RACE FOR THE CURE
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2 • Bellevue Reporter • May 2013
KOMEN PUGET SOUND
wenty years ago, gas was at $1.00 a gallon, a movie titled “Sleepless in Seattle” just premiered and a young mother named CJ Taylor-Day brought together a small group of friends and volunteers to establish the Puget Sound Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Losing her mother to breast cancer at age 17, CJ was passionately committed to ensuring “no child should ever grow up without a mother because of breast cancer.” Since that beginning, Komen Puget Sound has grown to rank fifth out of 120 Komen affiliates nationally. As a result of this growth, the affiliate has been able to invest over $7 million into
medical research to better diagnose, treat and ultimately cure breast cancer. But the majority of the affiliate’s grants, over $19 million, have been invested right here in our community to fund breast health education, screening and treatment support. Komen Puget Sound continues to be the largest private provider of free mammogram support to low income and uninsured women. The Komen Patient Assistance Fund has provided thousands of breast cancer patients in our community with financial support for life’s basic needs, allowing them to continue their lifesaving treatments. Women like Kate B. from
Renton, Washington said: “I have been incredibly anxious because my treatments for breast cancer have meant missing work. I was SO thankful for the money I received from the patient assistance fund because it allowed us to catch up with my mortgage payments. Without the Komen fund, we would have faced the stress of possible foreclosure. I want to say thank you very much for your help.” The fight against breast cancer has come a long way in the last 20 years. Komen Puget Sound will continue this fight until Komen’s promise of a world without breast cancer becomes a reality.
Susan G Komen • 20th Annual Race for the Cure • 3
RACE FOR THE CURE
s volunteers Tath Hossfeld and Jan Slawson wrapped up preparations for the very first Komen Puget Sound Race for the Cure in 1994, the only thing left to wonder was “will it rain”? “It was very nerve wracking because it rained the day before and throughout the night,” says Jan. “It was a new race, and I didn’t know how committed people would be.” Tath agrees: “I was so worried that rain would keep people away from our Race. But boy, was I wrong!” More than 3,000 women showed up in pouring rain for the first Race, more women that ever ran in a Seattle Race before. “Seeing all those people united together around breast cancer, this huge sea of pink, was so powerful! It made me cry,” says Tath. Jan was not only at the first Race for the Cure, but she also was responsible for organizing the whole race, as the Race Chair. “I attended my
first Komen Puget Sound meeting, and they asked who would like to chair the first Race for the Cure. I just raised my hand,” says Jan. “I was a runner back then, and I was really drawn to the idea of a race to benefit an important cause like breast cancer.”
and tears. It is so valuable to celebrate long term survivors. It gives such a powerful message of hope.”
“There is an atmosphere of joy and hope at the Race that is infectious,” says Jan. “When you are there, you find yourself among a happy community. The Seattle Center is this beautiful Tath chaired the first breast cancer Survivor’s park-like setting where you can feel you are Celebration at the Race. “It was so powerful away from everything. There is entertainment, to see so many breast cancer survivors in one room, nothing like that had ever been organized food, and sponsors giving things to everyone. People are smiling and walking around with in Seattle,” says Tath. “We were one large support group for each other. During the lunch, filled goodie bags. It is just a great day of fun! I’ve always enjoyed myself.” we asked every survivor to stand up. Then we asked first year survivors to sit back down. Then “One day, we will find a cure for breast cancer,” five year survivors were asked to sit down, then says Tath. “When that day comes, the very next 10 year survivors, and so on until there was thing a woman will hear after a breast cancer just one woman standing. When we asked her diagnosis is: ‘It’s OK, we now have a cure.’ I how long she has been a survivor, she told us 35 really do believe this is possible, because I have years. The whole room went crazy with applause seen how far we have come in the last 20 years.”
