How the Northwest Arkansas Metsquerade came to be:

Co-founders, Kelli and LisaPink ribbons are all around us in October and April announcing the seasons of Breast Cancer “awareness” throughout the country. Hundreds of millions of dollars are raised nationally for Breast Cancer, but a very small portion of this money is being allocated for Metastatic Breast Cancer (MBC). And while there is plenty of giving going on, there are very few advocates and organizations for MBC. One of our local outspoken advocates is Kelli Parker of Bella Vista, Arkansas. She was diagnosed at 26 with stage 1 breast cancer and metastasized to stage 4 by the age of 33. She did everything the early detection/awareness campaigns said she was supposed to do—double mastectomy, chemotherapy, radiation, hysterectomy, hormonal therapy, and more. Kelli realized that the current awareness and early detection approach is not working and is fighting for Metastatic Breast Cancer patients around the country and world.

One of the organizations she supports is METAvivor, a non-profit run primarily by women with MBC, which uses 100% of donations for research. 100%–this is unheard of in the non-profit sector. Imagine donating money to an organization that will maximize every dollar toward its goal. Knowing that the only key to making MBC a controllable chronic illness instead of a terminal one is more research, Kelli decided to throw her support to METAvivor.

In 2016 she came up with The First Annual Northwest Arkansas METSquerade idea as a way for the local community to specifically support the individuals with the only breast cancer that kills. She joined forces with another Northwest Arkansas woman with MBC, Lisa Quinn, to help make the Metsquerade happen. Lisa, age 37, was diagnosed with MBC in July 2015. She had no previous history with breast cancer. The idea behind the Metsquerade is to provide METAvivor with additional money to help research MBC, raise awareness to MBC, and to acknowledge the women and men living with metastatic breast cancer.

Past Success

The NWA Metsquerade has been very successful with fundraisers that include the annual gala, Runway IV Research, a national fundraiser called the Metaribbon Challenge, and several other smaller fundraisers.  Since 2016, the team has donated over $1.15 million for metastatic breast cancer research.  The NWA Metsquerade is the largest fundraiser for Metavivor in the country.

2019 Sponsors

We would like to thank the 2019 sponsors:  Presenting Sponsor, Johnson & Johnson; Fund-a-Grant Sponsor, St. Luke’s Koontz Center for Advanced Breast Cancer; Diamond Sponsors, 40/29 & the Arkansas CW, Spot Light Sponsor, Sam’s Furniture; Registration Sponsor, Coldwell Banker Harris McHaney & Faucette Real Estate; Gold Sponsor, Highlands Oncology; Silver Sponsors, Smith Drug, First Western, Farris Insurance, Hunt Ventures, Red Rooster Design, Cumulus Broadcasting; Bronze Sponsors, Skye on the Town, Pfizer Oncology, Lilly Oncology.

About METAvivor

METAvivor is dedicated to the specific fight of women and men living with stage 4 metastatic breast cancer. At the time of METAvivor’s founding, no organization was dedicated to funding research for the disease and no patient groups were speaking out about the death of stage 4 cancer research. While more and more people have taken up the cry for more stage IV research, METAvivor remains the sole US organization dedicated to awarding annual stage IV breast cancer research.”

METAvivor’s Mission

“METAvivor exists to sustain hope for those living with metastatic breast cancer (MBC). Passionately committed patients ourselves, we rally public attention to the urgent needs of the MBC community, help patients find strength through support and purpose, and make every dollar count as we work with researchers to regain longevity with quality of life.”

What METAvivor Does


“We bring attention to the specific issues of stage 4 metastatic breast cancer, and raise public awareness about the facts of the disease. With 30% of breast cancer patients metastasizing, our goal is to see to it that 30% of breast cancer support and funding for research is dedicated to metastatic breast cancer.”


“METAvivor awards research grants to individuals with a clinical or other doctoral degree who are actively engaged in areas of metastatic breast cancer research and whose proposals show distinct promise in making a difference for the stage 4 breast cancer community. The goal of our funding efforts is to transition metastatic breast cancer from a terminal diagnosis to a chronic, manageable disease with a decent quality of life.”


“METAvivor is run entirely by volunteers, most of who are living with metastatic breast cancer. Although we do not pay any salaries, we work to obtain grants and corporate sponsors to support our operation expenses. This allows us to ensure that donations can be entirely dedicated to our research grants that fund the cutting edge research that will ultimately save lives. Unless otherwise specified by the donor, 100% of every donation and 100% of proceeds from every fundraiser (after event expenses) goes into our research grants.”

Reasons to give to METAvivor

“Breast cancer fundraisers are everywhere, but most of the money raised goes into breast cancer prevention and early detection efforts. Very little of it benefits those already fighting the disease, and only a tiny sliver—2-5%–is dedicated toward research for stage 4, or metastatic breast cancer. METAvivor is the only organization that soley funds MBC research through a scientific peer review process. 100% of all donations and fundraiser proceeds (after event expenses) go to MBC-specific research grants. METAvivor is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and donations (may be) tax deductible (please consult with your tax advisor about information regarding deductions).

“Our goal is to have metastatic breast cancer rendered a controlled, manageable and survivable condition where patients can thrive and live normal lives. With your generosity, we can fund the additional research that will help make this possible.”

Comments are closed.