Kiana Wooten

Kiana Wooten shares with us that, “I am 39 years old. I am a wife, mother, author, chef, and breast cancer model. I also serve as a breast cancer advocate for the Tigerlily Foundation, American Cancer Society, and NCCS (National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship). I just became a brand ambassador for Stand Tall AFC (Aesthetic Flat Closure). I wear many hats!”

Before you became the business titan you are today, enlighten us about the thrilling adventures of your pre-business life.

I would say my life was pretty ordinary. I worked as a chef (and still do). Life is very unpredictable. Even when you think you have it all figured out, life does happen. And sometimes it’s out of your control. Being diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer at 34 turned my life upside down. Learning that I had a mutated gene was devastating. I opted for a bilateral mastectomy. I developed sepsis 2 times and was hospitalized many times. This was all at the beginning of 2020. It was so scary not being able to have my family around at the hospital. I truly did not think that I would survive this ordeal, but the world had different plans for me.

Could you elaborate on the nature of your initiative/ business/current role, highlighting its purpose and the ways it benefits people?

As much as I love working with other organizations, I knew I wanted something more. I wanted to give more. Cancer has had such a negative impact on my life, and I wanted to do something to change it. I thought about what I was missing during treatments and what I needed. That’s when I came up with the idea of care packages. There were so many things that would have made my healing process better, but I was never told about them, and some things I just honestly could not afford. I started a non-profit organization, called The Breast Decision Foundation. I provide essential supplies for breast cancer patients going through treatment and surgeries. My care packages consist of mastectomy pillows, drain covers, port seat belt covers, chemo hats, chemo socks, and skin and lip moisturizers.

What has been the response of the users/consumers towards your venture?

When people receive my care packages, they are so happy and grateful. I had one person call me crying because she was so grateful. For me, it gives me great satisfaction to know that I helped make someone happy, even for a moment. In April, I received a World Peace Award from the Women’s Federation of World Peace New Jersey Division. I was so honored. I also did my first professional photo shoot called Women Warriors. The photographs taken of me won 2 awards in Oregon. It was such a powerful moment for me.

Having a strong support system is essential for your well-being. We would love to know who your biggest supporter is. Share with us and let’s celebrate the amazing people in our lives who make a positive impact.

I think my family and my dynamic 7 sisters (breast cancer thrivers) have been my biggest supporters. They are always encouraging me and uplifting my spirits when I start to feel down. They help me remember how strong I am and just how far I have come. And that I am capable of doing anything if I put my mind to it.

As a young woman entrepreneur, what changes do you hope to see in the world and what opportunities are you seeking?

I want people to genuinely help others in need without the expectation of something in return. I want women no matter their ethnicity, race, age, social status, religion, or sexual orientation, to be treated equally and to empower and build each other up. Sometimes it seems that we are so embarked on competing with one another, that we forget that we can learn a great deal from each other. Together, the possibilities of what we can accomplish are endless!

Women now stand shoulder-to-shoulder with men in the workplace, breaking through glass ceilings to reach the top. What are your thoughts on women’s leadership today?

I feel like women have ALWAYS been in leadership roles, it’s just that society is just giving us the recognition we have long deserved. Think about who would stay at home and tend to the children, and the house, cook, and clean. That’s leadership!

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