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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!

KFC and Komen

Survivor Jane Sussman with a pinked-out "Colonel."

Breast cancer awareness is so important that even the iconic “Colonel” of KFC is wearing pink this spring. KFC’s “Buckets for the Cure™” is going full force until May 30, hoping to raise up to $8 million dollars for Susan G. Komen for the Cure. The idea is simple – for every pink bucket of chicken sold (grilled or original recipe) at participating restaurants, KFC will donate 50 cents to Komen.

You can follow the progress at www.bucketsforthecure.com and donate online if you want to skip the drive-thru. KFC also has stories from breast cancer survivors online and they make great reading. Twenty-five percent of the funds raised will be donated to Komen’s 120-plus domestic Affiliates for breast cancer programs in their communities — which includes Orange County! The remainder of the funds will support Komen’s national research and community programs.

The lids of these special pink buckets have a call to action to get involved. That message is particularly important to local survivor Jane Sussman, the Executive Director of the Pink Ribbon Club Foundation. She signed a giant pink bucket in Irvine as part of KFC’s campaign. Her message on the bucket says it all: “Early detection is hope. I’m an 8-year survivor and awareness is my passion.”

The campaign has already reached a donation to Komen of over $3.7  million. You didn’t feel like cooking tonight did you?

Pink Ribbon Clubs Thrive

The PRC volunteers at Komen's MasCUREade celebration in March.

Never underestimate the energy and enthusiasm of teenagers. Pink Ribbon Clubs are flourishing at high schools, and now universities, with these goals: to increase teen awareness and education of breast cancer, to provide community service and to raise funds in the fight against breast cancer.

The first Pink Ribbon Club was founded at University High School in Irvine in 2002 by two sisters whose mother was undergoing treatment for breast cancer. They did a great job laying the groundwork for future clubs by focusing on leadership structure, volunteer and fundraising activities and by working with local affiliates of national organizations – the Komen Orange County Affiliate being one of them. There are now almost 60 Pink Ribbon Clubs across the country. The clubs have sprouted at large and small, public and private schools. Members provide volunteer hours at many of Komen’s events, including Race for the Cure®, the upcoming Pink Tie Ball and the recent MasCUREade celebration.

Coming up is the annual Pink Ribbon Club Conference on Sunday, April 25 from 1 to 5 p.m. at Sage High School in Newport Coast. The day will include education, speakers, survivor forum, crafts, food, and the endless energy of Orange County teenagers on a mission. The day is for any Pink Ribbon Club member or students interested in starting a club at their school. Check out www.prc-foundation.org for more information and to see their amazing accomplishments.

A Big Cheer Back at You

CM cheer A

Costa Mesa High School cheerleaders at the Race

Did you notice all the high school students at Race for the Cure? Being at the Orange County Race as a volunteer is now cool, and the OC Affiliate is better for it. One group, the Costa Mesa High School cheerleaders, has been volunteering for Komen for five years. Besides volunteering at the Race, the cheerleaders have helped out at events at Angels stadium and the Honda Center, to name a few. They give meaning to the word “pep.”

 For many of the Costa Mesa cheerleaders, and for their coach, breast cancer has touched someone in their family or circle of loved ones. It has become personal. They’ve learned about their risks and about breast health, along with cheer routines. The high school added a Pink Ribbon Club last year.  Pink Ribbon Clubs are the perfect way for high school girls to learn awareness, do community service and raise funds to fight breast cancer.

 To learn about volunteer openings at the Komen Orange County Affiliate, visit www.komenoc.org, and to see all the cool activities at Pink Ribbon Clubs, go to www.prc-foundation.org.

 Join us in giving a spirited thank you to the Costa Mesa cheerleaders and all the other squads who bring energy and service to the Race.