Karen O. Allen

About the Author

"Ascribe to the Lord the glory of His name." (Psalm 96:8)

pictureKaren Allen is a certified clinical research professional and medical technologist who lives in Birmingham, Alabama. She has worked in the field of cancer research at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Comprehensive Cancer Center for the past 17 years co-authoring numerous articles published in peer-review journals such as the International Journal of Cancer, Clinical Cancer Research, and the Journal of Immunotherapy. She and her husband, George Parker, known as Parky to many, have been married for 30 years. For the first few years of their marriage, they lived in Lake Charles, Louisiana but later moved back to their native roots in Alabama. Although Karen and her husband do not have any children, they have always enjoyed canine companions, all rescued from various circumstances. Karen and two of her former dogs became nationally certified animal-assistive therapy teams visiting hospitals, nursing homes, and rehabilitation centers for 7 years. Karen enjoys giving back to the community and also served as a hospice volunteer for over 10 years.

pictureAside from healthcare work, writing, and mentoring other women, Karen enjoys using her musical talents as a singer and instrumentalist. She can regularly be found on Sunday morning in the choir loft of her church in Birmingham, Alabama. She is also involved in local, national and international missions through her church and beyond (see Ministry-Missions page).

Although interested in writing for many years, Karen did not pursue her interest until after being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2003. Her walk through cancer brought new heights of faith. Friends encouraged her to write about her experiences to offer inspiration, hope, and faith-building to others. Confronting Cancer with Faith is her first book project although non-cancer related articles can be found in other publications such as digizine Kyria.com and 280 Living Neighborly News. Karen hopes Confronting Cancer with Faith will offer deeper spiritual support for anyone touched by cancer. She is available for speaking and singing at churches, support groups, retreats, conferences, women's events, small groups, and fundraisers.

Author Sightings

This section describes some of the events God has used to promote my book. Publicity has included book signings, radio interviews, TV interviews, Bible studies, newspaper and website articles, speaking engagements, and the development of a cancer support group. How exciting to be a part of an ongoing mission that promotes encouragement, comfort, and hope to the cancer community while highlighting God's glory.

We kicked off the release of my book with a good old-fashioned home book signing in Birmingham, AL hosted at the home of one of my dear friends, Brenda Johnson. We had a great turnout and lots of fabulous food and fellowship. Friends from years back came to lend their support.

I participated in my first Relay for Life event in Calera, AL serving not only as an author to help raise money but also as a survivor walking in the all-night relay. It was truly inspiring to see the memorial candles lining the track where we walked. I enjoyed winning one of the survivor baskets! I was also honored to be asked to donate books as an Alabama author to the regional Relay for Life meeting in Tennessee.

Additional book signing/speaking engagements include: Barnes & Noble for the Southern Writer's Fest (Birmingham, AL), YMCA (Mountain Brook, AL) and St. Vincent's Hospital (Birmingham, AL) for Breast Cancer Awareness, Pink Ribbon Tea Annual Event (Hayward, CA), Yoder Family Traditions Shoppe (Sylacauga, AL), Parish Nurses Retreat (Fayetteville, AL), UAB medical students (Birmingham, AL), various local church-based and hospital-based cancer support groups, senior organizations, music clubs, and luncheons.

A community-wide Bible study of my book took place at a local church in Sept-Oct 2010. In combination with the study, featured guests spoke each week. The study was well-received and spawned the development of a new cancer support group which is open to survivors and co-survivors of any type of cancer. In conjunction with the church Bible study, a great article appeared in the Birmingham News.

Other newspaper, publications, and website sightings include: The Alabama Baptist newspaper, Daily Home newspaper (Talledega, AL), The Talon USM alumni magazine, UAB's Synopsis publication, OneNewsNow.com, The Local Issue - Sylacauga online newspaper, and 280 Living Neighborly News. My workplace at the University of Alabama at Birmingham publishes a campus-wide newspaper called the UAB Reporter. They did a Q & A of my book and my experience as a cancer researcher .


Author Speaking Topics

Download the Promotional Speaker Flyer

Confronting Cancer with Faith: Cancer opens new doors of opportunity to challenge our perspectives and deepen our walk of faith. From suspicion to remission, the preparation, process, and aftermath can have spiritual relevance. While cancer may not always be conquered, it can be confronted with faith.

When Life Gets Baaa . . . aad, Ewe Can Still Be Glad: When life throws its curveballs, we can be prepared with tools that equip us through the coping process. Developing an analogy as “His sheep” reminds us that God is our shepherd and that is all we need.

The Good, the Bad, and the Godly: The medical and spiritual aspects of cancer are cleverly combined as Karen overlaps her work in clinical trials pertaining to cancer with her personal experiences as a cancer survivor.

Commissioned to Missions: The challenge to witness in Jerusalem (home), Judea (south, east), Samaria (north, west) and to the ends of the earth (international) is explored through Karen’s mission endeavors. Karen's missions work includes her book, ministry with Native Americans, and grassroots ministry with the Indians of northeast India.

Confronting Life's Crises with Music and Faith: Music as well as faith can play a crucial role in the healing process. Learn about music therapy while participating in fun demonstrations. This is an interactive presentation (easily geared to Christmas) with music, laughter and anecdotes to deepen your faith. You may also purchase Karen's music therapy CD "The Comfort of His Holiness."

Pain with Benefits: Pain and suffering are part of life in which God’s glory can often best be revealed. As believers in Christ there are an amazing number of benefits to suffering that can lead us to greater understanding and a deeper relationship in Christ.

Beyond the Diagnosis: Research reveals that spirituality can play an integral part in healing. This presentation is geared to the medical community and addresses how to incorporate spirituality into the medical setting. Specific techniques used by successful practitioners are discussed.