Guest post by Julie Guevara, Marketing & Communications Manager, Komen Orange County.
Susan G. Komen Orange County recently embarked on an exciting partnership with MemorialCare Medical Group and the Susan G. Komen Tissue Bank at the Indiana University Simon Cancer Center. The Komen Tissue Bank (KTB) is the only repository in the world for normal breast tissue and matched serum, plasma and DNA. To more deeply understand the evolution of breast cancer, it is necessary to compare abnormal, cancerous tissue against normal, healthy tissue. By studying normal tissue, research for the causes and prevention of the disease may be accelerated.
While the Komen Tissue Bank is not in their service area, Komen Orange County organized the event with the goal of helping to diversify the pool of specimens. On Saturday, November 2, the Komen Tissue Bank collected healthy breast tissue samples from 201 Orange County women of Asian, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, Tongan, Hispanic, African-American and Caucasian descent. Two Komen Orange County staff members and four Affiliate board members were also among those who donated healthy breast tissue at the event. This was the first time a collection event has been held on the West Coast.
The idea for the collection came after three Orange County women, Charlene Kazner, a Hawaiian Islander living in Garden Grove; Angela Acevedo-Malouf, a Latina living in Mission Viejo; and Jang Pang, of Chinese and Japanese descent of Huntington Beach, flew to Indianapolis so researchers could extract and store samples of their healthy breast tissue for the Komen Tissue Bank. Then they brought their experience and their passion for inclusion of diverse populations in breast cancer research back to Orange County.
We’re back from Thanksgiving break today and I hope that everyone’s holiday was safe and happy. With Black Friday and Cyber Monday behind us, I’m very excited about #GivingTuesday tomorrow, December 3rd. I hope you are, too.
Set for the Tuesday after Thanksgiving each year, Giving Tuesday is becoming a movement all on its own – a time to remember those who need our help during the holidays and beyond. Charities, families, businesses, community centers and others are coming together to contribute to their communities and make this the biggest giving season yet.
More than 50 million people participated in the inaugural Giving Tuesday last year, donating more than $10 million to start the giving season in the U.S. That’s huge. And we can do even better this year.
I hope that you’ll join the millions of people making a difference, by donating or showing your support for Komen using #GivingTuesday in your posts on Facebook and Twitter. You can become a social media ambassador for this day or share your story: there are many ideas on the Giving Tuesday website: www.givingtuesday.org.
Every year, thousands of individuals and corporations across the country participate in Susan G. Komen Passionately Pink®, a fundraising program that supports individuals and organizations who want to help end breast cancer in their communities and across the country.
All of our Passionately Pink fundraisers come up with the most amazing ideas to support our mission to end breast cancer! Whether it’s holding a casual pink-out day at work, hosting a bake sale, or turning volleyball game pink – it’s the creative fundraising from our passionate supporters that’s helped us raise more than $23 million since Passionately Pink began in 2006!
This week, we were excited to welcome one of our top fundraisers, Account Control Technology (ACT), to our offices. For the past two years, ACT has participated in the Passionately Pink program. This year alone, ACT offices in California, Texas and Ohio held bake sales, cook-outs and a variety of contests, raising more than $31,000 for Passionately Pink and bringing ACT’s total donation to more than $50,000!
It’s hard to believe that it’s already Thanksgiving. The past two and a half months since I joined Susan G. Komen as president and CEO have been nothing short of a whirlwind.
A few weeks after I officially came on board, the country turned pink as we kicked off National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It’s an important time of year for our breast cancer mission. The pink cleats, pink supermarket products, Komen Races, and even the pink airplanes do more than raise awareness; they help to raise the funds that make it possible for Komen to fund more breast cancer research than any other nonprofit (at $800 million since inception, second only to the federal government). They also make it possible to serve hundreds of thousands of low-income, uninsured and medically underserved women and men across our nation and around the world. When there are gripes about “too much pink,” remember that pink makes it all possible!
Each day, about 1,000 women will get a free mammogram, thanks to the funds you raise to support our screening programs. Another 136 will get some form of financial or psychosocial support in our communities, thanks to your support of our community health programs nationwide. Some of our Affiliates will help to put groceries on the table for a woman undergoing treatment. Others will pay for transportation to treatment. Others will pay insurance co-pays and even for surgeries for those who don’t have insurance and don’t qualify for Medicaid or other government programs. Komen helps to fill those gaps for tens of thousands of women every year.
In January of 2012, as I participated in the Susan G. Komen Metastatic Roundtable, I never imagined the experience would lead me halfway around the world. The findings of the Roundtable and Komen’s sustained drive to improve the lives of those living with metastatic breast cancer (MBC) led to a unique opportunity for me to present our work at the Second International Consensus Conference for Advanced Breast Cancer (ABC2) held in Lisbon, Portugal, earlier this month.
The purpose of the meeting was to bring leading medical professionals and patient advocates from around the world to build on a 2011 Consensus Conference in developing a set of guidelines for the management of advanced breast cancer (MBC) in diverse health care settings globally. There were over 1,000 attendees from 71 countries at ABC2. This included 68 patient advocates, many of whom received travel grants funded by Komen.
The conference was chaired by four of the leading researchers in the field, including Komen’s Chief Scientific Advisor, Dr. Eric Winer. The 40-member consensus panel consisted of researchers and oncologists including Komen’s Chief Scientific Advisor Dr. George Sledge and five Komen Scholars, as well as several patient advocate members.