Get Involved Beyond Breast Cancer Awareness Month

It’s the last week of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and it’s important to remember that your year round support is crucial to finding a cure for this devastating disease. We are so grateful for the continued community support and donations that we have received throughout the month. Fundraising for Race for the Cure will continue until Oct. 31, and we are on track to exceed our goal of $2 million. After October, we must maintain our momentum – to continue raising funds and awareness for breast cancer throughout the year.

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Looking for ways to stay involved? Try these tips:

  • Volunteer –Volunteers assist with outreach, education, office-based projects and special events year round. Without volunteers, we would not have the manpower to advance Komen’s promise to save lives and end breast cancer forever. Need more info or ready to volunteer? Contact volunteer@komenoc.org.
  • Advocate – Komen OC’s advocates act as the voice for over 3 million breast cancer survivors in the U.S. We need your help with our mission to translate the Komen promise into action at all government levels. Sign up to become an advocate at: http://sgk.mn/ZK20QF
  • Donate – Your donations make a huge difference. Every dollar donated helps us make an impact; whether you skip your daily coffee, pass on buying that new outfit, or watch a movie at home instead of going out, your funds will help save lives. Join us in the fight against breast cancer by visiting: http://bit.ly/1tmKjlY
  • Fundraise – Many organizations host events and activities throughout the year with proceeds benefiting Komen Orange County. You can participate in an activity that you and your family can enjoy, while supporting a good cause. You can shop for the cure, play in a golf tournament, rally for a cure, start a bake sale or even host a jewelry party with proceeds benefitting the fight against breast cancer! Find out how to start your next fundraiser today: http://bit.ly/ZK3ev9

These tips are just some of the many ways to get involved with Komen OC. We’re so grateful that Breast Cancer Awareness Month was full of fun events that helped raise critical funds for breast cancer including support from: Mode-ology’s Shop for a Cause, Chevron’s Driven to Find a Cure and Orange County Polo Club’s Ladies Night Polo Match. While we can’t mention all of our wonderful supporters here, we’re grateful to all those who held events, fundraisers, and in-store promotions this month to advance our mission.

Seventy-five percent of the funds raised through Komen Orange County are invested in local breast cancer awareness and education programs including breast self-examination classes, medical and diagnostic services for uninsured and underinsured women, and other community needs through grants to community breast health organizations. The remaining 25 percent is dedicated to the Komen Award and Research Grant Program to fund groundbreaking breast cancer research. For more information, visit www.komenoc.org.

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Thank you to our valuable volunteers!

Happy National Volunteer Week to all of our dedicated Susan G. Komen Orange County volunteers!  Thank you for your constant support and for being a crucial part of our team. Your unwavering dedication and invaluable donation of your time is a key reason that Komen OC is the strong, longstanding organization that it is today.

Last year alone, we received more than 30,000 hours of in-kind support, and our Race for the Cure teams collectively raised more than $400,000 for local breast health initiatives and global research.

 

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Race for the Cure 2013

 

We still have exciting volunteer opportunities coming up this year, including opportunities to help with Pink Tie Ball on May 10 and preparing for the 2014 Race for the Cure. For more information on how to get involved with Komen OC, email volunteer@komenoc.org.

With my strength, my power, the world is mine! –Incredible Hulk

National Superhero Day is this Sunday, April 28. Here at Komen Orange County we have a number of superheroes we’d like to honor and recognize! Just like many of the action fighters we are all familiar with and admire, we are on our own quest to save the world from breast cancer.

Sure Superman can fly around the world to undo time and can catch a speeding bullet in his teeth. Wolverine can detect nearby enemies with his smell and heal from any wound almost instantly. The Incredible Hulk can withstand extreme temperatures and possesses unlimited strength and power.

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But at Komen OC our breast cancer survivors are our ultimate heroes, the real “Wonder Women” of Orange County. They have extraordinary powers of strength, bravery and courage that inspire all of us.

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Let’s celebrate on Sunday by paying tribute to these local survivor superheroes and those who we may have lost along the way. There are lots of ways you, too, can be a superhero and help raise funds for breast cancer research and local breast health services for uninsured and underserved women and men.  Consider volunteering, forming a Race team or donating a life-saving mammogram. To find out more about how to get involved and make a difference with Komen Orange County, visit www.komenoc.org.

Share your stories below of who you consider to be your biggest superhero.

