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Local Services + Research = Lives Saved

Earlier this month, more than 250 supporters gathered at The Westin South Coast for Komen OC’s annual Grants Award Breakfast, where $649,966 was awarded to eight Orange County organizations that provide breast health care services to men and women in the community.

2018 Komen OC grant recipients. From L to R: Komen’s Director of Mission Services Ambrocia Lopez; Komen Board member Dr. January Lopez; YMCA of North Orange County Past President Rosamaria Gomez-Amaro; Vietnamese American Cancer Foundation Executive Director Becky Nguyen; The Cambodian Family Community Center Executive Director Vattana Peong; Share Ourselves Nurse Clinic Manager Kristin Almieri; Planned Parenthood of Orange and San Bernardino Counties Vice President of Development Laurie Rayner; Nhan Hoa Comprehensive Health Care Clinic Boardmember Duc Vuong; AltaMed Health Services Nurse Practitioner Deborah Binning; and at Breast Cancer Solutions Executive Director Jennifer Anderson.

2018 Komen OC grant recipients. From L to R: Komen’s Director of Mission Services Ambrocia Lopez; Komen Board member Dr. January Lopez; YMCA of North Orange County Past President Rosamaria Gomez-Amaro; Vietnamese American Cancer Foundation Executive Director Becky Nguyen; The Cambodian Family Community Center Executive Director Vattana Peong; Share Ourselves Nurse Clinic Manager Kristin Almieri; Planned Parenthood of Orange and San Bernardino Counties Vice President of Development Laurie Rayner; Nhan Hoa Comprehensive Health Care Clinic Boardmember Duc Vuong; AltaMed Health Services Nurse Practitioner Deborah Binning; and at Breast Cancer Solutions Executive Director Jennifer Anderson.

The 2018 community grants recipients and their breast health programs are:

  • AltaMed Health Services
  • Breast Cancer Solutions
  • Nhan Hoa Comprehensive Health Care Clinic
  • Planned Parenthood of Orange and San Bernardino Counties
  • Share Our Selves Corporation
  • The Cambodian Family Community Center
  • Vietnamese American Cancer Foundation
  • YWCA of North Orange County

The event highlights include a keynote by Komen Young Investigator Dr. Adam Soloff, a research health scientist at the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center in Charleston, S.C. Dr. Soloff shared about his compelling research on the development of a novel breast cancer vaccine and new drug to block cancer cells from hiding in the body’s immune system.  If successful, this treatment strategy could not only kill existing breast cancer cells, but also produce long-term immune memory that may prevent breast cancer recurrence.

Dr. Adam Soloff presents his research about the development of a novel breast cancer vaccine at the Komen OC Grants Award Breakfast.

Dr. Adam Soloff presents his research about the development of a novel breast cancer vaccine at the Komen OC Grants Award Breakfast.

Additionally, attendees heard from a very special Komen-funded patient navigator, Cindy Phou, from the Cambodian Family Community Center. At the young age of 23, Cindy shared her story about how she is making a difference in the life of Angkearoth, a 44-year-old breast cancer patient, wife, mother and immigrant from Cambodia, who spoke very little English.

The inspirational event concluded with the presentation of the “More Than Pink Award” to two of Komen OC’s partners, Kaiser Permanente and Knott’s Berry Farm, for their loyal contributions to Komen OC throughout the years.

Find out more about Komen OC’s 2018 grant recipients here. Please note that grant recipients do not provide any grant funds directly to individuals. For information on how to navigate an individual for diagnostic breast health services through this program, click here or call (714) 957-9157.

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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.

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!

The 2012 Susan G. Komen Orange County Race for the Cure Registration is Now Open!

Registration is now open for the 2012 Susan G. Komen Orange County Race for the Cure, taking place at Fashion Island in Newport Beach on Saturday, Sept. 23. Every year, thousands of breast cancer survivors and supporters come together to participate in the 5K run and walk which raises funds to provide breast cancer treatment, prevention programs and further breast cancer research for Orange County women in need.

This year, we’ve introduced a new runner’s start time for the first 5K at 7:15 a.m. Other 5K run/walk times are at 7:30 a.m. and 9:45 a.m., with a one-mile fun walk at 8 a.m.

Early bird registration is available for a discounted rate of $30 and fees will go up June 30. In hopes of surpassing our fundraising goals, we are encouraging all participants to take part in the 125 Fundraising Challenge, a call-to-action for all of those who register to raise at least $125—the cost of a Komen-funded mammogram.

For more information and to register, go to http://www.komenoc.org/race.

More updates on the 2012 Komen Orange County Race for the Cure to come so stay tuned!

 

Art & Creativity… Painted Voices

With the support of Yardhouse CEO and President Harald Herrmann and artist creator of The Yard House Art Collection Jerome Gastaldi , the Orange County Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure invited 20 breast cancer survivors,  co-survivors, breast health advocates and supporters to a one-of-a-kind workshop titled,  “Art & Creativity…Painted Voices.” At the workshop, participants were able to express their journey with breast cancer creatively through the painting of canvases. In April, the pieces were  sold in a silent auction at the 2012 Pink Tie Ball, held at Festival of Arts, Laguna Beach, in order to raise funds for the Affiliate’s mission of ending breast cancer forever.

Check out some photos from the workshop!

2012 Pink Tie Ball

On April 21, the Orange County Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure hosted the sixth annual 2012 Pink Tie Ball at the Festival of Arts grounds in Laguna Beach to raise funds for local breast health services for uninsured and underserved women in Orange County.  Nearly 400 local community and business leaders, breast cancer survivors and breast health advocates joined forces and raised more than $360,000 net—surpassing last year’s fundraising efforts.

Harald Herrmann, President and CEO of Yard House Restaurants, was honored for his many years of ongoing support and dedication to the Affiliate. Herrmann is also a Pink Tie Ball sponsor and founding member of the Pink Tie Guys.

The Pink Tie Ball also introduced a new class of Pink Tie Guys:

  • Bob Abbott (artist known as Jerome Gastaldi), Fine Art Communication Technologies and artist creator for The Yard House Art Collection
  • Glenn Gray, Sunwest Bank Chief Executive Officer
  • Dr. Gary Levine, Hoag Breast Center Director of Radiology
  • John Miller, The Page Group Executive VP and Partner
  • Kenneth McFarland, Mission Hospital President and Chief Executive Officer
  • John E. Stratman, Jr., Kaiser Permanente – Orange County Director of Public Affairs
  • Scott Wheeler, Experian North America Chief Financial Officer

These men will act to promote Komen Orange County’s breast health mission in the business world and local community.

Stay tuned for more details from the Pink Tie Ball!

2012 Pink Tie Ball Chairs John Miller and Marica Pendjer

2012 Pink Tie Ball Co-chairs: Michael and Trish Gustafson and Chereen and Lawrence Pasternack

Harald Herrmann, President and CEO of Yard House Restaurants

Sue Parks, Board President for the Orange County Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure with the Class of 2011-2012 Pink Tie Guys




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