25 Years of Race for the Cure

Twenty-five years ago, Susan G. Komen Orange County set out on an important journey to help reduce the amount of lives lost to breast cancer. Our work ran the gamut – from increasing breast cancer awareness through educational initiatives to helping community members during their breast cancer diagnoses, treatments and recoveries.

Sept. 25 marks our 25th Annual Race for the Cure at Fashion Island in Newport Beach. This event will be particularly special for us, as we will be celebrating all that we have accomplished in the local breast health community and uniting with thousands of breast cancer warriors to raise funds for critical programs and services.

Mother and daughter at 2007 Survivor Tribute

Mother and daughter at 2007 Survivor Tribute

Since Komen OC’s first Race for the Cure in 1992, breast cancer research and advancements have come a long way, thanks to all those who tirelessly work to advance our mission of saving lives. Highlights include:

  • More than 67% of women report that they are receiving annual mammograms
  • Around the world, there are more than 3 million breast cancer survivors (largest number out of all cancer types)
  • Those diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer have a 95% survival rate
  • Komen has become the world’s largest breast cancer organization
  • Komen OC has raised more than $36.5 million through Race for the Cure, with 75 percent of all funds raised staying here in Orange County. The remaining 25 percent of funds help to advance breast cancer research
Survivors at 2007 Race

Survivors at 2007 Race

Our vision is that one day we will live in a world without breast cancer and your continued support is needed to achieve this goal. In Orange County each year, nearly 2,000 people are diagnosed with breast cancer and more than 300 are taken by the horrible disease. When you participate and fundraise at Race for the Cure, you help us to beat these odds – while also providing vital breast cancer services to more than 2,300 individuals.

Race for the Cure is fast-approaching, don’t miss out! Help us save a life, raise breast cancer awareness and meet many other dedicated Komen supporters. Register today at komenoc.org/race for this inspiring event! When you make a $25 donation at the time of registration, you will receive a limited edition Komen OC 25th Anniversary medal.

Can’t make it to Race? Sleep in for the Cure for $45 and receive a Race t-shirt and bib in the mail.

Komen Research: Saving Lives, Discovering Unknowns

As we celebrate 25 Years as a Susan G. Komen Affiliate, we reflect on all of the lives we have touched, thanks to the support of generous donors, dedicated researchers, volunteers, staff and more. Every day in Orange County, more than five women are diagnosed with breast cancer and one woman is taken by the disease. To decrease these upsetting statistics, research is as important as ever, because we can’t get rid of this horrible disease until we know what causes it and how we can prevent it. That’s why 25 percent of funds we raise directly support breast cancer research, resulting in $889 million+ invested and making Komen the largest nonprofit funder of breast cancer outside of the U.S. federal government.  The remaining 75 percent of funds stay right here, to benefit Orange County individuals.

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Susan G. Komen’s research programs are essential in achieving our mission of saving lives and we are committed to eradicating breast cancer by empowering researchers, energizing science to discover a cure, and ensuring quality care for those who need it. Today, our research dollars are helping us learn everything we can about breast cancer, including:

  • Immunotherapies—relatively new and promising breast cancer treatment that uses the body’s own immune system to fight cancer
  • Precision medicine—individualizing and customizing treatment selections for each patient
  • Targeted therapies—unlike standard chemotherapy—which kills both cancer and normal cells—targeted therapies attack specific molecules that cancer cells use to grow, divide and spread
  • Metastatic breast cancer—in the 1970s, only 10 percent of women survived five years after a diagnosis of metastatic breast cancer. Today, because of research and the discovery of more effective treatments, this number has increased to 25 percent

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To learn more about the advancements Komen has made in breast cancer research since its inception, visit: http://sgk.mn/1U66bzN.

Interested in raising money for breast cancer research and quality health care? Register today for our 25th Anniversary Race for the Cure on Sept. 25! Sign up before July 31 and receive our $25 early-bird anniversary price: komenoc.org/race. When you donate an additional $25 to Komen OC, you will receive a limited edition 25th Anniversary medal.

Medals

Want to learn more about the difference Komen OC is making in our community? Here’s a touching story about 8-year-old Brandon Collins who raised more than $1,000 for the fight against breast cancer: http://bit.ly/29U1GZh.

The Men Behind the Pink

When we hear the word “breast cancer,” oftentimes, we view the topic as a women’s issue. But at Komen OC, that is not the case. While breast cancer is about 100 times less common among men than among women, we understand that the disease affects us all. We also believe that more community involvement can help us get one step closer to the Komen vision: a world without breast cancer. So 10 years ago, Komen OC launched an exclusive, invitation-only club to encourage Orange County businessmen to join the fight against this disease. In return, members own a prestigious Pink Tie Guy title.

Since 2006, Pink Tie Guys have leveraged their strong community ties to help Komen OC engage more community leaders, raise funds to support breast cancer treatment and research and bring breast health awareness to their employees. Those who hold this distinguished title include breast cancer co-survivors and loved ones of those who have lost their battles to the disease, along with prominent business leaders across a wide range of industries who provide year-round fundraising support and draw attention to the mission and critical work of Komen OC.

Pink Tie Guys at the 2008 Pink Tie Ball

Pink Tie Guys at the 2008 Pink Tie Ball

Each year, Komen OC honors seven prominent Orange County businessmen at its annual Pink Tie Ball, a glamorous fundraising event which has raised more than $5.6 million for breast cancer research throughout its 10-year history. Men who are nominated for a Pink Tie Guy designation have shown unwavering commitment to bringing us one step closer to the Komen mission of creating a world without breast cancer.

2016 Pink Tie Guys with past Pink Tie Guy classes at the 10th Anniversary Pink Tie Ball

2016 Pink Tie Guys with past Pink Tie Guy classes at the 10th Anniversary Pink Tie Ball

We are grateful for the dedication that 70 men have shown to our organization and mission over the past 10 years and we look forward to continuing to recognize, and mobilize, more deserving Orange County businessmen to carry the Komen promise into the future.

If you weren’t able to attend the 2016 Pink Tie Ball but are interested in attending our next signature event, registration is now open for the 25th Anniversary Race for the Cure on Sept. 25! Register before July 31 for the early bird price of $25. When you donate an additional $25, you also will receive a limited edition 25th Anniversary medal.  You don’t want to miss this deal so sign up today: http://bit.ly/25odnyi.

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!

OC Marathon

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

Marathon

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.