Carrying the Promise into the Future

Have you or someone you know been touched by breast cancer?  Komen Orange County is working hard every day to reduce breast cancer occurrences in Orange County and carrying the promise of creating a world without breast cancer into the future. This year is a monumental year for our Affiliate as we celebrate 25 years of service in Orange County. When we began our journey as the Orange County Affiliate in 1991, we set out to mobilize a community of breast cancer advocates with a common purpose: saving lives. We’re proud to say that since our inception, we have contributed more than $36 million for local breast health programs and research. Thank you all for your continued support.

Recently, we held our 10th Annual Pink Tie Ball at AV Irvine and raised more than $700,000 to bolster the local fight against breast cancer.

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This special event was spearheaded by five well-known co-chairs –Harald and Austin Herrmann, Julie Ann Ulcickas, Khanh T. Tran and Denis Kalscheur — who helped ensure the most successful Pink Tie Ball to-date. Harald and his son Austin gave an emotional tribute to Austin’s mother, Kathie, who was taken by breast cancer when he was only eight years old. Each guest received a bronze calla lily, Kathie’s favorite flower, to memorialize her and symbolize the frailty of life.

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Komen OC Board President Gretchen Valentine and co-chairs Harald Herrmann, Austin Herrmann, Denis Kalscheur, Julie Ann Ulcickas and Khanh T. Tran

At Pink Tie Ball, seven prominent Orange County business leaders were recognized as the 2016 class of Pink Tie Guys, a title given every year to men who promote breast cancer awareness within the business world and the community. The distinguished men joined 70 others chosen over the last ten years as Pink Tie Guys and include:

  • Reginald Gilyard, dean, Chapman University’s Argyros School of Business
  • Craig Glorioso, shareholder of Real Estate Practice, Greenberg Traurig
  • Douglas S. Ingram, CEO, Chase Pharmaceuticals Corporation
  • Lupillo Ramirez, MBA, hispanic product/private label and differentiation director, Northgate Markets
  • Mark Rutherford, senior vice president, human resources, First American Financial Corporation
  • Philippe Schaison, EVP and president, Allergan Medical
  • Joe Stein, consultant, Simply Innovative
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Pink Tie Guys Reginald Gilyard, Craig Glorioso, Mark Rutherford, Douglas S. Ingram, Philippe Schaison and Joe Stein

Thank you to everyone who attended Pink Tie Ball and supported the Komen mission of creating a world without breast cancer. Without you, Komen OC would not be able to continue providing life-saving breast health care and programs to women and men in need.

Join us in carrying the promise into the future by registering for our 25th Anniversary Race for the Cure on Sept. 25. $25 early bird registration is now open and is will continue through June 30. Register at: http://bit.ly/27bf9ks

The Power of One – Join One Team Making a Difference

Every 19 seconds, someone around the world hears the words “you have breast cancer.” But what happens when one diagnosis turns into 1,000, then 1,000,000?

On Sunday, May 1, Team Komen OC is celebrating the power of one at the 2016 OC Marathon and Half Marathon. Our team is comprised of motivated and enthusiastic women and men who are committed to the Komen mission of ending breast cancer forever. Together, we’ll train, get in shape, and raise lifesaving funds for the breast cancer community so that we make a difference – which means one more survivor, one less family heartbroken over the loss of a mother/father, and one more reason to believe in the power of one.

Will you join us? It’s not too late! Team Komen Orange County welcomes new members, so sign up today!

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As a member of Team Komen, you’ll train alongside other Komen team members who share the same goal of improving breast health in our community, to get one step closer to a world without breast cancer. By joining our team, you also will learn ways to improve your personal health, and insights on training essentials from the pros. Here are some tips:

  • Bring/wear sun protection – sunscreen, sunglasses, hats, etc.
  • Wear comfortable clothing and running shoes
  • Use a watch to monitor your pace
  • Drink plenty of fluids – water, sports drinks, etc.
  • Document/track your overall progress with a running journal

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There are many ways you can participate in the full marathon, half marathon and 5K, including a “Run for Free for a Cause” program. Visit our page at https://www.crowdrise.com/KomenOC2016 to learn how you can make an impact on individuals and families touched by breast cancer.

For questions about Team Komen, contact Julie Guevara at (714) 957-9157 ext. 30 or via email at jguevara@komenoc.org.

We hope to see you at our next training day!

A Quarter-Century Mission to Save Lives

As we celebrate our 25th Anniversary as the Orange County Affiliate of Susan G. Komen, we reflect on all of the hard work of our dedicated staff members. Without our hardworking employees, Susan G. Komen Orange County would not be able to continue its quarter-century mission of saving lives. While some of our staff members have just recently joined the fight against breast cancer, others have been with us since our inception. Here’s a story of one of our many dedicated pink warriors.

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Komen OC Finance Manager Jane Hill has been part of our Affiliate since it was formed in 1991. She is also a 25-year breast cancer survivor and an inspiration to us all. When Jane was diagnosed, she immediately was thankful for one thing: that it wasn’t her daughter going through breast cancer. This ignited passion in Jane that she needed to survive this terrible disease so she could raise her daughter, and help her to create a world without breast cancer.

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Photo courtesy of Lia Marie Photography

Jane made three promises to herself — promises which she continues to work on each day:

  1. Make sure her daughter never has to deal with breast cancer.
  2. Promote the importance of early detection, which saved her life.
  3. Help other cancer survivors through their journeys.

In her spare time, Jane even performs comedy routines for cancer patients at Hoag Hospital in hopes of brightening their days and giving them a much-needed distraction during a challenging time. Jane has also learned throughout her breast cancer journey that you can’t always control what happens in life, but you can control your attitude and how you handle the situation.

