Giving Thanks by Giving Back

As we enter giving season, we at Susan G. Komen Orange County, in partnership with the YWCA of North Orange County, wanted to do something extra special to show our appreciation for the community.  So on Saturday morning, we visited the Loaves and Fishes Soup Kitchen at St. Joseph Church and School in Santa Ana with our mobile mammography unit to provide access to care for 37 uninsured and high-risk Orange County women. We had a successful screening – it was the most women we’ve screened at one time.

loaves and fishes

Participants stand in line for their free mammograms.

Mammograms are vital in detecting breast cancer in its early stages and without free breast health screenings for women and men in need, knowing whether they have breast cancer or not would be impossible. Our screening event was held in conjunction with the weekly soup kitchen operations, which serves meals to nearly 900 homeless or disadvantaged men, women and children, in addition to providing free medical care, English classes, clothing and more. Our collaboration with the soup kitchen presented the perfect opportunity to do what we do best – change the lives of women and men in our community.


Alinea Medical Imaging’s mobile mammography helps make these events possible.

We’re grateful for community partners like YWCA of North Orange County and Alinea Medical Imaging for their support of the Komen promise of advancing the fight against breast cancer.  Without their help, we would not be able to offer services at no-cost to the to the Orange County community and encourage breast cancer awareness. We are also thankful for the opportunity to work with Loaves and Fishes Soup Kitchen and are looking forward to future events at their location.

What are you grateful for this season of giving? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an important time to mobilize the community to elevate awareness about this terrible disease.

Countless resources exist to help you learn about breast cancer and how to detect it in its early stages. By performing frequent self-checks you can take control of your healthy and body – and bring attention to any changes that may occur. Here is a helpful diagram to know what is normal for you:

self check

While the cause of breast cancer is not fully known, researchers have identified factors that can increase or decrease a person’s chance of getting a breast cancer diagnosis. Since no prevention methods for breast cancer exist, being educated on these risk factors can help save lives. Factors linked to a higher risk of breast cancer include:

  • Being a woman
  • Age
  • A family or personal history of breast or ovarian cancer
  • High breast density on a mammogram
  • Never having a child

Ways to reduce your risk of breast cancer are: achieving and maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, limiting your alcohol consumption and breastfeeding. Women over 40 years old also should receive annual mammograms to stay on top of their health. Staying educated on the basic facts about breast cancer is the first step in prevention or early detection!


In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, many local companies have teamed up to support the fight against breast cancer with exciting promotions. Learn about these generous companies that are supporting the mission of Susan G. Komen Orange County at

Superhero Volunteers Reveal Powers at Phone-A-Thon

More than 30 volunteers from Komen OC and First American Title Insurance Company teamed up on Sept. 12 at the First American offices in Irvine to put their superhero powers to the test and call on Orange County residents to rally additional 2015 Race for the Cure heroes. Our crusaders made more than 1,200 phone calls while donning pink capes in true hero fashion to show their spirit for this year’s race theme, “There’s a HERO in YOU.”

Komen OC and First American Title Insurance Company superheroes took to the phones to rally additional 2015 Race participants.

Komen OC and First American Title Insurance Company superheroes took to the phones to rally additional 2015 Race participants.

Komen OC is extremely grateful to First American for hosting the phone-a-thon and for their continued support throughout the years, fueled by three-year breast cancer survivor and First American employee, Stephanie Hathaway. Callers received positive feedback from OC residents who were very appreciative of the friendly reminder about the upcoming Race on Sept. 27 in Fashion Island, Newport Beach.

Three-year breast cancer survivor and First American employee, Stephanie Hathaway (right), poses with a volunteer at the Komen OC phone-a-thon held in Irvine.

Three-year breast cancer survivor and First American employee, Stephanie Hathaway (right), poses with a volunteer at the Komen OC phone-a-thon held in Irvine.

Race for the Cure is the one of the largest and most successful education and fundraising events for breast cancer in the world. Each year, the Race raises much-needed funds for mammograms, community outreach, education programs and life-saving research. By registering for this year’s Race, you can help bring Komen one stride closer to it’s vision of a world without breast cancer.

For more information, visit our Race for the Cure page. It’s not too late to register and show off your superhero power and speed on the Race course. Register here today!

Wanted: Superhero Strength, Pink Cape Optional

WWE Announcer Lillian Garcia, along with 30+ community leaders, volunteers and breast cancer survivors, rallied on the steps of the Pacific Life Insurance Company building in Newport Beach on July 29 to kick-off the 2015 Race for the Cure season here in Orange County.  Participants donned pink capes to match this year’s race theme,There’s a HERO in YOU.

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Race for the Cure is the largest fundraiser of its kind in Orange County, and the signature event raises vital funds for mammograms, community outreach, education programs and life-saving research.  This year’s theme demonstrates that anyone can be a hero in someone else’s life. Showing support and solidarity in the fight against breast cancer is heroic – with or without superhero powers.

Lisa Wolter, Komen OC’s executive director, spoke during the event about the importance of the race, and its positive impact on the OC community. She was joined by Khanh Tran, chief executive officer of Pacific Life Insurance Company and Komen Pink Tie Guy, and Garcia, whose mother is a breast cancer survivor.

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The Sept. 27 race in Newport Beach will include two different start times for runners and walkers. For participants who wish to run, you will have the option of purchasing a PLUS timing chip, a new feature this year that will allow heroes to test their speed on the course! For more information visit our Race for the Cure page.

Register for the race today and reveal your inner hero. We hope to see everyone there!

