Making Our Voices Heard!

Komen Orange County, along with other Komen affiliates in California, advocate for non-partisan issues on key breast health and breast cancer-related bills at the local, state and national level. The Susan G. Komen for the Cure® Advocacy Alliance is the non-partisan voice for over 3.1 million breast cancers survivors and the people who love them. Our mission is to translate the Komen promise to end breast cancer forever into action at all levels of government to discover and deliver the cures.

On Komen Lobby Day, a delegation from Komen Orange County met with state lawmakers to raise a strong voice on two key breast health and breast cancer-related bills.  Our current advocacy priorities are as follows:

Limiting Out of Pocket Costs of Anticancer Medications AB 1860

AB 1860, proposed by Assemblywoman Monique Limón (D-Santa Barbara), will ensure that oral anticancer medication – which is preferred by most patients or in many cases, the only form of treatment available – are affordable and covered by health plans or insurance.  Specifically, this bill would permanently require health care service plans and health insurer to limit patient out-of-pocket costs to $200 per filled prescription. The development of oral chemotherapy has allowed cancer patients to live a more normal and regular life while undergoing treatment, but currently, the high cost of this type of medication deters many patients from receiving the treatment they need in order to fight their disease.

Removing Arbitrary Cap for Breast (and Cervical) Cancer Treatment SB 945
Senator Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) will introduce SB 945, a legislation that seeks to remove arbitrary caps in the Breast and Cervical Cancer Treatment Program for low-income, underinsured, or uninsured women in California. Currently, the program caps treatment for breast cancer at 18 months, regardless of medical need. We believe that arbitrarily stopping cancer treatment for our most vulnerable women is risky and potentially life-threatening. SB 945 would remove those caps and allow the program to continue to provide treatment for cancer patients as long as necessary.

Advocates from Komen Orange County lobbying for breast health care for all.  L to R: Director of Mission Programs Ambrocia Lopez,  Board Member Dr. Devera Heard, and  Community Resource Advocate LarLeslie McDaniel.

Advocates from Komen Orange County lobbying for breast health care for all.
L to R: Director of Mission Programs Ambrocia Lopez, Board Member Dr. Devera Heard,  and Community Resource Advocate LarLeslie McDaniel.

Komen is proud to support these two bills that are critical to ensure breast cancer patients, especially in Orange County, are getting the treatment they need.

To learn more about our Advocacy Alliance, click here.

 

Happy New Year and New You

Thanks to our supporters and generous donors, we wrapped up 2017 with a bang. Through our signature events like the Race for the Cure and Pink Tie Ball, and through individual contributions, we raise funds throughout the year that enable women, right here in Orange County, to detect and survive breast cancer. To date, we are proud to say that we have invested more than $40 million in education, diagnosis, treatment and support programs that serve uninsured or underinsured residents in our local community.

In 2017, we:

  • provided 8,307 free clinical breast exams to those who otherwise would not have received them.
  • provided 7,007 free mammograms to uninsured and underserved women.
  • detected breast cancer in 64 women, who would otherwise not have known about their cancer.
  • supported 86 women with financial assistance so they can finish their treatment.
  • reached 67,617 people through the year-long breast health education series.

As we look forward to 2018, we remain committed to the vision of a world without breast cancer and will continue to strive toward our Bold Goal of reducing the current number of breast cancer deaths by 50 percent in the U.S. by 2026. Here are some of the steps we’re taking to reach this objective:

Nationally, research on metastatic breast cancer (MBC) remains a priority for the Komen organization. Every 13 minutes, one woman or man dies from MBC, which causes nearly all of the 40,000-plus breast cancer deaths each year in the United States. To date, Komen has spent more than $166 million in over 400 research grants and more than 40 clinical trials focused on metastatic breast cancer. We won’t stop until we find a cure!

Locally, we’re excited for our partnership with Cal State Fullerton, working together to identify ways to enhance patient navigation services in Orange County. The goal is to ensure that breast cancer patients receive support all the way through treatment. More info to come in the upcoming months.

Individually, we invite you to Be More Than Pink and make a difference by being part of upcoming Komen events by attending, supporting, fundraising and/or volunteering! Visit the Komen’s events page regularly to get the latest updates on where we are in the community.

