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.

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 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!

Irvine-based OB/GYNs Lead Breast Cancer Training Seminar in Zambia

University of California, Irvine (UCI) OB/GYN fellows, Dr. Fong Liu and Dr. Sara Jordan, traveled to Zambia in February to spread breast health education with the support of our local community including Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Orange County and UCI.

Recently, Dr. Liu and Dr. Jordan stopped by the Komen Orange County offices and told their story during a Lunch ‘n Learn.

Breast cancer is the second cause of cancer and cancer death in Zambia. (Cervical cancer is number one.) There is only one mammogram machine owned by the government that services Lusaka, Zambia, a town of 1.7 million.

Dr. Groesbeck Parham, the Co-Director, CIDRZ Cervical Cancer Prevention Program in Zambia, asked Dr. Liu and Dr. Jordan to lead a half-day training seminar for breast cancer to a group of nurses and doctors in Zambia.

There is no subspecialty training in Zambia so there are no specialized breast surgeons like there are in the U.S. Doctors are hoping to establish programs in Zambia for breast health education and cancer prevention.

Because there is widespread need for research, they are also trying to bring to light the characteristics of the women who present with cancer, the type of cancer they present with (stage, cell type, etc.) and how the diagnosis and treatment affect their quality of life.

Dr. Liu and Dr. Jordan brought the Komen (and OC affiliate) mission with them to Zambia in the form of breast self-awareness education materials, Komen wrist bands, Race for the Cure T-shirts, baseballs and scarves. A recent note from Dr. Parham expresses that the nurses there still ask for more of these materials.

We thank Dr. Fong Liu and Dr. Sara Jordan for their commitment to breast health education and helping women at home and abroad. 

2012 Breast Health Education Series Kicks Off on June 5

In partnership with local breast centers and other nonprofit organizations, we created a comprehensive Breast Health Education Series beginning in June through November to educate the community on various topics related to breast health and cancer awareness.  

All sessions are free and open to the public and cover topics such as prevention, screening, diagnostics, treatment and survivorship.

The first session on June 5 will cover “Nutrition & Breast Health: The Power of Your Plate” presented by Karen Godinez, RD, CSO, Registered Oncology Dietitian at SJMC. During the course, Godinez will explain how to increase your awareness of the connection between nutrition and breast health. Find out if what you eat is as important as how much.

Also in June, we’ll present a course on “Cancer and Your Rights” by Laura Riley, Esq. where you can learn about health insurance and your employment rights with a cancer diagnosis.

For more information and to review the entire Breast Health Education Series schedule, please visit the Komen OC website.

We look forward to seeing you!

Komen OC and Northgate Gonzalez Markets Partner up for Breast Health Outreach to Latina Women

On Monday, April 16, the Orange County Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, in collaboration with the YWCA and Northgate Gonzalez Markets, teamed up to give free clinical breast exams and mammograms to 34 Hispanic women at the Northgate Gonzalez Market in La Habra. Latina women are more likely to be diagnosed at a later stage from breast cancer and therefore are at increased risk of dying from the disease, so it is important that they are provided with information and resources to increase rates of early detection.

The effort will continue through the month of May at different Northgate Gonzalez Markets throughout Orange County. Eligible women must be 40 years or older, have a low household income and no medical insurance or an insurance that has a high deductible or co-payment.

For more information on upcoming events such as this one, please contact the Komen Orange County office at (714) 957-9157 or visit www.komenoc.org.