really close. My parents live here now too which is a huge blessing.
What T.V. show are you loving right now? Movie? Book? Podcast?
Gosh, I never get a chance to watch TV but when I do I love court dramas. My current favorite show is Yellowstone and I also loved the Ozarks.
Is there anything else you would like to share Moms?
I’m very outgoing and an open book so if there’s any questions that you have to ask me about my experience with ovarian cancer, having five kids or just anything in general, I would love to meet up with you and get to know you too.