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Girls Night Out Open House Coming Up Soon

For the sixth year in a row, Epcon Communities is kicking off a month-long of giving with an Open House (for the ladies only!) on Thursday, October 2 at its model home in Powell.

Epcon_CFTC_LargeThumbThe evening will begin at 5 pm and attendees are invited to enjoy delicious hors d’oeuvres and cocktails while browsing goodies from Over my Head, Studio 52, Thirty-One Gifts, Mukha Custom Cosmetics, CAbi Clothing and Stella & Dot.

Guests will also be eligible to win any number of raffle prizes including gifts from the vendors and beautiful mums from Real Property Management.

A few scenes from last year's Open House event.

A few scenes from last year’s Open House event.

Bob Rizzo will be playing live music and proceeds from the evening will support Komen Columbus. The event will kick off National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and to show their dedication to the cause, for the entire month of October, Epcon will donate $1,000 for every condo that goes into contract (up to $10,000) to support our mission.

We hope you’ll be able to join us for this free event. Additional details are available online.

Komen Columbus Interns Making their Mark

This summer, Susan G. Komen Columbus hosted several summer interns, who brought energy and much needed man-power to several of our important mission programs! We are pleased to introduce you to these hard-working interns, who have been instrumental in supporting our mission work, and have also learned valuable skills in public health and non-profit work to supplement their course work.

photo 2Name: G’Kahlin Ford-Noble

Hometown: Toledo, Ohio

Studies: B.A. Sociology major, public health minor- The Ohio State University

Position: Worship in Pink intern

G’kahlin says, “I have always been a supporter of the Susan G. Komen foundation. My grandmother is a breast cancer survivor, and I had no clue there was a Columbus affiliate so when I saw the position I was very excited to learn more about it. After speaking with Julie, and learning about Worship in Pink, I didn’t hesitate to jump on board with this amazing cause and knew it would be nothing less than a great experience.” G’kahlin has helped in the re-design of the Worship in Pink, developed educational materials, recruited participants and supported administration of the program. After graduation, she would like to work at a non-profit, and discover what area to focus on in graduate school.


CaitlinName: Caitlin Waite

Hometown: Moorestown, New Jersey

Studies: B.A. Public Health, The Ohio State University

Position: Education and Wellness Intern

Caitlin says, “I wanted to get experience in wellness and outreach, and Komen Columbus provided me a wonderful opportunity to help the affiliate get involved into the wellness community and spread awareness about breast cancer and early prevention.” Throughout the summer, Caitlin’s projects ranged from researching third-party employee wellness partners to grant application work to working with Komen grantees and health departments. After graduation Caitlin plans to work in community/ corporate wellness. Caitlin will continue her work with us through the fall, focusing on qualitative work.


kim photoName: Kimberly Glover

Hometown: Hollis, New Hampshire

Studies: M.A. Public Health, Epidemiology, The Ohio State University

Position: Community Profile Qualitative Intern

Kim tells us, “I interned at Susan G. Komen in order to gain hands-on experience in the field of public health. I enjoyed learning about the inner workings of setting up focus groups in order to gather qualitative data as well as working with individuals who are passionate about the well-being of Ohioans.”  Kim completed her practicum requirement for her master’s program with us, and loved her work so much, she plans to return to complete her work on focus groups in Marion County this fall. Her work will be included in the 2015 Community Profile.

sarah photoName: Sarah Johns

Hometown: Orrville, Ohio

Studies: B.A. Sociology and Public Health, The Ohio State University

Position: Community Profile Health Systems Analysis Intern

Sarah is involved with a variety of community programs including leading a non-profit to benefit children of Nicaragua, serving as an HIV/AIDS test counselor. Sarah is also currently an intern at the Neighborhood House Inc., an outpatient substance abuse program. Upon graduation, Sarah plans to join the Peace Corps and return to pursue a dual masters degree in public health and policy.

Sarah investigated breast health services located in Komen Columbus’ service area and assisted in analyzing the data for strengths and weaknesses in the local health system. This important work will be a major part of our look into the continuum of care in the 2015 Community Profile. Sarah will continue her work with us through the fall, focusing on qualitative work.