Real Men Wear Pink

We are so excited to have such wonderful volunteers in our Komen OC community and share this great story with you!  Cory Holmes, 26, has been working hard on his custom car to help us spread breast cancer awareness.  A great article ran in the Tustin News today on Cory and his 2006 Infiniti G35 Coupe. We guarantee you haven’t seen a volunteer or a car one like this!

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We can’t forget Cory’s tattoo, another way he helps spread breast cancer awareness.

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UPDATE MARCH 15: Cory’s story will be featured in The Orange County Register on March 16. We’re thankful for Cory’s support and proud to have such an inspirational volunteer!

Do them no harm…

We would like to thank Carolyn Bivens for the below submission. Even though Carolyn’s mother is a 25-year breast cancer survivor, she was not prepared for her own diagnosis. Komen was an important part of helping through the surgery, treatment and beyond. Carolyn is serving on the educational series committee and volunteering for additional duties.  She recently signed up for the 3-Day, 60-Mile Walk later this year.

Do them no harm…

If you can, help others; if you cannot do that, at least do not harm them

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Just six months ago, I was on the receiving end of those dreaded four words, “you have breast cancer.” For the next few months, people I didn’t know helped guide my husband and me through a maze of decisions and assembly of caregivers. From the first phone call, the staff and volunteers of Komen were available literally 24/7. This was a very different world than my family experienced 25 years ago when my mother was diagnosed and treated.

Two weeks ago, I attended a Susan G. Komen volunteer orientation and the very next day, a committee meeting to review educational curriculum as part of a series delivered throughout Orange County. At both gatherings the focus was to engage and better serve survivors and family along with improving education, out-reach and support in our community.

Today I had my 6-month post-surgery mammogram. Besides dreading the discomfort of the event, we were apprehensive. “What if?” I thought. But the news was good thankfully, no sign of a recurrence.

Next, I stopped by the Komen offices for a meeting and while checking in, paused to wait for a woman asking the receptionist if they had any scarves available. She explained to the receptionist that she was going through chemotherapy and was losing her hair; a friend had told her Komen would help.

“Yes,” the receptionist replied, “we can help.” A staff member appeared saying she would get a scarf. But the conversation didn’t stop there. The staff member explained that if later on, the woman wanted a wig, they (Komen) would fit her and provide the wig at no charge. The woman’s shoulders visibly relaxed; she was in a place that understood.

The list of what I don’t know and don’t understand about the latest developments surrounding Susan G. Komen for the Cure is long. The one thing I do know is that breast cancer survivors and their families are better off because of all Komen has accomplished over the last 30 years. It may be naïve to hope everyone unifies around finding a cure. If not, I pray that those who choose not to participate in the fight against breast cancer will at least, do it no harm.

We have come a very long way but as the woman with the new-found scarf and I both know, we have a very long way yet to go.

Picture Yourself in This T-Shirt

Volunteer Kelly Rotstan of Aliso Viejo models the Race volunteer T-shirt

Volunteer Kelly Rotstan of Aliso Viejo models the Race volunteer T-shirt

Calling all volunteers — the 2009 Komen Orange County Race for the Cure Committee needs your time and talent. “Volunteers are the lifeline of the Komen Orange County Affiliate. It takes a village, literally, to ensure that the Race is safe and fun for all participants,” says Cindy Brenneman, Director of Volunteer Services for the Affiliate.

The numbers back her up – on Race weekend more than 1,200 volunteers help with a variety of tasks. Volunteers this year will stand out in their sunny yellow T-shirts and will help with parking, keeping the course clear, working information booths, emptying trash boxes, cheering on walkers, leading “I Am the Cure” chants . . . pretty much everything so that 30,000 participants have fun and stay safe.

Volunteers are needed for pre-Race outreach (which is happening now); set up on Saturday, September 26; Race day on Sunday, September 27 and tying up details after the Race in the Komen office.

There is always a particular need for strong individuals who can assist with loading and unloading trucks and moving boxes. Does your company have a community outreach program? Volunteer as a group! Volunteers are needed to fundraise by signing up for “Sleep in for the Cure” or joining a team — you’ll still have time to volunteer.

Besides getting the ever-popular volunteer T-shirt, you’ll be rewarded with water and food when needed, meeting other fantastic people and knowing you have made an impact in the fight against breast cancer. Where to go to get started? Please go to our website www.komenoc.org click on Race for the Cure, volunteering, and sign up right away.