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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Giving the Gift of Breast Health Care for Mothers and Daughters

At the age of 26, Veronica was not prepared for a breast cancer diagnosis and everything that come along with it.  Neither was her mom. Veronica was less than one year away from graduating from Cal State, Fullerton when she noticed that her nipple was inverted. Her mother was not worried because her sister had the same breast abnormality. A few months later Veronica felt a lump near the areola on the same breast.  Now she was scared.

Uninsured at the time, she went to the only place she knew that might be able to help her, Planned Parenthood. She was then referred to Breastlink, who diagnosed her with Her2 positive breast cancer that had spread into her lymph nodes. She was told that chemotherapy would damage her fertility.  At 26, Veronica hadn’t even thought about having children yet!

Suddenly, Veronica went from being a normal college student to fighting for her life with the immense stress of how to pay for all the cares. Emotionally, she wasn’t coping well. Neither was her Mom. Veronica could not handle the weight of her mother’s sorrow on top of her own emotional distress. Following her doctor’s advice, Veronica called Susan G. Komen Orange County.

Veronica Mora and her mother

Veronica Mora and her mother

At Komen Orange County, Veronica and her mom received a warm welcome from Cafecitos Hope, a Spanish-speaking comfort support group for Latina breast cancer survivors. That’s when Veronica realized how her diagnostic procedures were paid. It was Susan G. Komen Orange County who had silently stepped in and paid for her first ultrasound and needle biopsy that diagnosed her cancer at Breastlink. It was Komen who had offered her a free wig when her hair fell out. It was Komen who had referred her to free local mental health services. And, it was Komen who was helping her mother learn to cope with her sorrow.

Susan G. Komen Orange County was able to make an impact on Veronica and her mother’s lives because of YOUR support. Thanks to you, Veronica will be graduating this month from Cal State Fullerton! Help us honoring other moms and loved ones on Mother’s Day by giving the gift of breast health care for all women in need throughout Orange County.

There are many ways you can do so:

  • Please consider making a donation, by clicking here.
  • Join our celebration by using Facebook’s custom “Mom & Me” profile picture filter on your Facebook page and tell us your favorite #MomAndMe moment. To learn more, click here
Mom & Me Facebook filter

Mom & Me Facebook filter

  • Help spread the word with your family, friends and professional network about upcoming free mammograms screenings. To be eligible, women must be 40 years of age or older, have low income, have no or limited insurance, not be receiving these services through Medi-Cal or another government-sponsored program, live in California and not have had a mammogram in the past 12 months. It is also mandatory to sign up in advance. Below, you will find a list of sign-up events and onsite mammography screening events. For more information, contact Ambrocia Lopez at 714-957-9157 ext. 25 or via email at alopez@komenoc.org.

MAMMOGRAPHY SIGN-UP EVENTS:

  • May 11, 2-5 p.m. at Northgate Gonzalez Market, 770 S Harbor Blvd, Santa Ana, CA 92704
  • May 13, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at Northgate Gonzalez Market Store, 6991 Lincoln Avenue, Buena Park, CA 90620
  • May 16, 2-6 p.m. at Northgate Gonzalez Market Store, 6991 Lincoln Avenue, Buena Park, CA 90620
  • May 18, 2-6 p.m. at Northgate Gonzalez Market, 2030 East Lincoln Avenue, Anaheim, CA 92806
  • May 20, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at Northgate Gonzalez Market, 2030 East Lincoln Avenue, Anaheim, CA 92806

ONSITE MAMMOGRAPHY SCREENING EVENTS:

  • May 15, 9 a.m.-12 p.m. at Northgate Gonzalez Market , 770 S Harbor Blvd, Santa Ana, CA 92704
  • May 22, 9 a.m.-12 p.m. at Northgate Gonzalez Market Store , 6991 Lincoln Avenue, Buena Park, CA 90620
  • May 26, 9 a.m.-12 p.m. at Northgate Gonzalez Market Store, 2030 East Lincoln Avenue, Anaheim, CA 92806

Help us bring hope to mothers and daughters fighting breast cancer!

