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  • Race for the Cure Recap – Brainerd Lakes and Aspen

    It’s been a few weeks, but we are excited to catch you up on the amazing Races in Brainerd Lakes (June 30) and Aspen (July 14).

    Nearly 2,000 people came together for the 2nd Annual Brainerd Lakes Race last month. The event raised just under $97,000 – an increase from last year! Attendees learned of the inspiring story of the 2012 Honorary Survivor Chair, Viola Fjellman – a 62 year breast cancer survivor.

    The 22nd Annual Aspen Race had nearly 1,000 participants, including some who came out for the newly-debuted 10K event. According to attendees, the survivor tent was “out of this world” and more than 200 volunteers made Race day a huge success!

    There may be fewer Race events this time of year, but Komen and Komen Affiliates are still in full swing! Stay tuned for more information about how Komen is making an impact around the globe, and don’t forget to register for your local Komen Race for the Cure!

  • Susan G. Komen and Mexican Embassy: National Partnership with Local Impact

    Guest post from Catherine Oliveros, MPH, DrPH, Susan G. Komen for the Cure Regional Director, International

    We were very pleased on Thursday to announce a major partnership with the Consulate General of Mexico aimed at Mexican women in the United States.  This exciting new partnership focuses on building the organizational capacity of local Mexican Consulate’s Ventanillas de Salud (Windows of Health) programs to address breast cancer needs in the community.

    Why is this model important for Komen?  Simply put, because the need is urgent.  Although Latinas are less likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer; they tend to be diagnosed at later stages of breast cancer – attributable in part to potential barriers to care and a lack of awareness about the disease.

    This one year pilot will set the stage for a national initiative promoting breast health awareness and action among Mexican women in the US.  We’re working to actively address the barriers to care unique to Hispanic and Latina populations, while building programs in collaboration with Mexican Consulate offices and Komen Affiliates.

    The 2012-2013 grantees for $50,000 include:

    • Little Rock – University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health
    • San Antonio – YWCA of San Antonio
    • San Diego – Project Concern International
    • DallasDFW Area Health Education Center

    The impact these projects can have in terms of raising awareness and providing support to Latina women is tremendous.  Komen is proud to be partnering with the Mexican Embassy on this initiative and we look forward to successful outcomes that will set the stage for national implementation and the integration into other Embassies throughout the US.

  • The European Association for Cancer Research (EACR)

    Komen Founder and CEO Nancy G. Brinker addressed The European Association for Cancer Research over the weekend, telling the world’s most influential cancer researchers that collaboration and new ideas are essential to beginning to stem a growing global cancer pandemic.  Breast cancer is the most widely diagnosed cancer in women worldwide. The biggest impacts are already being felt in developing nations with the fewest resources: more than 60% of cancer deaths occur in the developing world, yet only 5% of world cancer resources are dedicated there.  Nancy cited Komen collaborations with governments, non-governmental organizations and “in-country” health advocates as a step toward addressing the issue, and encouraged more collaborations to address the pandemic.  Read the full press release and check out some pictures in the slideshow below!


  • Update: Pink Ribbon | Red Ribbon – Our Work in Africa

    Greetings from Lusaka, Zambia!

    One of the best parts of my job is witnessing firsthand the solid progress for women’s health that can occur when great minds and great resources work together.  I was delighted today to be in Lusaka, Zambia, to help dedicate a new African Center of Excellence for Women’s Cancer, made possible in part by the extraordinary work of our new Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon (PRRR) initiative.

    Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon is a partnership with Komen, the George W. Bush Institute, UNAIDS, PEPFAR, Merck and Glaxo Smith Kline to greatly improve screening for cervical cancer and improve education and screening for breast cancer. You can read more about this partnership here.  Here’s why cancer screening and treatment is so important in developing nations.

    Cancer today kills more people worldwide than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined – more than 7 million people annually. The burden is harshest on low-resource and developing countries, where 60% of cancer deaths occur today.  The issues are economic: medical resources are very scarce and education and screening for diseases is sparse. They are also cultural: there are often stigmas associated with cancer, and women fear seeking help if they feel a lump.

    The result is that, far too often, women arrive for treatment with tumors breaking through their skins, dying in agony of cancers that could have been successfully treated at earlier stages.

