What’s YOUR reason to Race for the Cure?

We all have a reason to Race for the Cure®. On any given day in Orange County, more than five women will be diagnosed with breast cancer and one will die from the disease. Chances are, one of these women is a family member, a friend, or even a colleague of yours. Indeed, breast cancer does not discriminate: It can happen to anyone, regardless of age, race and ethnic affiliation, religion, income, and even gender!

Judy’s reason to Race for the Cure is her parents. They were both diagnosed with cancer just 15 days apart during the Summer of 2015, her father with a nasal carcinoma and her mother with breast cancer. Feeling powerless, Judy witnessed them both undergoing treatments and enduring the challenges that come with it. She witnessed the first physical changes in her mom: hair first, then nails, and finally, loss of appetite. She also witnessed her mom’s resilience, her bravery and her resolution while making one of the toughest decisions in her life: getting a single mastectomy.

Judy's dad, mom and her son Jacob at the 2016 Komen OC Race for the Cure

Judy’s dad, mom and her son Jacob at the 2016 Komen OC Race for the Cure

Today, Judy’s parents are cancer free! Since 2015, it has become her family’s tradition to gather at the Race for the Cure as Team Mila. Their reason? Having experienced cancer, they understand that “even the strongest person couldn’t do it alone.” Breast cancer survivors and their families need a support system and Race for the Cure is one way our community can come together and provide this for them.

We invite YOU to be MORE THAN PINK and join us on September 24th at the annual Race for the Cure, to celebrate survivors and pay tribute to those who have lost the battle against breast cancer. Your presence and your engagement means a lot to them. It shows that you care, and it gives them hope. Hope that a world without breast cancer is possible.

Since its inception in 1991, through events like the Komen Orange County Race for the Cure®, Komen OC has invested more than $38 million in community breast health programs and has helped contribute to the more than $920 million invested globally in research. This fiscal year alone, Komen OC assisted more than 16,000 uninsured and underserved Orange County residents with their breast health care needs. Our bold goal is to reduce the number of breast cancer deaths in the U.S. by 50 percent in the next decade. We have no doubt that with your support, we can achieve it!

Whether you’re a runner or a walker, there is something for everyone at Race for the Cure, including two 5K Run/Walks (7:15 a.m. for early risers, and 9:45 a.m.), a One-Mile Fun Walk for families and kids, a Breast Cancer Survivors Tribute, and a Wellness Expo. If you can’t join us in person, you can show support by opting for virtual participation when registering online!

Don’t miss our early bird registration until July 31st! Additionally, if you register today and donate $26, you will receive a limited edition I AM MORE THAN PINK medal. If you’d like to form a team, contact Danielle Hamilton at 714-957-9157 ext. 26 or via email at dhamilton@komenoc.org for useful tips and recommendations.  For more information, visit komenoc.org/race .

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.

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.

Carrying the Promise into the Future

Have you or someone you know been touched by breast cancer?  Komen Orange County is working hard every day to reduce breast cancer occurrences in Orange County and carrying the promise of creating a world without breast cancer into the future. This year is a monumental year for our Affiliate as we celebrate 25 years of service in Orange County. When we began our journey as the Orange County Affiliate in 1991, we set out to mobilize a community of breast cancer advocates with a common purpose: saving lives. We’re proud to say that since our inception, we have contributed more than $36 million for local breast health programs and research. Thank you all for your continued support.

Recently, we held our 10th Annual Pink Tie Ball at AV Irvine and raised more than $700,000 to bolster the local fight against breast cancer.

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This special event was spearheaded by five well-known co-chairs –Harald and Austin Herrmann, Julie Ann Ulcickas, Khanh T. Tran and Denis Kalscheur — who helped ensure the most successful Pink Tie Ball to-date. Harald and his son Austin gave an emotional tribute to Austin’s mother, Kathie, who was taken by breast cancer when he was only eight years old. Each guest received a bronze calla lily, Kathie’s favorite flower, to memorialize her and symbolize the frailty of life.

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Komen OC Board President Gretchen Valentine and co-chairs Harald Herrmann, Austin Herrmann, Denis Kalscheur, Julie Ann Ulcickas and Khanh T. Tran

At Pink Tie Ball, seven prominent Orange County business leaders were recognized as the 2016 class of Pink Tie Guys, a title given every year to men who promote breast cancer awareness within the business world and the community. The distinguished men joined 70 others chosen over the last ten years as Pink Tie Guys and include:

  • Reginald Gilyard, dean, Chapman University’s Argyros School of Business
  • Craig Glorioso, shareholder of Real Estate Practice, Greenberg Traurig
  • Douglas S. Ingram, CEO, Chase Pharmaceuticals Corporation
  • Lupillo Ramirez, MBA, hispanic product/private label and differentiation director, Northgate Markets
  • Mark Rutherford, senior vice president, human resources, First American Financial Corporation
  • Philippe Schaison, EVP and president, Allergan Medical
  • Joe Stein, consultant, Simply Innovative
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Pink Tie Guys Reginald Gilyard, Craig Glorioso, Mark Rutherford, Douglas S. Ingram, Philippe Schaison and Joe Stein

Thank you to everyone who attended Pink Tie Ball and supported the Komen mission of creating a world without breast cancer. Without you, Komen OC would not be able to continue providing life-saving breast health care and programs to women and men in need.

Join us in carrying the promise into the future by registering for our 25th Anniversary Race for the Cure on Sept. 25. $25 early bird registration is now open and is will continue through June 30. Register at: http://bit.ly/27bf9ks

A Quarter-Century Mission to Save Lives

As we celebrate our 25th Anniversary as the Orange County Affiliate of Susan G. Komen, we reflect on all of the hard work of our dedicated staff members. Without our hardworking employees, Susan G. Komen Orange County would not be able to continue its quarter-century mission of saving lives. While some of our staff members have just recently joined the fight against breast cancer, others have been with us since our inception. Here’s a story of one of our many dedicated pink warriors.

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Komen OC Finance Manager Jane Hill has been part of our Affiliate since it was formed in 1991. She is also a 25-year breast cancer survivor and an inspiration to us all. When Jane was diagnosed, she immediately was thankful for one thing: that it wasn’t her daughter going through breast cancer. This ignited passion in Jane that she needed to survive this terrible disease so she could raise her daughter, and help her to create a world without breast cancer.

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Photo courtesy of Lia Marie Photography

Jane made three promises to herself — promises which she continues to work on each day:

  1. Make sure her daughter never has to deal with breast cancer.
  2. Promote the importance of early detection, which saved her life.
  3. Help other cancer survivors through their journeys.

In her spare time, Jane even performs comedy routines for cancer patients at Hoag Hospital in hopes of brightening their days and giving them a much-needed distraction during a challenging time. Jane has also learned throughout her breast cancer journey that you can’t always control what happens in life, but you can control your attitude and how you handle the situation.

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Jane (right) with her loving sister, Kathy Wynn, Photo courtesy of Lia Marie Photography

After all of the love and support Jane received from friends and family during her treatment and recovery, she knew she wanted to find a way to give back. After volunteering 20+ hours weekly for Komen OC, Jane joined the team as a finance manager. In her role, she oversees Komen’s finances, creates annual financial reports and ensures all funds raised are appropriately allocated.

Every year, Jane also participates in Race for the Cure and the touching Survivor Tribute. We are so lucky to have such an amazing woman involved with our organization and we appreciate everything you do, Jane!