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’re Still on a Mission: Sneak Peek into 2017

In 2016, we celebrated our 25th anniversary. Looking back 25 years, people did not talk about breast cancer although the mortality rate was much higher. Between 1990 and 2013, breast cancer mortality decreased by 37%, the equivalent of nearly 250,000 lives saved. This is incredible progress, but there is more work to be done. Susan G. Komen recently announced its Bold Goal, to cut the mortality rate nationwide by 50 percent in the next decade.

We’re taking on numerous initiatives to reach our Bold Goal, from our signature fundraising events to community outreach programs, and building relationships with local partners. Here are several we look forward to in 2017:

  • Knott’s Berry Farm for the Cure: For the fourth consecutive year, Knott’s Berry Farm will turn pink for several weeks from January to March, in support of breast cancer. Our good friend Snoopy will help us raise funds through the sale of Knott’s Pink Tickets and Knott’s for the Cure Pink merchandise.

Knott's Berry Farm

  • Circle of Promise: While African American women are less likely than Caucasian women to be diagnosed with breast cancer, the mortality rate in Orange County is 41 percent higher. In February, we’ll host a Circle of Promise Day to combat these statistics by hosting a roundtable with influent community leaders.
  • Research Symposium: In February, Komen Orange County will unite leading breast health scientists and specialists who will share their knowledge of breast cancer.
  • Pink Tie Ball: In the past ten years, 4,500+ guests have attended our Pink Tie Ball, helping us raise $3.6 million. In May, we will honor seven new Pink Tie Guys and celebrate their efforts in the community toward the fight against breast cancer.

Pink Tie Ball 2016

  • OC Marathon: On May 7, we’ll be onsite to cheer on and hand out water to the hard working runners. Look for our booth at the finish line, where you can also learn about breast health services!
  • Race for the Cure: Over the past 25 years, 307,000+ people have participated in the Race for the Cure and helped us raised more than $34.5 million. We hope to see you at the starting line!

As you can see, 2017 will be a busy year for us! We hope you’ll join us at one or more of our events and in our mission to fight breast cancer.

Komen OC’s Top 10- Thank You Team ADP

Many of us who stay up late, either every night or just every once in a while, get a smile out of David Letterman’s Late Show “Top 10 List” skits. Well, Komen OC decided to put together its own “Top 10 List” as a thank you to one of our top fundraising teams for the 2012 Susan G. Komen Orange County Race for the Cure campaign. Team ADP, comprised of 171 team members, raised $88,185 to help serve women and men save lives!

Now, imagine a drum roll performed by an orchestra drummer as you read these in reverse countdown order: the TOP TEN ways ADP’s fundraising dollars (and yours) are helping women and men right here in Orange County.

Image

Number 10!

Komen funded mammograms

Number 9!

Breast Core Biopsies through Komen OC’s own breast health fund

Number 8!

Diagnostic Breast MRIs through Komen OC’s own breast health fund

Number 7!

Living expenses paid for four women going through breast cancer treatment, through Komen OC’s community grantee, Breast Cancer Solutions

Number 6!

Screening for 30 Latino high-risk women through mobile mammography at an event via Northgate Gonzalez Markets

Number 5!

Outreach for 59 women at a mobile screening mammography event via YWCA grantee

Number 4!

25 percent contribution to the Komen National Award and Research Grant Program

Number 3!

Banners for a multi-ethnic street banner awareness campaign

Number 2!

Breast diagnostic care for 184 uninsured women, many under the age of 40, through Komen OC’s fund for breast health care

AND

Number 1!

705 potentially life-saving mammograms facilitated for a grand total of $88,185!  That’s an average of FOUR mammograms per team member!

We would conclude with a round of applause, thank you to the Team ADP and brief performance by the band- a pop song on mammograms.

