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


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 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

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.


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:


  • Sign up at 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

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:

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.


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:

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.



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 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.

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


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