    It’s a cruel irony that in some countries, enough progress has been made in maternal health, nutrition and HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment that women are living long enough to develop cervical and breast cancer. In Zambia alone, breast and cervical cancer among women account for over 41% of cancer deaths in the country.  With most new cases of cancer arising in the developing world, we must take steps to stem this growing cancer tsunami.

    Komen has been active in developing nations for many years – helping to break down some of the myths around breast cancer and to provide resources to detect and treat it early, when most forms of breast cancer are most easily treated. We’ve provided more than $44 million to international researchers and community programs. We work in partnership with hundreds of breast cancer organizations on the ground on five continents.  Our view is that where you live shouldn’t determine whether you live.

    So we were very excited today to witness the 43rd President, George W. Bush, and Mrs. Bush officially dedicating the new African Center of Excellence for Women’s Cancers in Lusaka, whose purpose is to reduce deaths from women’s cancers in the African region by raising the standards of care through education, training and research, with a focus on primary and secondary prevention and treatment of early stage disease. This center will have distance learning and point- of-care capability to support the healthcare workforce, both in Zambia and across many African countries.

    Komen, too, has recently expanded our work to Zambia.  Through a Komen grant, the Center for Infectious Diseases Research is establishing the Cancer Prevention Alliance of Zambia.  This alliance convenes existing breast and cervical cancer advocacy organizations in Zambia to coordinate strategies and share best practices.

    Additionally, through our partnership with Merck, we will begin scaling up breast and cervical cancer education to increase knowledge and awareness, and reduce stigma throughout Zambia in coordination with local NGOs, the Zambian government, the U.S. government, and our PRRR partners.

    And today, we announced a commitment of $200,000 to develop and implement a provider breast cancer training curriculum that will address gaps in the breast cancer continuum of care.  In doing so, we will build on the expertise of in-country providers including nurses, general practitioners, radiologists, pathologists, oncologists and surgeons

    Our efforts and partnerships in more than 50 countries are aimed at fulfilling a lofty vision: a world where no woman or man has to worry about breast cancer ever again.  As I stood at the ceremony today – far, far from home – I was once again humbled to know that whatever our differences, our locations, our languages, so many of us are united in this most noble of human ventures: to end suffering from one of the world’s oldest and deadliest enemies.

    We can save so many women and men from this suffering, as we work furiously in the laboratories to find the cures.  It will take a global community to do it, and all of us at Komen are grateful for the partners, healthcare workers, scientists, partners and advocates who are helping to make a world without cancer a reality.

  • #GetScreened – The GE Mammovan and Wyoming

    From L to R: WY Gov Matt Mead; First lady Carol Mead; Lynn Erdman, VP Community Health, Komen; Sue Siegel, CEO healthyimagination, GE; Dr Wendy Braund, State Health Officer, WY Department of Health

    Guest blog from Lynn Erdman, RN, MN, OCNS, FAAN - Vice President, Community Health, Susan G. Komen for the Cure

    We were in Wyoming this morning to kick off a terrific new program that’s going to have tremendous value in terms of breast health for women in Wyoming and in other states with large rural areas. I was delighted to be with Governor Matt Mead and First Lady of Wyoming, Lynn Mead, with GE’s Sue Siegel and with our Wyoming Affiliate to officially christen the GE “Mammovan,” which will travel the state to screen women where they live. This is part of our new Wyoming Women First initiative and it’s another example of how public/private partnerships can benefit women in our fight against breast cancer. Here’s why this pilot project is important: Wyoming is one of the least sparsely populated states in the Union, where people live an average of 70 minutes from the nearest healthcare facilities. Like other states with large rural populations, screening rates for breast cancer are below average.  To address this, GE Healthcare, Susan G. Komen and the State of Wyoming announced the Wyoming Women First program last year. Over time, we believe we’ll be able to bring the benefits of this pilot project to women in other rural stats.

    The Mammovan is just one part of the program — Komen also announced $1.2 million in grants to the Caring Foundation of Wyoming, the Wyoming Foundation for Cancer Care and Women’s Wellness at Wyoming Migrant Health. These grants will help make screenings, and more coordinated breast cancer treatment, a reality.  A link to the official press release announcing this program is here. I was so pleased to see the excitement, enthusiasm and dedication at our event today and grateful to GE, Wyoming health officials, the healthcare providers and local community groups for such a positive and meaningful partnership.