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Posted On: 31 May 2021 01:00 pm
Updated On: 31 May 2021 12:17 pm

Teal Society: Shining light on gynecological cancers and building a community of women

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Raising awareness about the various forms of gynecological cancers is The Teal Society's mission. Launched on March 8, 2020, in Qatar during International Women's Day, The Teal Society is a 501 C3 nonprofit organization and a community of women who have been affected by gynecological cancers.

The LA-based non-profit organization is founded by Nicole ‘NickiiJean’ Alexander to help and build a community of women who have experienced cancer - directly or indirectly. She's from Pasadena, California, and an Applied Behavior Analysis Therapist by profession.

She founded the organization to help provide a platform that encourages women to lead a healthy lifestyle and talking about reproductive health in order to prevent or decrease the chances of developing cancer, as well as emphasizing the importance of early detection.

"Our goal is to build free clinics and deliver care packages around the world to help women that are affected by this disease while going through chemotherapy. We would like to host conferences, fundraisers, and partner with sponsors to help fund the clinics and provide the proper resources needed to educate globally," according to NickiiJean.

The team got in touch with Nicole 'NickiiJean' Alexander to find out more about The Teal Society (TTS) in this short interview!

ILQ: How long have you been in Qatar and how has your journey been so far?

the teal society founder nicole alexander
Image credit: The Teal Society

Nicole Alexander: I’ve been in Qatar for over 5 years now and it’s been one of the most amazing experiences I’ve had to date. The journey has been life-changing and I’m forever grateful to consider Qatar as my chosen home.

ILQ: How did you get into these initiatives? How did you start?

Nicole Alexander: I’ve grown up in a community that worked very hard to pour back into its very own community. I joined almost all the outreach programs to help our community back in California, so these initiatives have always been a significant part of my being. I started back in high school helping after-school and at several neighborhood fundraisers.

ILQ: When did you know you wanted to take up this kind of responsibility?

Nicole Alexander: Growing up in Pasadena, California, giving back to the community is part of our culture. There were several community outreach programs and organizations that dedicated time and effort to uplift the community as well as upholster the infrastructure and redefine what we stand for.

My mother was an advocate herself. She dedicated most of her time to raising awareness and helping the community so this became second nature to me. I started getting into these initiatives on my own after losing her to gynecological cancer as her loss was a shifting point in my life as I felt that I had lost my entire world. That’s when I knew, I had to keep her legacy going for as long as I can.

ILQ: Tell us about your journey with The Teal Society in Qatar?

Nicole Alexander: Initially, the idea of raising awareness about gynecological cancer arose after losing my mother to one of its forms. It turned me into a devoted advocate and to say that it was smooth sailing from the beginning would be far from the truth, but I am determined to raise awareness and build a supportive community on a global spectrum.

To be honest, I was nervous about launching it in Qatar because I wasn’t sure how it would be perceived or welcomed by the community here, but I’m extremely overwhelmed by the tremendous support we’ve received so far.

ILQ: What most often inspires your journey as the founder of The Teal Society? Where do you draw your inspiration from?

Nicole Alexander: This is a tough question as I am constantly inspired. There are several situations, people, and circumstances that keep me inspired throughout this journey. It is a great feeling when you hear that a woman was encouraged to go get a checkup done after attending one of our events or writes to us about how she’s grateful for our platform as it helped her with early detection, or even men who were more supportive of their wives going through these difficult circumstances. These are milestones in my journey as the founder of The Teal Society.

ILQ: What are the current activities or initiatives of The Teal Society?

the teal society gynecological cancers
Image credit: The Teal Society

Nicole Alexander: September is gynecological awareness month. We are planning to host a community event to acknowledge and educate about the different types of cancers that fall under the gynecological umbrella. We tend to host these types of events to help with the bigger picture, which is providing care packages for women going through chemotherapy around the world.

ILQ: Was it easy to set up? What is the biggest difficulty you have faced?

Nicole Alexander: I wouldn’t narrow it down to easy or difficult, but it was certainly a challenge. In fact, The Teal Society was called “Walking For Mommy” back when I launched it in 2014 but I knew I wanted it to be more than just a local non-profit. I wanted to go global. And so, I did. It became a 501 C3 non-profit organization called The Teal Society in 2020.

The biggest difficulty I’ve faced would be challenging my inner self to keep going with the purpose I am determined to pursue.

ILQ: What is The Teal Society's biggest achievement so far?

Nicole Alexander: We would say that the biggest achievement is getting the community to normalize talking about such a “taboo” topic and women taking the lead in taking care of their reproductive health and getting Pap smears done.

ILQ: What's next for The Teal Society in Qatar and abroad?

Nicole Alexander: This coming season we will continue to provide a safe space for women to share their stories with each other. Our next goal is to turn the city teal for the month of September. We would like to work with many businesses around the country to help bring more awareness to the color of the ribbon. This will help continue a conversation that we had initiated back in March 2020.

Why the color teal? That’s the perfect opportunity to introduce a new person to our Teal-family and the mission behind the movement.

ILQ: What is The Teal Society's message for the people of Qatar?

Nicole Alexander: First, we would like to thank Qatar for welcoming The Teal Society with open arms and starting the conversation about gynecological health. We are here to help women across the world to detect, protect, and eliminate, these different types of cancers together.

The Teal Society details:

Do you know of someone who’s got an exceptional talent or is making a difference in our Qatar community? Drop us a line in the comments below and you could see them highlighted in Qommunity Voices!