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  • New Standards in Breast Cancer Cause Marketing Programs

    Today, we joined the New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman to implement best practices in charitable cause marketing standards. Please join us in our excitement as these standards will give consumers better information and a clearer understanding of how their donations are supporting breast cancer research and community breast cancer programs.

    Cause marketing programs involve fundraising partnerships between charities and businesses that generate donations based on the purchase of a product or participation in a business partner’s cause marketing program. We partner annually with about 200 companies that help raise funds for our research programs, large-scale community health programs, advocacy and global work.  And our partners have helped us make significant progress against breast cancer, generating a large portion of the funds that have allowed us to invest more than $740 million in research and more than $1.3 billion in community health programs over our 30 years.

    We have always believed in providing clear and concise information for consumers who support breast cancer programs. To that end, we began working with Attorney General Schneiderman’s office in 2011 to develop the best practices announced today.

    We are proud to have worked in partnership since 2011 with Attorney General Schneiderman’s office to develop these standards and we applaud his leadership in developing best practices to guide cause marketing programs across all breast cancer organizations.

    The best practices are located on the New York Attorney General’s website.

    Susan G. Komen’s Five Questions Consumers Should Ask.

  • 31 Days of Impact – Day 18, Jack Anderson

    The story of breast cancer is the story of people. Learn about Komen’s impact and work in the fight against breast cancer as told through the eyes of breast cancer survivors, researchers, community health workers and advocates. Read more stories.

    John (Jack) Anderson, Virginia – Co-Survivor, Author

    “Breast cancer calls for full-scale war. It’s game on, every morning, every night, ‘round the clock, every day, every week, every month, every year, for years to come.”

    “The battleground is her body, mind and spirit—as well as your body, mind and spirit.”

    “Once you enter Cancer Land there is no turning back, so buck up and start following your leader, your loved one; she is the one who presides over all things that happen in Cancer Land.”

    You’re a guy; and someone very close to you, right this minute, has just been diagnosed with breast cancer. Or maybe she’s undergoing treatment. Maybe she’s in remission. She could be your wife, your mother, your sister, your girlfriend, your daughter, grandmother, aunt, cousin, co-worker or a friend. But the reality is that the long arm of breast cancer has reached into your world, and a woman in your life, someone you love, needs YOU.  What the heck do you do?

    When my mom, Anne Anderson, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1978, I didn’t have a clue. To cope with what was happening, I started writing a book—a book that took twenty-one years to complete. During that time my wife, my sister and my mom’s best friend were also diagnosed.  And my mother lost the battle she so valiantly fought.

    The lack of resources for men, to help us understand how to process and talk with the women in our lives about breast cancer and breast health, struck me as profound.  My book Stand By Her became an answer.

    “I have breast cancer.”  “It’s malignant.”

    If you’re like most guys, hearing these words sends you into shock. You can’t breathe. You’re scared, mad, panicked— and it’s all happening at the same time.  Here are a few lessons that I hope will help you catch your breath as you navigate that first leg of the journey.

    Follow, Don’t Lead
    Everything that happens with regard to her treatment is up to her, not you. She is Commander-in-Chief of everything when it comes to breast cancer. So it is vital that you follow, not lead what happens.

    Just Listen
    Sometimes you need to stop talking and just listen to her. If she wants to laugh, laugh with her. If she wants to cry, comfort her and don’t minimize her fear. Watch for her emotions and follow where they lead.

    Laugh
    Laughter is the greatest healer of all. It will get her, and you, through the crazy times that she is going to face with her breast cancer treatment. One of the best things you can do for her is to make her laugh.

    Show Your Love
    Hold her, kiss her, hug her. Get her little gifts. Compliment her whenever you can. Make her feel good about herself as a woman.

    Thirty years ago, when Nancy Brinker promised her sister Susan G. Komen, who was dying from breast cancer, that she would do everything she could to find a way to put an end to this devastating disease, the world was a very different place. In the past three decades, the breast cancer movement has given birth to scientific research and lifesaving awareness that have definitely changed the game.  Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a time to mark how far we’ve come and to acknowledge the work that still needs to be done. I’m in the fight for the long haul, and if someone you love is diagnosed with breast cancer, I hope you will be too—and that you won’t be afraid to Stand By Her.

