A Bold Fundraising and Awareness Campaign

Recently, actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus announced on Twitter that she has been diagnosed with breast cancer. “One in eight women will develop some type of breast cancer in their lifetime,” she posted, “Today I’m the one.”

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Almost everyone has been connected to breast cancer in some way and knows the devastating impact this disease can have on their loved one and family. At this year’s Race for the Cure, Komen Orange County Executive Director Lisa Wolter announced that the national Komen organization will focus its 2017 research funding of $30.7 million on metastatic breast cancer, the most lethal form and stage of breast cancer.

Additionally, in 2018, 100 percent of new grants for Komen’s Young Investigators Program, which invites young researchers to focus on breast cancer issues, will be focused on metastatic breast cancer and treatment resistance that leads to it.

More than 40,000 men & women die of breast cancer in the U.S. each year

Metastatic breast cancer – which is breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body like the brain, liver, bones or lungs – is responsible for almost all of the nation’s 40,000 annual breast cancer deaths. Today, more than 154,000 people are living with metastatic breast cancer in the U.S., a statistic that needs to be lowered. By targeting metastatic disease, Komen hopes to reduce breast cancer deaths dramatically in the U.S.

Making a Personal Impact

For the first time, Komen is giving you, members of the public, the opportunity to directly fund specific research by participating in a crowdfunding initiative on Komen’s national website, komen.org. Komen has highlighted four pioneering researchers, who are dedicated to making discoveries that will ultimately improve outcomes for patients suffering from metastatic breast cancer, and encourage donations to their specific grants.

Woman with inspiring quote

You can also make an impact locally, which means your money stays right here in our community to help support treatment, screening and education. Help us reach our 2017 Komen Orange County Race for the Cure fundraising goal to reach $2 million by the end of October. To make a contribution, visit www.komenoc.org/race.

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In Honor of Black History Month, Help Us Rewrite the Story

In October 2016, Susan G. Komen announced its bold goal to cut the nation’s 40,000 breast cancer deaths by half in the next decade. In order to reach this ambitious goal, Komen’s efforts will be twofold:

  • Extend breast health services to underserved and uninsured populations
  • Enhance research focus on the most aggressive forms of breast cancers

Black History Month

Did you know that African American women have a survival rate that’s 41 percent lower –sometimes even 74% in certain metropolitan area- than white women? It is about time we address this issue!

Nationwide, Komen launched the program Health Equity for All, subsidized by a $27 Million grant from Fund II Foundation. This initiative will initially target 10 metropolitan areas where mortality rates and late-stage diagnosis of African-American women are the highest. The goal: to reduce the mortality gap by 25 percent within five years in Memphis, St. Louis, Dallas, Los Angeles, Virginia Beach, Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia. Baltimore and Detroit are also high-priority areas and will be included in the program over the next year.

Statewide, The Susan G. Komen Circle of Promise California initiative was launched in 2014 by seven California Susan G. Komen Affiliates to provide African American women with education and breast cancer screening. On February 27, Circle of Promise will be hosting a roundtable for a much-needed discussion on the breast health of African-American Women in our community. We are thrilled to have Shyrea Thompson, Senior Manager, Special Initiatives at Susan G. Komen as a keynote speaker. You can attend this event by signing up here.

2017 roundtable invitation

Locally, you can also make a difference by joining the Circle, and becoming part of a movement that gives all African American women access to breast health information, services and support that can save lives.

Overall, there are many ways you can support us:

  • First, speak up. Talk about it.
  • Second, make the promise to take care of your own breast health and take action, such as:
    • Talking to your health care provider about your own personal risk
    • Having a mammogram every year starting at age 40 if you are at average risk
    • Knowing how your breasts look and feel and report any changes to your health care provider
    • Adopting a healthy lifestyle to help reduce your risk of breast cancer

Help us empower all African-American women to get information, get support and gain access to services that could save their lives. Rewrite the story. Change history. Get involved today!

Komen Research: Saving Lives, Discovering Unknowns

As we celebrate 25 Years as a Susan G. Komen Affiliate, we reflect on all of the lives we have touched, thanks to the support of generous donors, dedicated researchers, volunteers, staff and more. Every day in Orange County, more than five women are diagnosed with breast cancer and one woman is taken by the disease. To decrease these upsetting statistics, research is as important as ever, because we can’t get rid of this horrible disease until we know what causes it and how we can prevent it. That’s why 25 percent of funds we raise directly support breast cancer research, resulting in $889 million+ invested and making Komen the largest nonprofit funder of breast cancer outside of the U.S. federal government.  The remaining 75 percent of funds stay right here, to benefit Orange County individuals.

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Susan G. Komen’s research programs are essential in achieving our mission of saving lives and we are committed to eradicating breast cancer by empowering researchers, energizing science to discover a cure, and ensuring quality care for those who need it. Today, our research dollars are helping us learn everything we can about breast cancer, including:

  • Immunotherapies—relatively new and promising breast cancer treatment that uses the body’s own immune system to fight cancer
  • Precision medicine—individualizing and customizing treatment selections for each patient
  • Targeted therapies—unlike standard chemotherapy—which kills both cancer and normal cells—targeted therapies attack specific molecules that cancer cells use to grow, divide and spread
  • Metastatic breast cancer—in the 1970s, only 10 percent of women survived five years after a diagnosis of metastatic breast cancer. Today, because of research and the discovery of more effective treatments, this number has increased to 25 percent

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To learn more about the advancements Komen has made in breast cancer research since its inception, visit: http://sgk.mn/1U66bzN.

Interested in raising money for breast cancer research and quality health care? Register today for our 25th Anniversary Race for the Cure on Sept. 25! Sign up before July 31 and receive our $25 early-bird anniversary price: komenoc.org/race. When you donate an additional $25 to Komen OC, you will receive a limited edition 25th Anniversary medal.

Medals

Want to learn more about the difference Komen OC is making in our community? Here’s a touching story about 8-year-old Brandon Collins who raised more than $1,000 for the fight against breast cancer: http://bit.ly/29U1GZh.