Home Sweet Home, New Adventures Ahead

After 16 years in Costa Mesa, we are moving! On Monday, March 27, our new address will be 2817 McGaw Avenue, Irvine, CA 92614. We invite you to join us at our open house on Friday, April 21st from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. to check out our new home and enjoy some refreshments.  It’ll be the perfect opportunity for you to tour our office, get to know us and learn about our services! No need to RSVP, just show up and say hello.

Moving boxes piling up in our Costa Mesa office

Moving boxes piling up in our Costa Mesa office

Of the 13 Susan G. Komen Orange County staff members, some have been here for 11 years, others for 11 months. Nevertheless, this move feels bittersweet as we’ve all created memories associated with this office, and the inspiring survivors, supporters and volunteers who’ve crossed our paths. On the other hand, we’re really looking forward to the new office, the exciting beginning of a new chapter in serving more women and saving more lives! Here are some of our best moments, most inspiring stories and thoughts on our new adventure ahead:

What is your best memory associated with this office?

Julie (Director of Marketing): The day I came in to interview for the position. I was so nervous driving to the office, not knowing that to expect. The interview process was nerve-wrecking and I remember telling myself, “What’s meant to be will be,” and here I am six years later loving what I do! Now, I feel like this place and my co-workers have become like a second home and family.

Danielle (Special Events & Race for the Cure Teams Coach): I have enjoyed interacting with the many different groups meeting in our conference room (Race committee, Pink Tie Ball committee, Race Teams, volunteer and survivor groups). Our Team Captain Rallies, and hearing about the inspiring stories behind their involvement with Race for the Cure are among my favorite moments in the office.

LarLeslie (Circle of Promise Community Resource Advocate): I’ve enjoyed most working with an inspiring and compassionate staff and meeting and planning with the African-American Breast Health Partnership to increase awareness and improve breast cancer outcomes in the community.

Do you have a story about an event, a meeting, an encounter that took place in this office that inspired you, touched you or had an impact on you?

Lisa (Executive Director): An event that sticks with me is a candlelight reception we held in the courtyard, where we shared stories about friends, families, and acquaintances who had been taken by breast cancer, remembering their courage, commitment, hopes and fears.

Robin (Circle of Caring/Development): Each day, we have an opportunity to change the path for someone who comes to us for help. I discovered this when a survivor, Ann, showed up at our office, devastated and in shock. She had just been diagnosed with breast cancer and was scheduled for a mastectomy very soon. She didn’t know what to do, had little understanding of her own diagnosis or treatment plan, and had no idea what to tell her 12-year old autistic daughter. I comforted her, and together we contacted her doctor’s office and learned that there was no actual diagnosis and the scheduled mastectomy surgery prescribed by her doctor was premature. I helped her schedule a new appointment with a different doctor, and I provided her with Susan G. Komen materials to help her understand her new circumstances.

Julie: The first survivor we lost after I joined Susan G. Komen was a woman named Kathy Voorhis. She was a beautiful person inside and out. My favorite memory was a photo shoot we did with her and a few other women for our Race for the Cure campaign that year. She was so hard on herself and her photos but that day, she was the most beautiful I had ever seen her. She radiated beauty through her smile, sense of humor and sincere kindness. She is dearly missed.

Kathy Voorhis

Kathy Voorhis

Jennifer (Mission Programs Specialist): One of my favorite encounters was with a breast cancer survivor who needed assistance with hairpieces, and the feeling of wholeness she experienced when we find a wig that suited her.

What are you looking forward to in the new office?

Lisa: The new office will have a very welcoming front room with a couch and chairs, wood floor and be very close to the Resource and Wig Room. It will be nice for talking privately with people needing breast cancer information or referrals. We also will have a big new training room next to an open warehouse area so I envision some great celebrations and look forward to do our Race for the Cure registration and packet pick up right from our own space.

Danielle: I am looking forward to the new office and the many ways we will be able to utilize our new training room and various multi use rooms with volunteers, supporters and survivors.

We could not close this post without thanking our generous friends at Tangram Interiors who designed our new space, provided new furniture and helped us move. Thanks to their incredible work, the new office already feels like home!

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!

Be Bold and Join Us in the Fight Against Breast Cancer

At Susan G. Komen® Orange County, one trait we share with our survivors is that we are fighters, we’re not afraid to take on any challenges: the BOLDER, the better! In October, we announced our bold goal for the next decade: to cut the number of deaths from breast cancer (40,000 per year in the U.S. alone) by 50 percent in the next ten years.  Simultaneously, we launched our nationwide More Than Pink movement to redefine the color pink – from a symbol of awareness to a symbol of action!  Today, we want to offer you a chance to become More Than Pink. The Orange County Marathon has made us one of its charity partners and we would love for you to join Team Komen!