As a steward of funding raised by our supporters, Komen Columbus’s mission work accomplished even more with the help of interns, who also get the opportunity to gain hands on experience in public health work. We thank them for their commitment, hard work, willingness to learn, and great attitudes. Thanks to G’kahlin, Caitlin, Kim and Sarah, our Worship in Pink program will deliver education to more than 14 participating organizations, our Health Systems and Public Policy Analysis gives us great insight into the needs of our community, and our Qualitative investigation is off to a great start!

Paddle for the Battle

IMG_0394Ready.Set.Go! Fight breast cancer, one paddle stroke at a time. Join the Paddle for the Battle on Saturday, Sept. 13 through the Original Hocking Hills Adventures in Logan, Ohio.

For the organizers of this event, it’s a way to pay tribute to someone they loved who lost her battle with breast cancer.

“We started Paddle of the Battle in 2009 when my mother-in-law, Connie, passed away,” said Sybil Barbini, “She loved nature… I like to remember her when she was happy, healthy and enjoying nature.”

Sybil encourages you to gather your friends for this fun and exciting event while helping Susan G. Komen Columbus raise money to support local breast health programs and national research. The canoe race starts at noon and entry is $25 person, with 100% of proceeds supporting Komen Columbus.

Your $25 registration also puts you in the running to win a raffle prize valued at $1,100!IMG_0400

The grand prize is a two-night stay and dinner for two at Glen Laurel, a “luxurious Hocking Hills Scottish County Inn”, two passes for a zip-line canopy tour and miniature golf, go-karts for two and a 3-hour canoe ride through the Original Hocking Hills Adventures in Logan.

The raffle winner will be picked at a cook-out they will have after the canoe race. A prize will also be awarded to the top finisher of the canoe race.

We hope to see you on September 13th.



Ask the Genetic Counselor: Lindsey Byrne

In August’s Survivor Newsletter* we offered survivors the opportunity to ask questions regarding genetic counseling to Lindsey Byrne, a licensed genetic counselor at OhioHealth.

Below are some questions we received and Lindsey’s response.

*Sign up for our survivor-only newsletter here.

DNA structureQ1: What does “family history” really mean?

A1: When we take a family history we ask about cancer history and any other major health issues for first degree relatives which includes (children, siblings and parents), second degree relatives which includes (aunts, uncles and grandparents), and third degree relatives which includes (first cousins and great aunt and great uncles). Having this family history helps us as Genetic Counselors to see if there a pattern of cancer or major health issues expressed in one’s family, and to know how concerned we are to recommend genetic testing to look for a hereditary cause.

Q2: What if members of my family had different types of cancer than breast cancer?

A2: When we take a family history we want to know all types of cancer, since hereditary cancer conditions like Hereditary Breast and Ovarian cancer syndrome which is associated with the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes have other cancers associated with it besides breast, like ovarian, pancreatic, melanoma, prostate and male breast cancer.

Q3: How do I know I should get tested for the BRCA mutations?

A3: You might be at risk for hereditary cancer (this includes the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes) if you or your family has a history of: cancer diagnosed under the age of 50 years, more than one cancer in the same person, two or more relatives with the same type of cancer in the same side of the family, male breast cancer, rare cancers, Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry, and a clustering of cancers in a family (breast and ovarian).

Q4: How does BRCA actually affect breast cancer risk?  What does it do to increase risk?

A4: BRCA1 and BRCA2 are genes that produce proteins. These proteins help repair damaged DNA, or genetic material, to protect the body from developing cancer. If there is a mutation, or change, in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene, such that the protein is not made or does not function correctly, cells are more likely to develop cancer. Since these mutations are present at birth, individuals with a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation have a higher lifetime chance of cancer and younger cancer, 50 and younger, since they are born with a gene not working correctly. Someone who does not have a hereditary mutation and has general population risk for cancer, their cancer tends to appear later in life usually, older than 50, due to aging and other lifestyle factors.

“I feel like Cinderella” – Cindy’s Capital Style Makeover

When you first meet Cindy Mansfield, she will bet you wouldn’t label her a “fashionista.” Her everyday style is simple and comfortable. So when Cindy learned Capital Style magazine picked her for a fashion makeover, the always chatty grandmother of five was shocked and speechless.

