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!

Giving Thanks by Giving Back

As we enter giving season, we at Susan G. Komen Orange County, in partnership with the YWCA of North Orange County, wanted to do something extra special to show our appreciation for the community.  So on Saturday morning, we visited the Loaves and Fishes Soup Kitchen at St. Joseph Church and School in Santa Ana with our mobile mammography unit to provide access to care for 37 uninsured and high-risk Orange County women. We had a successful screening – it was the most women we’ve screened at one time.

loaves and fishes

Participants stand in line for their free mammograms.

Mammograms are vital in detecting breast cancer in its early stages and without free breast health screenings for women and men in need, knowing whether they have breast cancer or not would be impossible. Our screening event was held in conjunction with the weekly soup kitchen operations, which serves meals to nearly 900 homeless or disadvantaged men, women and children, in addition to providing free medical care, English classes, clothing and more. Our collaboration with the soup kitchen presented the perfect opportunity to do what we do best – change the lives of women and men in our community.


Alinea Medical Imaging’s mobile mammography helps make these events possible.

We’re grateful for community partners like YWCA of North Orange County and Alinea Medical Imaging for their support of the Komen promise of advancing the fight against breast cancer.  Without their help, we would not be able to offer services at no-cost to the to the Orange County community and encourage breast cancer awareness. We are also thankful for the opportunity to work with Loaves and Fishes Soup Kitchen and are looking forward to future events at their location.

What are you grateful for this season of giving? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Circle of Promise: Let’s Rewrite The Story During Black History Month

Did you know? African American women are 55 percent more likely to be diagnosed at a late stage of breast cancer and 44 percent more likely to die from the disease. In honor of Black History Month, an annual observance each February to honor and remember important people and events in African history, Komen Orange County is spreading the word about its efforts to end breast cancer in African American women and men. Komen Orange County, along with the seven California Affiliates, have partnered for an intensive multiyear effort called Circle of Promise. With Circle of Promise, Komen Orange County hopes to activate the community to help improve breast cancer outcomes in African Americans. Circle of Promise is a breast cancer resource and awareness program that further engages black women and men in the fight against breast cancer. Do you want to get involved in Circle of Promise for Black History Month?

Black History Month

Here’s what you can do:

  • Know your risk. Learn about your family health history. Know how your breasts look and feel and report any changes to your health care provider.
  • Talk with your doctor. Talk to your health care provider about your own personal risk and ask which screening tests are right for you.
  • Get a mammogram. Have a clinical breast exam every three years starting at age 20, and every year starting at age 40.
  • Make healthy lifestyle choices. Living a healthy lifestyle with diet and exercise may reduce your risk of breast cancer.

Together, we’re working towards our mission to decrease breast cancer mortality among African American women and men by increasing breast health awareness and access to mammography screenings. See what the Circle of Promise is doing in your community:

Mammography Event Wraps up Successful Knott’s Berry Farm Partnership

Peanuts characters deliver check to Komen Orange County (Photo courtesy of OCC School of Photography)

Peanuts characters deliver check to Komen Orange County (Photo courtesy of OCC School of Photography)

During a special event last week, as a thank you to Knott’s Berry Farm and in partnership with Alinea Medical Imaging and YWCA-NOC, Susan G. Komen Orange County was in Buena Park to help provide free mammograms to Knott’s employees.

The two-month partnership with Knott’s Berry Farm during February and March raised nearly $100,000 for Komen Orange County and we are grateful to everyone involved for their participation and support. Last Wednesday, Alinea’s mobile mammography unit rolled into Knott’s Berry Farm and volunteers from YWCA-NOC helped to coordinate the mammograms.  Dr. Reich was on hand to perform the screening for Knott’s employees and family members.

Everyone’s favorite theme park characters, Snoopy, Lucy and Sally, were also on hand to celebrate the partnership. The Peanuts gang helped present Komen Orange County with a check for $97,621.11 and greeted women as they awaited their mammograms.

Thank you to everyone at Knott’s, Alinea and YWCA-NOC for helping make this happen! Komen OC’s community outreach wouldn’t be possible without all the terrific partners and supporters that help make it happen!


Providing Free Mammography Screenings for Orange County Residents

The Mobile Unit Photo courtesy of Orange Coast College School of Photography

The Mobile Unit
Photo courtesy of Orange Coast College School of Photography

Susan G. Komen Orange County is always looking for ways to benefit women in need in the local community and has found another way to do just that. During the month of October, National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Komen Orange County, in partnership with Northgate Gonzalez Markets and YWCA North Orange County, provided women with limited healthcare options a chance to get free mammography screenings and breast exams. The screenings were held in convenient, accessible locations throughout Orange County – in Buena Park, Santa Ana and Anaheim.

Komen Orange County found a unique way of bringing these free mammography screenings to women who do not have access to convenient healthcare. By partnering with Alinea Medical Imaging, we were able to debut a mobile digital mammography unit at the free screening in Anaheim on October 28.

This mobile unit is the first full service, self-contained mobile digital mammography unit in Southern California. It will be able to provide the best care possible to patients at these convenient events. By using a Hologic Selenia digital mammography machine, patients will be provided with high quality imaging that can also be found at top breast imaging centers. The mammography unit utilizes advanced digital technology, which means it will be more capable of detecting early signs of breast cancer. With this innovative technology, it will be able to provide exams for up to 50 patients in a day.

Throughout the three event locations, Komen Orange County was able to reach more than a thousand women and provided a total of 142 women with free breast health education and resources to increase early detection. Our mobile unit was again put to use today at an screening event at the Anaheim Whitehouse.