4 • Bellevue Reporter • May 2013
“Because every woman deserves the chance to survive.” Brooke Fox, MOViN 92.5
Michelle lAng & Still WAter to Perform at the Race for the Cure
ward winning urban-contemporary and gospel singer Michelle Lang will be performing with Still Water at the Komen Puget Sound Race for the Cure, Seattle Center, June 2, right before the Race begins. Michelle was voted Best Gospel Female Vocalist for 2009 by Inside Tha Musik and awarded a Legacy Award by Seattle Pacific University.
SUNDAY | JUNE 2, 2013 | Seattle Center 5K Run/Walk | 1 Mile Walk Kid’s Race | Survivor Celebration
In addition to performing at the Race for the Cure, Michelle is also serving as a co-chair for the Sista’s Race for the Cure team. The goal of the Sista’s team is to promote Race participation by African American women and families and to increase awareness of the high breast cancer mortality rate among African American women. “We need to find cures for cancer because no one should have to suffer the loss of a mom, or a sister or daughter,” says Michelle. “This is why I have chosen to join the Sista’s Race for the Cure team and support Komen Puget Sound’s Race for the Cure.” The Komen Puget Sound Race for the Cure will provide an opportunity to celebrate survivors and remember those who have lost their battle to breast cancer. This service will occur on June 2, from 7:30-8:15 a.m. in the Seattle Center Pavilion. To learn more about the Race for the Cure, go to komenpugetsound.org.
Susan G Komen • 20th Annual Race for the Cure • 5
It’s OK to talk about By Linda Ball Reporter newspapers
My favorite movie of all time is still the 1983 Best Picture winner, "Terms of Endearment," starring Shirley MacLaine, Jack Nicholson, Debra Winger, Jeff Daniels, Danny DeVito and John Lithgow. The story centers on MacLaine's character, Aurora Greenway, a widow, and her relationship with her daughter, Emma, played by Winger. Nicholson's character, Garrett Breedlove, is a retired astronaut, a hard-partying lady's man who eventually wins Aurora's heart and vice-versa, in a very funny courtship. But it is Emma who steals our hearts, as she deals with her cheating husband, Flap (Daniels), and then discovers a lump in her armpit. For our Emma, who has three small children, it's been caught too late. Other than this development, the movie really is a comedy. In one
scene Emma is at lunch with her best friend, Patsy, and some of Patsy's high-brow New York lady friends. These women all know that Emma has cancer, but they never say the word. Instead they skirt around the issue and make comments like how lucky her kids are to have such a wonderful mommy. Linda Ball After the lunch Emma is upset. When Patsy confronts her, she asks Emma, what do you want me to say or do? Emma says, "Tell them it's all right. Tell them it ain't so tragic. People DO get better! Tell them it's okay to talk about the CANCER!"
standing nearby, hacks up an hors d'oeuvres when she hears this. Who knew that 28 years later I would get the diagnosis of breast cancer. Only, unlike Emma, I survived. Now that movie line has even more meaning to me. I find that some people are uncomfortable if I bring it up. Don't be. It happens. According to the American Cancer Society, the chance of a woman having invasive breast cancer some time during her life is about one in eight. The chance of dying from breast cancer is about one in 36. I have found that it has become a big part of who I am now. It's not something to be ashamed of. At first I blamed myself — what did I do to bring this on? What didn't I do that I should have? There is no good answer, other than that cancer has its own agenda.
