Save Lids to Save Lives!

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Yoplait is sponsoring a payback to the Komen Orange County Affiliate by paying our local organization 10 cents for every pink lid turned in. It’s simple, enjoy your yogurt, rinse the lids and mail or drop off the lids and Komen OC receives a donation to save lives and end breast cancer.  To drop off your lids come by the office located at 3191-A Airport Loop Drive, Costa Mesa, CA 92626. Office hours are Monday-Friday 8:30-5:00 p.m. No appointment is necessary to drop off lids.  For more information visit komenoc.org

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White House Celebrates Breast Cancer Awareness Month

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AP Photo

The Obama administration paid tribute to Breast Cancer Awareness Month in a big way Monday, as workers hoisted a massive pink ribbon in the front of the White House. In 2009 it is estimated that  more than 21,000 Californians will be diagnosed with breast cancer and 4,030 will die from the disease. Get involved to end breast cancer forever today. Donate, volunteer or become and activist. For more information visit www.komenoc.org  

Tough Guys with a Soft Side

L to R, Braden Peters, Fire Capt. Jeff Peters, firefighter Andrew Harris, firefighter Philip Storey, firefighter/parramedic Anthony Vitello

L to R, Braden Peters, Fire Capt. Jeff Peters, firefighter Andrew Harris, firefighter Philip Storey, firefighter/paramedic Anthony Vitello

Firefighters are tough guys who do tough work, right? It turns out that they clean up well AND they have a soft side. The Komen Orange County Affiliate was blessed to have members of the Costa Mesa fire department on hand at Race for the Cure as volunteer “Tux Men.” The Tux Men and Tux Women assist during the Survivor Tribute – escorting survivors safely up the stairs and to their seats, wearing formal attire as one more way to honor the ladies in pink.

When Costa Mesa Captain Jeff Peters was asked to volunteer, he recruited a rookie fireman and his teen-aged son (Tesoro High School), then brought two more firefighters along for good measure.  Were these “tough guys” touched by the emotional tribute? Yes, just like the rest of us.

Capt. Peters said after the Race: “What was truly eye opening was how many peoples’ lives this disease touches. You hear the commercials and the statistics and you know it is a big disease, but seeing the people firsthand and their supporters really brings it home.”

“Watching all the survivors walking up had me happy and sad at the same time. I found myself smiling and crying. Me and my son knew two of the survivors.”

“We were a very small part of this event but it appeared the ladies enjoyed having us there and we enjoyed being there to assist them,” Capt. Peters said. Sounds like a repeat volunteer, doesn’t he? In fact, both Jeff and Braden Peters plan to volunteer again at the 2010 Race.

Thank you to the firefighters and all the Race volunteers, and to Friar Tux for donating the classy tuxedos.

SB161 Oral Cancer Drug Bill Veto

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Thank you to everyone who signed petitions, responded to Komen for the Cure’s e-mail blast or sent letters asking Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger not to veto SB161, Senator Wright’s oral cancer drug bill.  Unfortunately, the governor vetoed the bill stating that those with health insurance already have coverage for oral anticancer medications and that the bill would limit a plan’s ability to control both the appropriateness of the care and the cost by requiring them to immediately cover every medication as soon as it receives federal approval regardless of the provisions of the health plan’s formulary, placing them at a severe disadvantage when negotiating prices with drug manufacturers.

 However, the governor said that he believes that oral anticancer medications can be more cost-effective and efficacious in some instances and if there is a way to provide greater access without increasing overall costs he would be willing to reconsider such a measure next year.  He is encouraging a collaborative approach with his administration, health plans and the pharmaceutical manufacturers on this topic.

 Senator Wright’s office has indicated that they want to pursue new legislation in this area next year, so the fight is not over and we will continue to try to effect positive changes to our health care system.  We hope that you will continue to support the Advocacy Alliance and our efforts to empower people, ensure access to quality care and energize science to find the cures.

If you are interested in becoming more involved in Public Policy with Komen Orange County, please contact Erin Touslee at etouslee@komenoc.org. National advocacy information is posted at www.komenadvocacy.org/

A Big Cheer Back at You

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Costa Mesa High School cheerleaders at the Race

Did you notice all the high school students at Race for the Cure? Being at the Orange County Race as a volunteer is now cool, and the OC Affiliate is better for it. One group, the Costa Mesa High School cheerleaders, has been volunteering for Komen for five years. Besides volunteering at the Race, the cheerleaders have helped out at events at Angels stadium and the Honda Center, to name a few. They give meaning to the word “pep.”

 For many of the Costa Mesa cheerleaders, and for their coach, breast cancer has touched someone in their family or circle of loved ones. It has become personal. They’ve learned about their risks and about breast health, along with cheer routines. The high school added a Pink Ribbon Club last year.  Pink Ribbon Clubs are the perfect way for high school girls to learn awareness, do community service and raise funds to fight breast cancer.

 To learn about volunteer openings at the Komen Orange County Affiliate, visit www.komenoc.org, and to see all the cool activities at Pink Ribbon Clubs, go to www.prc-foundation.org.

 Join us in giving a spirited thank you to the Costa Mesa cheerleaders and all the other squads who bring energy and service to the Race.

Make an Impact with 100% Cotton

Heidi Klum models the Key to the Cure t-shirt

Heidi Klum models the Key to the Cure t-shirt

This weekend is the Saks Fifth Avenue “Key to the Cure” event in Orange County. That means from Thursday, October 15, through Sunday, October 18, the Saks store at South Coast Plaza will donate 2% of sales to the Komen Orange County Affiliate. Yea! If you help out with a little shopping, we might reach a $15,000 donation. One lure to get you to Saks is the annual Key to the Cure designer t-shirt, this year created by Michael Kors. You can purchase this t-shirt at Saks for $40, in addition to whatever else might tempt you. As an incentive, you can shop with the Family and Friends coupon available here.

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Vote for the 2010 Race for the Cure t-shirt!

 This is your chance to impact the wardrobe of men and women all across the country. Susan G. Komen for the Cure is asking you to choose the next t-shirt for the 2010 Race for the Cure series, the largest 5K run/walk in the world. The t-shirt that has raised the most revenue will be the official Race t-shirt next year, in Orange County and everywhere. You have until November 8, so vote now and spread the word on your fav. www.komen.org/raceshirt

The Case for Mammograms

Regular mammograms can save lives.

Regular mammograms can save lives.

If you need one more reason to know and follow Komen for the Cure guidelines for breast cancer screening, a new study has reinforced the importance of mammograms. Nearly three-quarters of breast cancer deaths occur among women who don’t get regular screening mammograms, according to a large population-based study.

Breast cancer mortality rates pulled from the findings were 5% for women on the recommended screening schedule, but 56% for those who never or only infrequently got mammograms. That information comes from Blake Cady, MD, of the Cambridge, Mass., Hospital Breast Center and colleagues who conducted the study.

 The findings were presented last week at the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s  Breast Cancer Symposium. You can learn more at www.komen.org and click on the Latest Headlines of Breast Cancer News.

 Take care of yourself, and if you can, donate to the Komen Orange County $125 Challenge to provide a mammogram for a woman who can’t afford one at www.komenoc.org.