Here is the breakdown:

10. $125 = Komen funded mammogram

9. $691 = Breast core biopsy through Komen’s own breast health fund

8. $1,200 = Diagnostic breast MRI also through Komen’s own breast health fund

7. $2,424 = Living expenses of four women going through breast cancer treatment, through Komen OC’s community grantee Breast Cancer Solutions

6. $3,390 = Screening for 30 Latino high-risk women through mobile mammography events via Northgate Gonzalez Markets

5.  $4,848 = Outreach to 59 women at a mobile screening mammography event via YWCA grantee

4.  $22,046 = 25 percent contribution to the Komen National Award and Research Grant Program

3.  $30,600 = 255 banners for a multi-ethnic street banner awareness campaign

2.  $50,048 = Breast diagnostic care for 184 uninsured women, many under the age of 40, through Komen’s fund for breast health care

1.  705 potentially life-saving mammograms facilitated for a grand total of $88,185!

Save the date for the 2013 Susan G. Komen Orange County Race for the Cure

September 22, 2013!

Congratulations to our 2012 Community Grantees

Today Komen OC announced it will award more than $1.5 million in grants to 15 local nonprofit organizations at the Grants Award Breakfast on Friday, Dec. 2. The grants make a substantial impact in the fight to end breast cancer forever and reinforce Komen Orange County’s support for its surrounding community partners.

The 2012 Komen Fund for Breast Health Care and community grants recipients and their breast health programs are:

  • AltaMed Health Services Corporation / Breast Cancer Early Detection and Care Program
  • Asian American Senior Citizens Service Center / Breast Cancer Awareness and Prevention Program (BCAPP) to the Uninsured Chinese American Women
  • Breast Cancer Solutions / Enabling Access: Medical and Financial Aid Program; Latina Breast Health Support Program Specialist
  • Hurrt Family Health Clinic / Access to Care and Treatment (ACT) Now Project
  • Laguna Beach Community Clinic / LBCC’s Breast Care Commitment Program
  • Latino Health Access / Salud de Seno (Breast Health Program)
  • Nhan Hoa Comprehensive Health Clinic / Breast Care for Low-Income and Uninsured Young People
  • Pacific Islander Health Partnership / Pacific Islander Navigator Breast Health Project
  • Planned Parenthood of Orange and San Bernardino Counties / Breast Health Program
  • Serve the People Community Health Center / Women’s Wellness Clinic
  • Share Our Selves (SOS) / Women’s Health Initiative
  • The G.R.E.E.N. Foundation / ActNOW: Be Self Empowered  (BSE) Breast Health
  • Vietnamese American Cancer Foundation / Breast Health Navigation and Education Program
  • YWCA of North Orange County / Early Breast Cancer Screening and Education
  • University of California, Irvine / Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center

Our 2011 Grant Recipients

VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT: Michelle Buessing

Komen volunteer Michelle Buessing is definitely a “glass half full” type of woman. She has enthusiasm, optimism and determination despite her personal challenge with breast cancer. Michelle was diagnosed with stage III breast cancer at the age of 32 while she was breast feeding her daughter Maya. There was no family history of breast cancer.

 

Michelle went through four months of chemotherapy, had an 8-hour surgery, three more months of chemo and then 33 radiation treatments, but none of this knocked down the spirit of this Mission Viejo mother. Michelle is now a volunteer for the Komen for the Cure Speakers Bureau.

Here is what Michelle had to say at a recent speaking engagement:

“At the age of 32 I heard the words, ‘you have cancer.’ A day that will always stand out as the most life changing moment of my life, not because it brought me to my knees (which it did) but because it was the day I was given the gift of hope…hope that I would have a long future with my then 11-month- old and 2-year-old little girls because I got to hear the words treatable and curable. [These] two words to a recently diagnosed young mother and wife that make all the difference.

“I have told people since the day I was diagnosed that I owe my life to Susan G. Komen for the Cure because no other organization has done more or had a greater impact on the survival rate. I received cutting edge chemo, surgery and radiation thanks to the advancements in medicine that have been made over the past 20 years.

“I feel in the very fiber of my being that I will get to stand with my daughters at the glorious celebration the day we announce we have found a cure for breast cancer. Will you join me in finding a cure?”

Michelle is an inspiration. She and her family deserve our help. Let’s live by her motto: “Life is sweet… enjoy it!  Faith, love and hope REALLY do make all the difference.”