Send a Letter Today

Are these tough economic times? Yes, especially here in California and there is a direct consequence for women’s breast health. The “Every Woman Counts” program, which provides mammograms to 350,000 underserved women in California each year, was closed to new entrants January 1, 2010, and will not start screening women again until July. And when the program resumes, services will be denied for women age 40 to 49 — only women age 50 and above will be eligible.

“Every Woman Counts” is a joint program of the state Department of Public Health and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program.

The seven California affiliates of Susan G. Komen for the Cure have banded together as the California Collaborative and agree that the situation is not acceptable. “We fully understand the tough economic situation our elected leaders face and the difficult choices they must make. Yet balancing the budget on the backs of our state’s neediest women is a mistake,” said Donna Sanderson, the Executive Director of the Komen Sacramento Affiliate and spokesperson for the California Collaborative.

You can help by sending a letter to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger about the importance of breast health screenings for all women. Information and a letter template can be found at http://www.komenadvocacy.org/statelocalactions.aspx?id=90 Your time and support will send a loud message that every woman should count, even in tough economic times.

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Tell Us Who Helped You

February is days away, which means lots of talk and images about LOVE.  Here’s a suggestion on how to express love in a very meaningful way – nominate someone you know for one of Komen’s awards. The Orange County Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure is seeking nominations for: Most Inspirational Breast Cancer Survivor, Outstanding Breast Health Advocate, and new this year, Most Inspirational Breast Cancer Co-Survivor.

The titles are self explanatory. These awards recognize remarkable people who have battled breast cancer personally, who have volunteered to further Komen for the Cure’s promise or who have helped others endure and thrive through a tough time. Trust us, when you hear the stories of the winners, you will be inspired.

First you must take the time and effort to nominate the inspiring person you know. Visit www.komenoc.org to download the nomination form and start writing! Your deadline is February 5. The winners will be announced and honored at the 2010 MasCUREade: A Celebration of Breast Cancer Survivors and Co-Survivors on Friday, March 5.

Shasta, Supercross and Susan G. Komen for the Cure

Any Supercross fans out there? Here’s a story that we hope will inspire you as much as it did us. Shasta Johnson is a breast cancer survivor who was diagnosed in 2007 at the young age of 35. For Shasta, it was an echo of a recent family tragedy – in 2005, her sister Fiona passed away from the disease at only age 29. Ever since, Shasta (second from right in the photo above) has participated in the Susan G. Komen 3-day walk, along with a team of family and friends. Even in the year of her diagnosis, she made it a full 25 miles. 

Not content just to walk for the cure, Shasta has turned her efforts into a massive fundraiser in conjunction with motocross championships around the country to raise money for the cause! And she’s doing it again, this February 13th at Monster Energy Supercross at Angel’s Stadium. The event will take on a pink theme, and contributions will go to Komen for the Cure.

“Monster Energy Supercross fans have shown an unprecedented outpouring of support in my efforts to raise awareness and funds this year, encouraging me to continue in 2010,” said Shasta. “It is very rewarding to know my commitment has brought so many people in our industry together in support of my team’s bold efforts to raise funds to end breast cancer. The fans really are phenomenal.”

Want to be part of the action? Buy your tickets for Anaheim Supercross on February 13th right here!

Volunteer! Meet Real Characters!

Volunteer for Komen and you could go to Disneyland for free.

There are so many great reasons to volunteer for Komen, and this year Disney has added a fun incentive – the “Give a Day, Get a Disney Day” promotion. It’s perfect for everyone in Orange County since we have Disneyland Resort in our backyard. To promote volunteerism, Disney is coordinating with many non-profit organizations and will reward qualifying volunteers with a one-day ticket to Disneyland or Walt Disney World in Florida.

There are rules and conditions, of course. First you must register with Disney www.DisneyParks.com for the Give a Day program. To find your volunteer day of service, we suggest you enter the zip code 92626 for Komen’s office. Then select Health and Human Services as the category and scroll down to the Orange County Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Zippity do dah! The volunteer opportunities will be posted 60 days in advance, so know your calendar. You should get confirmation within a few days.

Cindy Brenneman, Komen’s Director of Volunteer Services in Orange County, says the volunteer jobs are assigned on a first come-first served basis. If your first attempt to volunteer is already filled, try again. Komen Orange County has opportunities all year long. Cindy says the 2010 Give a Day “has a huge value” because it will introduce new volunteers to Komen and will increase volunteerism overall.

Please let us know your experience with Give a Day and Komen. Let the magic begin!

Orange County Funds Research

Research holds the key to the cure for breast cancer.

Thank you to everyone in Orange County who walked in Race for the Cure last year, played golf in the Reds, Whites and Greens tournament or who donated money in honor of a family member. Collectively you all made a difference in the fight against breast cancer.

For the current fiscal year, the Orange County Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure has contributed $725,287 to Komen headquarters to specifically fund research. Applause! This is a significant donation to help find and FUND a cure.

How important is research? Komen for a Cure has a strong commitment to supporting research that will identify and deliver cures for breast cancer. This commitment has resulted in important progress that has contributed to every major advance in breast cancer over the past 25 years.  Komen is now the largest non-government funder of breast cancer research. Komen currently manages a portfolio of 759 active research projects reflecting a $298,004,655 investment. You can learn more about Komen’s research and grants program at  www.komen.org.

Small dollars add up to big dollars, and every donation can make a difference to unlocking the key to the cure. Thank you!

Two Sisters Invite You

Sisters Rebecca and Laura invite you to MasCUREade on March 5.

“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.”  — Albert Schweitzer

That wonderful sentiment is a driving force for the sisters and co- chairs of MasCUREade, the upcoming event for breast cancer survivors and co-survivors. Rebecca Hultquist, one of the co chairs, was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 33. She continues to be grateful for the support of her husband, three daughters and her sister Laura. “I chose Laura to help me chair the MasCUREade because she completely fulfills my definition of a co-survivor. Mask or no mask, we’re all just everyday women trying to get through a breast cancer diagnosis together,” says Rebecca.

With that motivation, they and their committee are planning a terrific event for the Orange County Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure.  The evening will be a celebration of wellness for survivors and co-survivors, with education and inspiration in the mix.

Save the date: Friday, March 5 from 6 to 11 p.m. for MasCUREade. Go to www.komenoc.org to learn more, to register and to read Rebecca’s special message.


Help Comes in Many Ways

If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with breast cancer, many organizations and programs can provide assistance. Here are two diverse programs you should know about:

The Susan G. Komen for a Cure College Scholarship Program is now open for high school seniors and undergraduates to apply. The college scholarship program was started to help students who would find attending college to be a significant financial burden due to the loss of a parent or guardian to breast cancer, or their own breast cancer diagnosis at age 25 or younger. The scholarship is $10,000 a year for up to four years to attend a state university. All program details are listed at www.komen.org/scholarship. The deadline to apply this year is February 15.

If you know a woman currently undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer, please tell her there is a service that provides free house cleaning – one time per month for 4 months while she is in treatment. All she has to do is sign up and have her doctor fax a note confirming treatment. Information is available at www.cleaningforareason.org. Cleaning for a Reason has over 500 partner cleaning services nationwide, including several in Orange County.

Blessings come in many ways! Please pass along this information to anyone who might benefit.