Breast exams and mammography screenings are an important part of your breast health and here at Komen Orange County, we strive to help women in our community be as healthy as possible!

Thank you to all who came out to participate in these screenings! Stay informed about other events with Komen Orange County by checking our website and following us on Facebook and Twitter @komenoc!

Upcoming Events:

November 7 – Free Mammography Screening – Anaheim White House. More information on our website

November 19 – The Cancer Legal Resource Center will be hosting our next breast health education series “What You Need to Know About Health Care Reform.” Check out more details here.

Komen OC’s Community Partners: Making a Difference During Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Anaheim White House's 'First Lady' Martini

Anaheim White House Restaurant Supports Komen Orange County During Breast Cancer Awareness Month

With Breast Cancer Awareness Month (BCAM) in full swing, here is a list of some of the local businesses that are helping Susan G. Komen Orange County increase awareness and funds for breast health and education programs this October.

Whether you enjoy eating, drinking, shopping or sports, there are many opportunities this month for the whole family to get involved for a great cause. Here is just a sample of some of the third-party fundraisers that will benefit Komen Orange County:

  • The Clay Oven – Irvine’s top Indian restaurant is offering a special, 3-course menu available all month with proceeds benefitting Komen OC.
  • “The Key to the Cure” – Saks Fifth Ave at South Coast Plaza is offering an Emilio Pucci-designed shirt in support of BCAM. Two percent of profits directly benefit Komen OC. Offer valid from Oct. 17 to 20.
  • Orange County Polo Club – The Polo Club in Coto de Caza will hold its third annual ladies night on Oct. 25 for Komen OC, in honor of BCAM. Admission is free. Come and enjoy the Polo action, food, silent auction and prizes!
  • JustFab – the online retailer will be donating 100 percent of sale proceeds from its Danica Pump and Honorary Guest clutch to Komen OC this month.
  • Selma’s Pizzeria – For the entire month of October, Selma’s will host a “Pink Party” and donate $1 for every item ordered to Komen OC.
  • Plumbers in Pink – Tom Moffett Plumbing is increasing awareness this month with its annual “Plumbers in Pink” promotion and will be donating $5 to Komen OC from each service.
  • The Anaheim White House – A portion of all drink sales from the restaurant’s First Lady Martini, a pink drink, will support Komen OC and its vision of a world without breast cancer.

Every bit of participation helps, so head out, visit one of our local partners this month and join us in the fight against breast cancer by doing something you enjoy! For more information on any of these promotions, and for a full list of participants, click here or visit our website for more information.

Saks Fifth Avenue's Emilio Pucci designed 2013 Key to the Cure t-shirt

Saks Fifth Avenue’s Emilio Pucci Designed 2013 Key to the Cure T-shirt Benefits Komen Orange County

Events during Breast Cancer Awareness Month:

  • October 17Sign-ups For Mammography Screenings: Pre-registration is required for the mammography screenings. Sign-ups will take place between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. at Northgate Gonzalez Market 770 S. Harbor Blvd. Santa Ana, CA 92703
  • October 19Sign-ups For Mammography Screenings: Pre-registration is required for the mammography screenings. Sign-ups will take place between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. at Northgate Gonzalez Market 6991 Lincoln Ave.  Buena Park, CA 90620
  • October 21Free Onsite Mammography Screenings: Appointments are necessary to participate in the mammography screenings., offered between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m. at Northgate Gonzalez Market  770 S. Harbor Blvd. Santa Ana, CA 92703
  • October 24Sign-ups For Mammography Screenings: Pre-registration is required for the mammography screenings. Sign-ups will take place between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. at Northgate Gonzalez Market 720 W. La Palma Ave. Anaheim, CA 92801
  • October 28Free Onsite Mammography Screenings: Appointments are necessary to participate in the mammography screenings, offered between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m. at Northgate Gonzalez Market 720 W. La Palma Ave. Anaheim, CA 92801

We Won! Komen Orange County Wins Nonprofit IT CreativITy Award

As Breast Cancer Awareness Month kicks off, we’re proud to announce that we have been honored with a Nonprofit IT CreativITy Award from GroundWork group Orange County, for our work using innovation and technology to achieve our mission of serving women and men and saving lives. This is our first award from GroundWork group Orange County, in the Community Engagement category, for our 2012 holiday jingle campaign, along with other technological advances we’ve implemented to achieve our mission.

Komen Orange County values its ability to provide vital breast health services to under-served and under-insured people in the community. That’s why it’s crucial for us to raise funds and awareness for the importance of early detection and screening.  Last year, we tapped our PR agency, HKA Marketing Communications, to develop a creative year-end appeal asking the public to donate funds for life-saving mammograms. The result was a catchy tune and video that helped us bring together familiar faces to make a big impact in our community. We’re also gearing up for our second Komen holiday jingle, featuring a new song and fresh faces, so be sure to stay tuned!

We’re grateful for the continued support we receive from our community, which makes all the diagnostic and treatment programs we are able to fund possible express our gratitude for making the 2012 jingle an award-winning success!

Komen OC Breast Cancer Awareness Month Events:

October 7 –  Join us at the Northgate Gonzalez Market at 580 W. La Habra Blvd in La Habra, where we will be conducting free, onsite mammograms for local women in need.

October 10 – We are sponsoring the next talk in our Breast Health Education Series, Breast Cancer and Beyond: A Road Map through Survivorship at 6:30 at the El Niguel Country Club 23700 Clubhouse Ave., Laguna Niguel, CA 92677. Dinner will be served.