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Take A Stand!

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has released new guidelines that could significantly change breast cancer screening approaches in the U.S., recommending against routine mammograms for women 40-49 and questioning the value of breast cancer screenings for women older than 75.

However, extensive scientific evidence demonstrates that mammography reduces breast cancer mortality both among women aged 50 and older, as well as among women aged 40 to 49.

Sign our petition and help us ensure that all women have access to this life-saving screening.

Support Komen! Meet a Star!

Charlie Sheen and Maria Schechter on the set.

Maria Ocana-Schechter attended the Komen Pink Tie Ball in June and had a great time, dancing and dining with her husband, her sister and many friends. Little did she know that she would soon make a new friend, a famous one by the name of Charlie Sheen.

Maria and her husband Bruce participated in the Live Auction at the Ball, winning a VIP package that took them to the CBS studios in Burbank for a taping of the hit television show “Two and a Half Men.” How much fun was it? Maria, Bruce and guests had front row seats for the taping, got to meet stars Charlie Sheen and Jon Cryer afterward, plus enjoyed wine and appetizers before a tour of the set, backstage and props. They also met the show’s creator and executive producer Chuck Lorre and received two signed vanity cards. (If you watch the show, you know what they are.)

“Charlie is as handsome in person as on screen,” Maria reports. “It was a fabulous experience that my husband and I enjoyed immensely thanks to Komen.”

Save the date: the 2010 Pink Tie Ball will be May 15.

Mammograms Save Lives

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force this week made recommendations that significantly change breast cancer screening approaches, recommending against routine mammograms for women 40-49 and questioning the value of breast cancer screenings for women older than 75.

What do these recommendations mean? The Task Force’s recommendations are not binding, but are often consulted by medical professionals and by third-party public and private medical funders.

What is the reaction from Susan G. Komen for the Cure? Key points given by Komen headquarters include:

* Mammograms save lives in women 40 to 49 and over 50.

* Komen would not want to see a change in policy or reimbursement for screening mammography at this time.  Susan G. Komen for the Cure continues to recommend annual mammography beginning at age 40 for women of average risk and earlier for women with known risks for breast cancer. Komen’s current screening guidelines can be found at www.komen.org. Komen is constantly evaluating its guidelines and would not change them without serious consideration.

* Our real focus should be on the fact that one-third of the women who qualify for screening under today’s guidelines are not being screened due to lack of access, education or awareness.  That issue needs focus and attention: If we can make progress with screening in vulnerable populations, we could make more progress in the fight against breast cancer.

Local women talk to the Orange County Register about the new suggested guidelines http://www.ocregister.com/articles/mammogram-219910-women-cancer.html including survivor Jane Hill, on staff at Orange County Komen.

Committed to the Community


Monica Olmos, Telenova Star Adamari Lopez & Jorge Castaneda are committed to educating and reinforcing the importance of early detection and diagnosis among the Hispanic community

Komen OC in partnership with Unidos Contra el Càncer de Seno, is presenting a Breast Cancer Healing Mass to raise breast cancer awareness among Orange County’s Hispanic community. The Healing Mass will be held at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish at 7:00 p.m. tonight.  Featuring local leaders who are active in the fight against breast cancer, the goal of the inspirational community event is to help educate Latinos about breast cancer and empower them to be advocates of their own breast health.

Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish is located at 110 S. Center St., Santa Ana, CA 92704

One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime, and breast cancer mortality is higher among Latinos due to various factors including language barriers and cultural stigmas. Unidos Contra el Càncer de Seno is a collaborative of community organizations and stakeholders working with Susan G. Komen for the Cure to improve the breast heatlh of Latinos in Orange County through outreach, education and empowerment of the community.


More Volunteers to Love

Jill and Cindy

Jill Jelnick with Cindy Brenneman

James K

Lisa Wolter with James Kawakami

Here are more special people who were honored for their volunteer efforts on behalf of the Komen Orange County Affiliate. The party at the Discovery Science Center in Santa Ana gave everyone a chance to socialize, eat great food and share their passion for Komen. “We are continuously humbled and grateful for the outpouring of support from our volunteers, who are so vital to our work in finding a cure for breast cancer,” said Lisa Wolter, Executive Director.

Outstanding Youth Volunteer Jill Jelnick: Jill is a senior at Aliso Niguel High School and has been volunteering with Komen for the past six years to honor her grandmother, who passed away from breast cancer. She is the founding president of the Pink Ribbon Club at her school.

Outstanding Youth Volunteer Daniel Angarita: Daniel is a senior at Cal State Fullerton and a new volunteer this year. He gave his time and talent as a videographer for the Pink Tie Ball and Race for the Cure.

The Promise of One Award, Pat MacKenzie, Huntington Beach: Pat has volunteered for the Race for the Cure for the past 17 years, taking on responsibilities for set up, clean up, and everything in between. She has also given her time to the Pink Tie Ball and Breast Health Symposium committees with a willingness to fill any role needed.

The Promise of One Award, James Kawakami, Costa Mesa: Kawakami has been a volunteer for the past eight years, performing various vital roles at the Race for the Cure. He draws inspiration from his mother, who passed away in 2001 after living with breast cancer for 18 years. His attention to detail and enthusiasm for any task makes even trash duty fun and important.

Applause for Volunteers

jill krum

ED Lisa Wolter with Jill Krum.

cindy and marica

Cindy Brenneman with Marica Pendjer.

How do you say thank you? Often and with heartfelt sincerity.  In the case of the Komen Orange County Affiliate, you say thank you to volunteers with a little party and awards.

On a recent night at the Discovery Science Center in Santa Ana, Cindy Brenneman, Komen’s Director of Volunteer Services, put her appreciation into words. “It takes a village. I am so inspired and impressed by our volunteers, some who have been involved for over 18 years and many who have just started. Without each and every one of our volunteers, the Komen Mission would not have the momentum and global recognition it has.”

Cindy calculated that volunteers in Orange County gave 22,863 hours in the past year to help with Race for the Cure, office duties and at countless health fairs, events and meetings.  Volunteers spotlighted with awards included:

Volunteer of the Year –Jill Krum. Jill has been a Komen volunteer for 10 years,  helping at the Race, in the office and at health fairs. She is passionate about breast health education and awareness.

Komen Warrior Award – Marica Pendjer. Marica started as a volunteer with the 1999 Race and hasn’t stopped since. She has served as president of the Board, Race Chair and has been a grant reviewer, committee chair for Pink Tie Ball and the Breast Health Symposium,  to name a few of her contributions.

Join this distinguished group! Go to www.komenoc.org and click on Volunteering for an application.