Hero Spotlight: Angelique Fong

Heroes come in all shapes and sizes, and from all walks of life. You don’t need to wear a cape or have superpowers; becoming a hero can be as simple as walking to support a great cause.

Susan G. Komen Orange County’s Race for the Cure is the largest fundraising event of its kind in Southern California. The vital funds raised from this event help support local breast cancer outreach and coordination of mammogram screenings for women in need, as well as treatment and support services to underserved women in the community. Besides the walks/runs, this year’s Race for the Cure features a special parade and tribute ceremony to honor local breast cancer survivors and a wellness expo. New in 2015 is the PLUS Timing Chip option, which allows the more competitive participant to test his/her hero speed on the course.

This year’s Race for the Cure theme “There’s a HERO in YOU” spotlights our extraordinary race participants who, year after year, fundraise, donate and raise awareness to support those affected by breast cancer. One exceptional hero is Angelique Fong of Rancho Santa Margarita.AFong Hero_2014Race for Cure Fong, a wife and two-year breast cancer survivor began supporting Race for the Cure in the late 1990s. Her journey with Komen Orange County began with her dedication to the Komen mission of saving lives. One of Fong’s favorite Race for the Cure memories was fulfilling her mother’s dream of them crossing the finish line with her brother. Unfortunately, due to a broken pelvis, Fong’s mother was confined to a wheelchair for the race, but insisted on walking across the finish line by herself.

“You can see where I get my stubborn nature,” said Fong.

Fong would later need that stubborn nature to fight her personal battle with breast cancer, as she learned of her own diagnosis. In 2013, only six weeks into remission, she crossed the Race for the Cure finish line as a first-year breast cancer survivor. With a decade of Races for the Cure under her belt, Fong continues to walk/run for breast cancer survivors like herself, and for their families. Fong is not only an inspiration, but a true HERO.

More heroes like Fong are always needed! Unleash your inner hero and participate in our 24th annual Race for the Cure on Sunday, Sept. 27 at Fashion Island in Newport Beach. For more information and to register, please visit

Joining Hands to Empower African Americans in a Circle of Promise

Every day, breast cancer impacts many individuals from diverse backgrounds. But did you know breast cancer mortality rates differ depending on your ethnicity?

Among African American women, breast cancer is the most prevalent form of cancer found, with lung cancer being the second most common cause of cancer deaths. Despite the fact that African American women are diagnosed with breast cancer less frequently than Caucasian women, the mortality rate is higher – but why? Often, breast cancer is found in African American women at a more advanced stage, when it is more difficult, or impossible, to treat.

Here are tips on how to reduce your risk of getting breast cancer:

  • Maintain a healthy body weight. Obesity after menopause increases your chances of developing breast cancer.
  • Reduce your alcohol intake. The more alcohol a woman consumes, the greater the risk of breast cancer.
  • Breastfeeding. Women who breastfeed reduce their risk of breast cancer.
  • Regular mammograms. The American Cancer Society recommends women over the age of 40 get annual mammograms.


Susan G. Komen’s Circle of Promise is a resource and awareness program created specifically for African American women and men affected by breast cancer. We’re happy to have Dr. Portia Jackson, doctor of public health, recently join the Orange County Affiliate as the new strategy & implementation consultant for the Circle of Promise initiative.

Q: How does it feel to be the first strategy and implementation consultant for Komen Orange County?

A: I’m excited to engage and mobilize the African American community in Orange County to educate themselves and others about their breast health, to ultimately decrease breast cancer disparities among African American women.

Q: How will the statewide Circle of Promise strategy unfold in Orange County?

A: My goal in Orange County is to identify and serve diverse, underserved communities with high breast cancer mortality rates by providing community organization and direct education, as well as enabling screening and navigation services. We will address breast cancer disparities among African Americans who are rarely or never screened, low-income, uninsured or recipients of Medi-Cal.

Q: Tell us about yourself. What did you do before joining Komen Orange County?

A: I worked for the Center for Disease Control and Deloitte, as a consultant. On the side, I also work as a professor at UCLA focusing on the behavioral, economic, and biological underpinnings of racial and ethnic health disparities in the United States. I hold more than a decade of professional experience in the health industry.

Please join us in giving a warm welcome to Dr. Portia!

To learn more about the Circle of Promise initiative in Orange County visit: or contact Dr. Portia Jackson at 714-957-9157 ext. 29.

Calling All Heroes! Early Bird Registration is Now Open!

Register. Fundraise. Be a hero.

It’s simple – sign up today and join us for the 24th Annual Race for the Cure on Sunday, September 27 at Fashion Island in Newport Beach to celebrate survivors and breast cancer heroes. All heroes who register before May 31 receive a special early bird discount on their registration fee, with additional discounts for breast cancer survivors.

Dare to be a competitive hero? New this year is the “timing chip” to see how fast you can complete our course! Keep in mind, if you’re planning to use the timing chip, you must participate in the 7:15 a.m. Race. If this sounds like something you have wanted to accomplish, start training and fundraising in support of all the inspirational women and men battling breast cancer every day. Or, if you’re not into running, you can walk our 5K or participate in the Kid’s One Mile Fun Run & Family Walk. Either way, you’ll still be our hero.


Inspired to be a group of heroes like the Fantastic Four or The Avengers?  Consider forming or joining a Race team! All you need is a group of 10 or more heroes to join the fight against breast cancer.

The sooner you register, the sooner you can begin fundraising. All funds generated from Race for the Cure directly impact the lives of women and men battling breast cancer. That means by fundraising, you’re saving lives.

There’s a hero in all of us, and the journey to saving lives starts here:


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