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.

 

 

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.”