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Jane (right) with her loving sister, Kathy Wynn, Photo courtesy of Lia Marie Photography

After all of the love and support Jane received from friends and family during her treatment and recovery, she knew she wanted to find a way to give back. After volunteering 20+ hours weekly for Komen OC, Jane joined the team as a finance manager. In her role, she oversees Komen’s finances, creates annual financial reports and ensures all funds raised are appropriately allocated.

Every year, Jane also participates in Race for the Cure and the touching Survivor Tribute. We are so lucky to have such an amazing woman involved with our organization and we appreciate everything you do, Jane!

Make a Promise to Make a Difference

Each year, in honor of Black History Month, we celebrate and recognize the many achievements made by African Americans in U.S. history.  We also pay tribute to the inspirational African American women and men of recent history who have battled breast cancer.

As many of you know, in April of 2014, all seven Susan G. Komen Affiliates in California, including Komen Orange County, set out to change the disparities that African American women face when it comes to breast cancer. Because African American women were experiencing significantly higher breast cancer mortality rates — 41 percent higher than their Caucasian counterparts — we wanted to ensure quality access to breast health care in this community. The result was a program many of you know as the Circle of Promise. Our goal: get 2,000 African American women screened for breast cancer, and increase dialogue about breast cancer in African Americans within the community and medical field. We’re proud to report we have hit our goal.

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Now it’s your turn to help us change black history when it comes to breast cancer. Here’s how you can get involved with Circle of Promise to help lower breast cancer mortality rates in African Americans:

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  • Sign up at CircleofPromise.org and become a CoP ambassador in your community
  • Spread the word to your friends, families and colleagues and encourage them to get involved
  • Become a voice in your community to help raise funds for research and to spread awareness about CoP
  • Be a ‘Worship in Pink Ambassador’ and organize breast health education events at your church
  • Donate to CoP to support the people you love by visiting http://bit.ly/1nVFYXn
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Mobile Mammography Van

Tip of the Month: Make sure to be communicative and open about your family’s health history, to increase your chances of detecting breast cancer early, which can be lifesaving.  While we don’t know exactly what causes breast cancer, we do know that having a family history of breast cancer can increase your risk. It’s a tough topic to talk about with family but doing so can save the ones you love.

We hope we can count on you to make a promise to make a difference in the African American community this Black History month and always. For more information visit: www.CircleofPromise.org.

What’s Your Promise?

If you have a sister, you know the bond you share with one another is unbreakable. You would do anything for your sister, and she would do anything for you. Nancy Brinker, founder of Susan G. Komen, had the privilege of experiencing this sisterly bond. “Growing up, Suzy and I were just about as close as two sisters can get. Suzy was the perfect older sister,” says Nancy.

Sisters Susan and Nancy

Sisters Susan and Nancy

In 1980, Nancy made a promise to her dying sister, Susan, that she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer forever. In 1982, this promise led to her founding Susan G. Komen and a worldwide movement ensued. To date, we’ve invested more than $2.6 billion in innovative research, community health outreach and breast health education programs in more than 30 countries.  And we’re teaming up with a special theme park for a third year to mobilize the Orange County community in taking part of this powerful promise.

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Knott’s characters donning their “pink” t-shirts

From now until March 18, Susan G. Komen Orange County and Knott’s Berry Farm are joining forces to honor this important promise made between two sisters. New this year, Knott’s is spotlighting the unique bond shared between two sisters with a special “For the Cure” display featuring sisters who have endured the unimaginable: a breast cancer diagnosis. Knott’s also will be offering a special “Pink Ticket” and limited edition “pink” t-shirt to raise vital funds for breast cancer awareness, services and research. We are so lucky to have community partners like Knott’s who help fight breast cancer in Orange County and look forward to a great start to our 25th Anniversary as an affiliate. For more information and to get involved, visit: knotts.com/promise.

New Year, New Opportunities

As we ring in the New Year, we have a lot to look forward to. While we’ve accomplished great things in 2015 – thanks to the time and support of generous donors and volunteers – 2016 marks a special year for Susan G. Komen Orange County our 25th anniversary.  In celebration of this milestone, we hope to make a larger impact on the breast cancer community, and invite you to join us.

Recently at our Grants Breakfast, we awarded nearly $800,000 to 11 deserving breast health organizations in our community. These organizations are our partners in the fight against breast cancer – and with these vital funds, we’re working to improve the breast health of local underserved or uninsured women and men – including populations identified in our 2015 Community Profile Report.

2016 Grant Recipients

2016 Grant Recipients

At the heartwarming celebration, which was part one of KomenUNITY, attendees also heard from breast cancer warrior, Jacque Ruddy. One in eight Orange County women is diagnosed with breast cancer. Jacque is one of them. She is a single mom of two and isn’t letting her second breast cancer diagnosis come in the way of being a supermom.  Jacque also puts a fun spin on her chemotherapy appointments – she calls it themo-therapy! Instead of dreading these appointments, Jacque focuses on the positives in life and dresses up as a new superhero each time.  She is an inspiration to us at Komen – and to all who are fighting breast cancer.

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Breast cancer warrior, Jacque Ruddy

In 2016, we’re continuing to make local strides in the fight against breast cancer. Join us for part two of KomenUNITY: Research Symposium on Feb. 3, which will focus on the 25 percent of funds raised for breast cancer research. We hope to see you there!

Ways to get involved in the New Year: For the third consecutive year, Komen OC is proud to be an OC Marathon Charity Partner. If you’re looking to get fit and stay healthy in the New Year, join team Komen! To learn about incentives and the new run for free option, please contact Stacy Davis at sdavis@komenoc.org or (714) 957-9157 ext. 34.

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.

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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.

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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.

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