By Brie Zurschmeide
It began when her mother, Kim Castellano, lost her hair, lost her breasts, then lost her life.
Over a year later, Riley Castellano teamed up with her best friend, Anna Lockhart, to turn their loss into something meaningful. The Our Perfect Warrior Foundation formally launched Oct. 26 during a celebration at Coaches Corner in Purcellville.
The pair had been sitting on the idea of creating something special and helpful for their community and started with a few spitballs, pictures, ideas, and approached their school counselor with the idea of starting Our Perfect Warrior as a club.
The nonprofit’s name is rooted in Ed Sheeran’s hit song “Perfect,” which talks about finding your perfect love, the best women you could imagine. It was a song Kim’s husband, Mike, posted after her death, including the lyric, “I found a woman, stronger than anyone I know.”
“Because the Castellanos already had a lot of community support because of Kim, the word spread fast,” Anna said.
Anna’s mother, Meagan Lockhart, was Kim’s best friend and is helping to get the nonprofit up and running. “We want to focus in on care packages for the patient and some for the family, from there if people need more, we are willing to do more, but for now we are focusing more on packages,” she said.
To raise money, the launch party included sales of T-shirts and sweatshirts, raffles, and a silent auction. The event brought in $12,000.
Riley and Anna hope to be able to relieve families dealing with the daily challenges of cancer of some basic household needs. “We’ve already helped two families around Loudoun county as of right now, but we plan to get bigger,” Riley said.
Learn more at ourperfectwarrior.org.