The 2017 OC Marathon will take place on Sunday, May 7 with the 5K on Saturday, May 6. Runners can chose between a marathon, a half-marathon, a 5K, and for the first time, the Combo Crush, an option to register to run the 5K and the full or half marathon. By joining Team Komen, participants commit to running the OC Marathon (full, half, combo crush or even the 5K option alone) in support of Susan G. Komen® Orange County by raising funds toward the fight against breast cancer through the Run For Free for A Cause. Through this option, you can raise money for Komen Orange County and run for free! Here are the fundraising level options:

komen_ocmarathon_incentive-program_2017

If you join our team, you’ll be part of a group who share the same motivation and enthusiasm, and who is committed to improving breast health in our community.  Our More Than Pink rally cry is defined as follows:

  • We’re Bold and Courageous: we believe in pushing our limits and challenging the status quo, while always putting health – ours and the people we’re serving – first.
  • We’re Tenacious, once we’ve set our mind on a goal, nothing can stop us.
  • We’re Fearless and never shy away from difficult situations.
Photo of 2016 Komen OC water station

2016 Komen Orange County water station

Contact us at 714-957-9157 ext. 30 or jcozort@komenoc.org to learn more and join Team Komen.

If you would like to sign up, go to www.ocmarathon.com and select Run for Free for A Cause in 2017. You’ll be able to set up your fundraising page through Crowdrise, using the information you entered for previous races to populate your profile. Also, if you fundraise $125 by Friday, January 27th, you’ll be entered to win a free entry for someone else.

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.

25 Years of Race for the Cure

Twenty-five years ago, Susan G. Komen Orange County set out on an important journey to help reduce the amount of lives lost to breast cancer. Our work ran the gamut – from increasing breast cancer awareness through educational initiatives to helping community members during their breast cancer diagnoses, treatments and recoveries.

Sept. 25 marks our 25th Annual Race for the Cure at Fashion Island in Newport Beach. This event will be particularly special for us, as we will be celebrating all that we have accomplished in the local breast health community and uniting with thousands of breast cancer warriors to raise funds for critical programs and services.

Mother and daughter at 2007 Survivor Tribute

Mother and daughter at 2007 Survivor Tribute

Since Komen OC’s first Race for the Cure in 1992, breast cancer research and advancements have come a long way, thanks to all those who tirelessly work to advance our mission of saving lives. Highlights include:

  • More than 67% of women report that they are receiving annual mammograms
  • Around the world, there are more than 3 million breast cancer survivors (largest number out of all cancer types)
  • Those diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer have a 95% survival rate
  • Komen has become the world’s largest breast cancer organization
  • Komen OC has raised more than $36.5 million through Race for the Cure, with 75 percent of all funds raised staying here in Orange County. The remaining 25 percent of funds help to advance breast cancer research
Survivors at 2007 Race

Survivors at 2007 Race

Our vision is that one day we will live in a world without breast cancer and your continued support is needed to achieve this goal. In Orange County each year, nearly 2,000 people are diagnosed with breast cancer and more than 300 are taken by the horrible disease. When you participate and fundraise at Race for the Cure, you help us to beat these odds – while also providing vital breast cancer services to more than 2,300 individuals.

Race for the Cure is fast-approaching, don’t miss out! Help us save a life, raise breast cancer awareness and meet many other dedicated Komen supporters. Register today at komenoc.org/race for this inspiring event! When you make a $25 donation at the time of registration, you will receive a limited edition Komen OC 25th Anniversary medal.

Can’t make it to Race? Sleep in for the Cure for $45 and receive a Race t-shirt and bib in the mail.

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.

RS

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

Chart

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.

The Men Behind the Pink

When we hear the word “breast cancer,” oftentimes, we view the topic as a women’s issue. But at Komen OC, that is not the case. While breast cancer is about 100 times less common among men than among women, we understand that the disease affects us all. We also believe that more community involvement can help us get one step closer to the Komen vision: a world without breast cancer. So 10 years ago, Komen OC launched an exclusive, invitation-only club to encourage Orange County businessmen to join the fight against this disease. In return, members own a prestigious Pink Tie Guy title.

Since 2006, Pink Tie Guys have leveraged their strong community ties to help Komen OC engage more community leaders, raise funds to support breast cancer treatment and research and bring breast health awareness to their employees. Those who hold this distinguished title include breast cancer co-survivors and loved ones of those who have lost their battles to the disease, along with prominent business leaders across a wide range of industries who provide year-round fundraising support and draw attention to the mission and critical work of Komen OC.

Pink Tie Guys at the 2008 Pink Tie Ball

Pink Tie Guys at the 2008 Pink Tie Ball

Each year, Komen OC honors seven prominent Orange County businessmen at its annual Pink Tie Ball, a glamorous fundraising event which has raised more than $5.6 million for breast cancer research throughout its 10-year history. Men who are nominated for a Pink Tie Guy designation have shown unwavering commitment to bringing us one step closer to the Komen mission of creating a world without breast cancer.

2016 Pink Tie Guys with past Pink Tie Guy classes at the 10th Anniversary Pink Tie Ball

2016 Pink Tie Guys with past Pink Tie Guy classes at the 10th Anniversary Pink Tie Ball

We are grateful for the dedication that 70 men have shown to our organization and mission over the past 10 years and we look forward to continuing to recognize, and mobilize, more deserving Orange County businessmen to carry the Komen promise into the future.

If you weren’t able to attend the 2016 Pink Tie Ball but are interested in attending our next signature event, registration is now open for the 25th Anniversary Race for the Cure on Sept. 25! Register before July 31 for the early bird price of $25. When you donate an additional $25, you also will receive a limited edition 25th Anniversary medal.  You don’t want to miss this deal so sign up today: http://bit.ly/25odnyi.