Knott’s Screams Against Breast Cancer

For the fourth consecutive year, Knott’s Berry Farm partnered with Susan G. Komen Orange County to raise funds for breast cancer awareness and services for the local community during Knott’s for the Cure from January 9 to March 5, 2017.

In 2017, Knott’s and Komen Orange County raised more than $108,000 through the purchase of “pink” tickets, season passes and select merchandise such as “Pink” Knott’s t-shirts sold in the park. With the cost of a mammogram evaluated at $125, Knott’s for the Cure will benefit more than 800 Orange county residents who are underinsured or underserved!

Cherie Whyte, director of communications for Knott’s Berry Farm, presents a check to Jessica Rhee, Board member, Susan G. Komen Orange County

Cherie Whyte, director of communications for Knott’s Berry Farm, presents a check to Jessica Rhee, Board member, Susan G. Komen Orange County

One of the campaign’s highlights was a special event on World Cancer Day (February 4) to honor and celebrate survivors and their families whose lives have been affected by breast cancer. Knott’s and Komen OC organized a #ScreamAgainstBreastCancer Facebook contest for a chance to participate in the event featuring actress Brenda Song from CBS’s “Pure Genius,” who attended in support of her mother currently battling breast cancer. Winners of the contest screamed against all of the challenges and pain but most importantly celebrated their victories and the great triumph of overcoming breast cancer while suspended over 252-feet in the air, at the highest point of Orange County’s tallest free-standing ride, Knott’s Supreme Scream.

Brenda Song holding hands with Peanuts characters Lucy and Frieda

Brenda Song and Peanuts’ friends Lucy and Frieda

Knott’s Berry Farm also teamed up with Komen Orange County on February 22 to provide free screening mammograms, clinical breast exams and education to Knott’s employees and local uninsured and under-insured women (and men) via the Knott’s sponsored Alinea mobile mammography van. Local women who received free mammograms were also gifted free admission to the park.

Alinea Mobile Mammography Van and Snoopy

Alinea Mobile Mammography Van and Snoopy

Additionally, on Valentine’s Day, the Supreme Scream ride, towering over 312-feet in the air, turned pink and glowed for miles in honor of the Knott’s for the Cure program. Supreme Scream along with the famous Calico Mine Ride, shined across the Buena Park skyline each night for the remaining duration of the promotion.

Since 2013, the partnership with Komen Orange County has collectively raised close to $500,000 for the organization. Knott’s Berry Farm’s parent company, Cedar Fair Entertainment, has donated nearly $1 million to Susan G. Komen in the last 5 years. The proceeds raised during Knott’s for the Cure help provide underserviced women and men in Orange County with access to breast health care and services.

We Are More Than Pink

This Breast Cancer Awareness Month, join the fight against breast cancer by educating yourself on prevention and detection methods. Recently, we launched our More Than Pink campaign and rallied supporters to take action by making a bigger and bolder impact – to show us they are More Than Pink. Today, Komen represents more than just a color; it represents finding a cure for breast cancer and creating a world where families don’t have to bear the traumatic loss of a grandmother, mother, niece, aunt, daughter or sister to this aggressive and heartbreaking disease.

Breast-cancer-facts

Credit: National Breast Cancer Foundation

Almost everyone has been connected to breast cancer in some way and knows the devastating impact this disease can have on a loved one and his/her family. In the United States alone:

  • Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women (besides skin cancer)
  • There are currently 3 million breast cancer survivors
  • In 2016, nearly 250,000 cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women and 2,500+ in men
  • Every two minutes, one women is diagnosed with breast cancer
  • In 2016, 40,000+ women and nearly 450 men are expected to die from breast cancer
More-than-Pink

Susan G. Komen More Than Pink™

To decrease these upsetting statistics, we need YOU to get involved and be a hero by joining us in this campaign! Our BOLD GOAL to reduce the current number of breast cancer deaths by 50 percent in the United States in the next decade cannot be achieved without the help of the community. Join us by acting, donating and/or getting involved. Every little bit of support will help us get one step closer to reaching our goal. Learn more about our More Than Pink initiative: http://sgk.mn/2d2sE3e.