    Read other impact stories.

  • 31 Days of Impact – Day 17, Cheryl Jernigan

    The story of breast cancer is the story of people. Learn about Komen’s impact and work in the fight against breast cancer as told through the eyes of breast cancer survivors, researchers, community health workers and advocates. Read more stories.

    Updated 10/18/12

    CHERYL JERNIGAN, KANSAS CITY – Breast Cancer Survivor, Advocate

     “I’m blessed to be 16 years post-breast cancer; but how long will I be cancer free? No one really knows because we don’t have a cure and that’s why I walk and work with Komen. I want to put an end to breast cancer forever!”
     
    “I’m not just a survivor, I’m a breast cancer ‘thriver’ – this unwanted journey continues to bless me with wonderful, rich relationships and opportunities.  The friendships and opportunities to give back that Komen has provided are foremost among these.”
     
    “We (the volunteers, researchers and staff of Susan G. Komen for the Cure) will not stop until we discover and deliver the cures. That’s our promise.”

    From the day I was diagnosed, I have been blessed with amazing support from family, friends, caregivers, and many survivors who had started their journey before me. Komen continues to be a comprehensive avenue for me to honor that blessing by doing all I can to help the millions of other women and men who are facing or will face this disease.

    When I was diagnosed, I was healthy and fit. I didn’t have breast cancer in my family. People would ask me in shock, “How did you get this?!” As women, our greatest risk factors for breast cancer are being female and growing older – not something we can do much about.  Breast cancer doesn’t care about age, gender, socio-economic status or geographic location; all women are at risk, which is why I devote so much of my time to seeing its demise.

    I am a founding board member of the Greater Kansas City Affiliate, a past board president and currently on the board as the Chair of Strategic Mission Committee.  Nationally, I am a member of Komen’s Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) and Steering Committee for Advocates in Science.  Since its inception, Komen has been an advocate-centered organization. Advocates (breast cancer survivors and co-survivors) have been integrated into all the facets of Komen, including the research program where advocates are asked to sit as colleagues at the table with researchers in reviewing grants and directing our research program.  Advocates bring a sense of reality and urgency to the table, and assuring perspectives from the world of patients/survivors are a cornerstone and fully integrated into decisions at every step of the research process.

    Komen has a multi-faceted approach…working in every arena needed to truly put an end to this disease from research to community engagement in educating and filling needed breast cancer service gaps at a local level to public policy that assures research funding and people’s access to effective breast health and cancer services.  It’s our goal to discover and deliver the cures for breast cancer, while serving women and men who need our help today and tomorrow.

    With Komen, I am helping make a difference in the research being funded, the public policies that affect our breast health and care, and the lives of those served by our Affiliate’s community grants program that funds needed screening, education, patient navigation and cancer support services. Every day more women are diagnosed with breast cancer…and despite the latest in treatment, more women still have to live with or fear a recurrence…every day more lives are lost to this disease – with Komen, one day we will see a world without breast cancer.

    Updated 10/18/12

    Read other impact stories.

  • “Parenthood” and the Breast Cancer Storyline

    Guest blog post from Susan Brown, Managing Director, Community Health of Susan G. Komen for the Cure

    Breast cancer has become a main storyline of NBC’s  “Parenthood.” In the last few episodes, viewers have seen Monica Potter’s character, Kristina Braverman, receive a breast cancer diagnosis and deal with some of the initial emotions and decisions that so many women battling breast cancer have to face.

    In the most recent episode that aired last Tuesday night, Kristina handled the incredibly difficult task of telling the news to her family. The scene hits close to home for many of us who have spoken or heard the words, “I have cancer.”

    Parenthood - Monica Potter - Breast Cancer

    Since receiving her breast cancer diagnosis, Kristina struggles with things that many other women like her must handle, such as finding the right doctor, deciding on different surgery options and dealing with family members who are trying to help, but may come across as judgmental or over-bearing.

    We applaud NBC for  portraying the difficult realities of a breast cancer diagnosis. In addition to raising awareness of the importance of screenings and early detection, the show illustrates the importance of having a strong support system.

