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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.

 

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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/.