Superhero Volunteers Reveal Powers at Phone-A-Thon

More than 30 volunteers from Komen OC and First American Title Insurance Company teamed up on Sept. 12 at the First American offices in Irvine to put their superhero powers to the test and call on Orange County residents to rally additional 2015 Race for the Cure heroes. Our crusaders made more than 1,200 phone calls while donning pink capes in true hero fashion to show their spirit for this year’s race theme, “There’s a HERO in YOU.”

Komen OC and First American Title Insurance Company superheroes took to the phones to rally additional 2015 Race participants.

Komen OC and First American Title Insurance Company superheroes took to the phones to rally additional 2015 Race participants.

Komen OC is extremely grateful to First American for hosting the phone-a-thon and for their continued support throughout the years, fueled by three-year breast cancer survivor and First American employee, Stephanie Hathaway. Callers received positive feedback from OC residents who were very appreciative of the friendly reminder about the upcoming Race on Sept. 27 in Fashion Island, Newport Beach.

Three-year breast cancer survivor and First American employee, Stephanie Hathaway (right), poses with a volunteer at the Komen OC phone-a-thon held in Irvine.

Three-year breast cancer survivor and First American employee, Stephanie Hathaway (right), poses with a volunteer at the Komen OC phone-a-thon held in Irvine.

Race for the Cure is the one of the largest and most successful education and fundraising events for breast cancer in the world. Each year, the Race raises much-needed funds for mammograms, community outreach, education programs and life-saving research. By registering for this year’s Race, you can help bring Komen one stride closer to it’s vision of a world without breast cancer.

For more information, visit our Race for the Cure page. It’s not too late to register and show off your superhero power and speed on the Race course. Register here today!

Be Part of Team Komen and Train with a Marathon Pro!

Have you registered to join Team Komen at this year’s OC Marathon and Half Marathon? If not, there’s still time to join! In true Komen fashion, we wanted to share tips and tricks for getting in shape for the marathon.

Marathon enthusiast Doug McKay, our 2015 Race for the Cure committee chair, is leading a free training group which meets every Saturday at 7 a.m. for all Team Komen members.

Julie

We invite you to participate in this training alongside other Team Komen. You’ll learn about personal health and training essentials, while building friendships with those who want to make a lasting difference in the breast cancer community.

If you go, don’t forget the essentials:

  • Plenty of fluids – water, sports drink, etc.
  • Comfortable clothing and shoes
  • A watch to time your pace
  • A running diary to manage your overall progress
  • Sun protection – sunscreen, sunglasses, hats, etc.

Selecting varying surfaces you train on can have a huge impact on injury prevention – that’s why we change up our training location every week.

If you are interested in joining us and being a part of Team Komen, please contact Julie Guevara at 714-957-9157 ext. 30 or via email at jguevara@komenoc.org.

Circle of Promise: Let’s Rewrite The Story During Black History Month

Did you know? African American women are 55 percent more likely to be diagnosed at a late stage of breast cancer and 44 percent more likely to die from the disease. In honor of Black History Month, an annual observance each February to honor and remember important people and events in African history, Komen Orange County is spreading the word about its efforts to end breast cancer in African American women and men. Komen Orange County, along with the seven California Affiliates, have partnered for an intensive multiyear effort called Circle of Promise. With Circle of Promise, Komen Orange County hopes to activate the community to help improve breast cancer outcomes in African Americans. Circle of Promise is a breast cancer resource and awareness program that further engages black women and men in the fight against breast cancer. Do you want to get involved in Circle of Promise for Black History Month?

Black History Month

Here’s what you can do:

  • Know your risk. Learn about your family health history. Know how your breasts look and feel and report any changes to your health care provider.
  • Talk with your doctor. Talk to your health care provider about your own personal risk and ask which screening tests are right for you.
  • Get a mammogram. Have a clinical breast exam every three years starting at age 20, and every year starting at age 40.
  • Make healthy lifestyle choices. Living a healthy lifestyle with diet and exercise may reduce your risk of breast cancer.

Together, we’re working towards our mission to decrease breast cancer mortality among African American women and men by increasing breast health awareness and access to mammography screenings. See what the Circle of Promise is doing in your community: http://californiacircleofpromise.org/.

Spend the Day at Knott’s Berry Farm and Help Fight Breast Cancer!