    We want women to understand that they are not alone in the fight against breast cancer and that there are others going through similar experiences. We also want to help.  We have resources and information – and a community of breast cancer survivors who willingly share their stories.  If you are looking for help in your community, please find your local Komen Affiliate for resources close to home.

    We are honored to share stories of compassion, determination, triumph, despair and optimism through the eyes of breast cancer survivors, the people who love them and the people helping them every day. We encourage you to check out their stories.

  • 31 Days of Impact – Day 16, Dr. Sheri Phillips

    The story of breast cancer is the story of people. Learn about Komen’s impact and work in the fight against breast cancer as told through the eyes of breast cancer survivors, researchers, community health workers and advocates. Read more stories.

    Dr. Sheri Phillips, Chicago – Physician, Survivor

    “My lymphedema had affected my ability to safely care for my patients and my boss at the time called me into his office and said, “A physician who is not clinically capable is of no value to me.” My heart sank.”

    “Now as a “patient-physician” I’m a stronger advocate for better health awareness and the need for a cure.”

    “In 2010, I participated in the Susan G. Komen Chicago 3-Day for the Cure. At the end of the event, I knew I’d found my calling. I was meant to help change lives on a national scale.”

    Ever since I was two years old, I’ve wanted to be a physician. So I studied hard for years and worked my way through school to become a physician and have been for 18 years. I’ve always exercised and kept my body in shape. I’ve always eaten right for the most part. I have no family history of cancer. Nobody has had any major medical issues as far as I know. And still…I’m a 3-year breast cancer survivor.

    Surviving breast cancer is a difficult, life-changing event – for anyone. I underwent a partial mastectomy, a lymph node dissection, 15 rounds of chemotherapy and 33 rounds of radiation. I now have clinically disabling lymphedema (persistent swelling) of my right arm and hand and can no longer perform hands-on treatment of my patients. But the most difficult part of surviving breast cancer was losing my mom while I was undergoing chemotherapy. Weeks before my mom died I was also diagnosed with a congenital heart defect that was potentially life threatening but not surgically correctable. Coming so close to death caused me to see that although I had spent my life helping thousands of patients and their families in this country and abroad, I merely existed. Helping people became “what I did.”

    I began searching for the higher purpose in my life. My lymphedema had affected my ability to safely care for my patients and my boss at the time called me into his office and said, “A physician who is not clinically capable is of no value to me.” My heart sank. My life’s dream seemed to be coming to an end at 42 and after 18 years of service, I was told I had no value.

    So I decided to make a difference, not just in my life, but in the lives of others. By helping them through their struggle and showing them their own value, I would find mine again. For years, I was seen as the invincible physician. Now as a patient-physician I’m a stronger advocate for better health awareness and the need for a cure. My diagnoses and treatment have taken away one of my greatest fulfillments in life which was the hands-on care of my patients. But after careful re-consideration of what I still have rather than what I’ve lost, I have a brand new focus and mission in life. I have decided to stop existing and instead have chosen to LIVE!—To Love myself and others; to Inspire those around me; to Voice my dreams and ambitions; and to Enjoy life!

    In 2010, I participated in the Susan G. Komen Chicago 3-Day for the Cure. At the end of the event, I knew I’d found my calling. I was meant to help change lives on a national scale. I could share my story, share my voice, share my life, and share my victory with thousands of others that needed help. I am now honored to represent the Susan G. Komen 3-Day as the National Spokesperson. This role affords me the opportunity to raise awareness and educate thousands of women and men throughout the country about breast health and how they can join in the fight to end breast cancer.

    From being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008, disabled from lymphedema in 2010, to raising my voice as a national spokesperson in the fight against breast cancer in 2011…now that’s living! I’m blessed to have my own healthcare consulting business in addition to sharing my story, my life, my voice and my victory as a motivational speaker and voice-over artist. I’m grateful that my remarkable story of pain, loss and change has inspired tens of thousands of people across the country. I want to continue to inspire others not only by my words, but by living them every day. You can’t make progress if you never take risks. Never stop dreaming. Step out and find out!

    Read other impact stories.