The next scene in the movie is hilarious, as a woman at a party comes up to Emma and says, "Patsy I've always exercised, and for the most part maintained a healthy tells me you have cancer!" Patsy,
diet, so I couldn't understand why me? On June 2, I will be participating in the Susan G. Komen Puget Sound Race for the Cure, a 5K run/walk to raise money for breast cancer research. Seventy-five percent of the money raised as a result of the race and fundraising associated with it, will stay in Puget Sound to fund screenings, education, and treatment support. The remaining 25 percent will fund global research to better diagnose, treat and ultimately cure breast cancer. It's the least I can do, because I would very much like to see an end to this disease that robs so many women of years of their life while in treatment, or their entire life. It really sucks. But please know that talking about cancer to a survivor or even someone going through treatment is often what they need. Even though you can't understand unless you've been through it yourself, lend a compassionate ear. Because it's really okay to talk about the CANCER! Linda Ball: 425-391-0363, ext. 5052 email@example.com
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cancer sparks volunteerism
6 • Bellevue Reporter • May 2013
By Keegan Prosser
Lori Vovak has never had breast cancer – but it's affected her in the most personal of ways. Vovak's mother was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in 1996, and though she beat the disease the first time around, her cancer came back in 2003. After months of battling, Vovak's mother lost her fight in November of the same year. That's why she works as a volunteer with the Susan G. Komen for the Cure. See komen, 7
Jennifer Hoffmann, Katherine Hoffmann, Lori Vovak and Christine Hoffmann. COURTESY PHOTO
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Susan G Komen • 20th Annual Race for the Cure • 7
komen CONTINUED FROM PAGE 6
Obstetricians & Gynecologists
“I think that started me wanting to do something,” Vovak said.
work for the Susan G. Komen Foundation someday.
On New Year's Eve of that year, Vovak and her family committed to take part in the Race For The Cure. Nine years later, the team – which includes Vovak's son and daughter – is still going strong.
Volunteering her time for a worthy cause is nothing new to Vovak. In addition to losing her mother to Breast Cancer, Vovak lost her husband to a rare blood disease in 1999. As such Vovak has been raising money and volunteering with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society for years.
"Our little group has been getting bigger and bigger," said Vovak, who has rallied more than 50 people from the Olympia, Tacoma and Seattle for this year's race. But for Vovak, raising awareness about breast cancer is more than participating in the race once a year. "I think it was last year I just thought to myself, there's got to be something more I can do than just doing the Race for the Cure." At the time, Vovak encountered a new coworker and breast cancer survivor, and was working with the foundation. When Vovak showed interest in getting more involved, her coworker connected her with the volunteer coordinators. "It was just amazing timing," Vovak said. She's since started volunteering with the foundation on a more regular basis – stuffing bags for the race, sending mailers and handing out flyers on the Eastside. And while she admits most of the stuff she's been working on has been behind the scenes, she's eager to get even more involved. In fact, she said it’s her dream to
"I just felt like – with losing so many people in my family to breast cancer and cancer diseases – I just thought, there's gotta be something more," Vovak said. As far as the race goes, Vovak said her team has rallied behind the moniker "Save The Tatas" – though she admits her daughter, Emily, 14, thought they should be called "Hakuna MaTATA." "It's fun to have fun with it," Vovak said. "Because it's sad, but you still have to keep moving forward and somehow have fun with it, too." Vovak said she doesn't set a monetary goal for her team because she doesn't want to put too much pressure on people. However, most people on the team set their own personal goals. Vovak's personal best was $1,000. "Which I know isn't that much," Vovak said. "But every penny counts." Keegan Prosser: 425-453-4602 email@example.com
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A STEP IN THE
8 • Bellevue Reporter • May 2013
RIGHT DIRECTION Join QFC and the Komen Puget Sound Race for the Cure as we raise funds and awareness for the fight against breast cancer. Ensuring that all women have access to breast cancer early detection and quality treatment support is the ultimate goal, and QFC is committed to seeing this happen.
Understanding the facts about the disease and knowing the warning signs can help protect you and your loved ones. Here are some useful tips: • Talk to your family and learn about your family health history • Complete monthly breast self-exams • Be alert to any changes in your body • Notify your doctor immediately if you notice any changes or have any concerns • Have yearly check-ups and mammograms, as recommended • Spread the word by talking and sharing with mothers, sisters, family and friends. Love and knowledge are powerful weapons in this battle. QFC is proud to be the Local Presenting Sponsor of this year’s Komen Puget Sound Race for the Cure. We will see you at Seattle Center on June 2nd!