Calling all amusement park lovers! We’re teaming up with Knott’s Berry Farm again for the second annual “Knott’s for the Cure” to raise funds for breast cancer education, treatment and research! Knott’s is offering discounted “Pink Tickets” and limited edition “pink” merchandise now through March 27 to support our mission of ending breast cancer forever. Stop by the park and enjoy Knott’s world class entertainment, attractions and Komen-inspired décor – all for a great cause.

Knott's Berry Farm For the Cure Pink Circle Logo

Our partnership with Knott’s aims to raise awareness in Orange County – and within the Latina community – where women are 20 percent more likely to die of breast cancer than non-Hispanics. By teaming up with Knott’s we hope to reach this important population, to provide life-saving mammograms and treatment options to reduce those numbers.

Last year, the “Pink Partnership” raised nearly $100,000 and with your help we hope to raise even more in 2015! 75 percent of funds raised are invested in local breast health needs and services; the remaining 25 percent benefit the Komen Award and Research Grant Program to fund groundbreaking breast cancer research.

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Join Snoopy, Charlie Brown and all the Peanut characters as advocates committed to the fight against breast cancer! We’ll see you at the park!

For Knott’s theme park information, including hours of operation, please visit www.knotts.com or call (714) 220-5200.

Follow and join the conversation on social media by using #KnottsPink and stay tuned for upcoming initiatives!

New Year, New You: Join Team Komen for the OC Marathon

At Komen, we’re all about an active lifestyle, and what better way than to kick off the New Year with a healthy, new you. Komen Orange County has once again teamed up with the OC Marathon and we need your support in joining our team to raise funds toward the fight against breast cancer! In addition to raising critical funds, we are focusing on health and wellness to achieve our fitness goals at this year’s marathon. Team Komen’s top marathon training tips include:

  • Staying hydrated
  • Setting realistic goals
  • Being patient with yourself
  • Eating a healthy breakfast to start your metabolism
  • Running a dress-rehearsal at the course

OC Marathon

Join us! You’ll have plenty of time to train with the marathon taking place on May 3, but it’s never too soon to register and fundraise. In fact, if you register for Team Komen and raise $125 by Jan. 20, you’ll get free entry into the marathon for a friend or family member! Don’t miss out on this opportunity.

 Not up for a full marathon? OC Marathon also offers a half marathon and 5K for those who aren’t quite ready for the 26.2 mile race.

Last year, Komen Orange County raised more than $6,500 at the OC Marathon to help fund breast health education programs, research and treatment services. This year, we need your help to exceed our goal of $10,000.

Are you ready to join? Contact us at 714-957-9157 ext. 30 or jguevara@komenoc.org.to be a part of Team Komen. Cheers for the New Year!

Fighting for a Cure, 365 Days a Year

Battling breast cancer takes strength and courage, but it’s important to know that you’re not alone. This year, through admissions from celebrities such as Angelina Jolie and Sharon Osborne, we learned that breast cancer can affect anyone. It is what we do when we find out that we are entering into a battle against cancer that can be the greatest determining factor of our success. However, the biggest difference between celebrities and the rest of us, aside from the fame, is the fortune.

Unfortunately, many women struggle to find the funds they need to receive tests and treatments necessary to fight – or prevent – this vicious disease. That’s why we created “Diagnostics 365” – a campaign that was created to fund diagnostic tests like biopsies and ultrasound guided mammograms—that uninsured women need to find out if they have breast cancer.

This year we were given more than $2.1 million to support breast health and cancer programs. At this year’s Grants Award Breakfast, we awarded more than $1 million in grants to local nonprofit organizations who are committed to serving local women in the community in the fight against breast cancer. Programs like these are made possible as a result of the funds donated to our Komen OC affiliate, to ensure life-saving breast health care services are accessible to all women in our community regardless of age, race, orientation or income level.

We are here to make sure than anyone who has 

breast cancer and needs help, gets help”.

  –Sue Parks, 2012 Board President

Last year, we took on the 3200 Mammogram Challenge, and it was wildly successful. We were able to help more than 2,400 women in Orange County alone, receive this vital exam. This year we want to extend another challenge through our Diagnostics 365 initiative. We have already helped more than 700 women in our community receive these diagnostics tests, and we invite you to support women in need for the next 365 days, and for many years to come. For more information on Diagnostics 365 and opportunities to get involved, visit http://ow.ly/s35TH.

Photo Courtesy of Margaret Soss, Komen OC Grants Award Breakfast 2013