Before + AfterCindy’s fashion makeover included shopping, a massage and facial, make-up and a haircut with color and style. Cindy says the entire experience was wonderful and she learned many great tips from the professionals.

“I was a little nervous the day of the makeover since I had never had an experience like this,” said Cindy. “But by the end of the day, I was totally enjoying all of the attention!”

A makeover can be stressful for some, but for Cindy, the entire process from beginning to end was a beautiful journey. When she first stepped into J. Bentley Studio & Spa in Powell, she gave the stylists complete control to transform her “every day” look to something spectacular.

“I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my new haircut!” said Cindy, “and I wish Amber at Thread could be my stylist. Every outfit she picked for me was amazing.”

One person who Cindy thought was going to be very surprised with her new look is her husband Stan. The two are high school sweethearts and have been married for 34 years, welcoming three daughters and now five grandchildren.

“They were so excited and I kept calling them throughout the day to let them know what was happening. They could hardly wait until I got home!”

When Stan finally laid eyes on the love of his life, Cindy says he absolutely loved it.

Aside from the fashion and make up, Cindy says this experience reminded her that most women don’t stop to make themselves a priority whether it’s scheduling a haircut or doctor’s appointment.Cindy

“While it is important to take some time to recharge and relax, I encourage women to pay attention to their body, know your normal,” said the eight year breast cancer survivor.

“You are the best advocate for your health. Please schedule your mammogram, talk with your doctor if you notice anything different, and ask questions,” said Cindy.

Before Cindy started working for Susan G. Komen Columbus, she participated in many Races but now as a survivor, the event is now very personal and has a deeper meaning for her. She even has a goal of running the 5K when she celebrates 10 years of survivorship. When that day comes, Cindy, and other survivors who participate in the Komen Columbus Race for the Cure, will be met with a very big cheering section at the finish line.

Learn more about Cindy and her involvement with Komen Columbus.

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September Volunteers of the Month: Komen Young Professionals

This month’s volunteer of the month spotlight goes to an amazing group of influential movers and shakers in our community. It is with great pleasure we announce that the Komen Young Professionals are our Volunteers of the Month!

IMG_0929The executive team of Komen Young Professionals (KYP) just wrapped up a successful Style for the Cure Fashion Show in late August all while working full-time jobs. Becca Thomas, director of events and marketing at Komen Columbus, says the group’s attention to detail made the event memorable for all those who attended.

“The 13 members of the KYP executive committee, led by Vanessa Butler and Heather Massey, put hours of time and energy into the event and all their efforts paid off – more than 80 attendees were on site August 17 at the event that raised nearly $10,000,” said Thomas.

The KYP executive committee is comprised of: Vanessa Butler, Mike Corey, Heather Gilbert, Carla Hall, Kim Jennings, Maria Massenelli, Heather Massey, Kelly Norman, Molly Osmon, Nikki Reiss, Amy Shea, Lori Summers, Laura Vaughn, and Michelle Wong Halabi.

We are proud of this group for their leadership and commitment to Komen’s mission. KYP’s President, Michael Corey, shares some insight to this amazing group and their motivation to advocate on Komen’s behalf.

What (or whom) inspired you to get involved with Komen Columbus?

Our executive committee has a passion for service generally—most if not all of our members are involved with other non-profit organizations, in addition to all the time and energy they devote to KYP. But with Komen, it’s personal. We have members that have lost loved ones to breast cancer, and we have members that have loved ones that are survivors of breast cancer. But we’re all committed to preventing the former and being able to celebrate the latter through advocacy, awareness and fundraising. We see that as our role, and we are committed to expanding the good we do for young professionals in Central Ohio.

What’s your favorite part about volunteering with Komen Columbus?

We take great satisfaction in knowing that our efforts are making a difference. Knowing that every young woman better educated in early diagnosis has a better chance of surviving; knowing that the dollars we raise are going toward grants and toward research; and knowing that we can and are playing a role in improving survivorship rates—that’s all we’re here to do.

But we also enjoy getting to know others, and certainly one another, through our events which are geared toward being both informative and fun. Being able to build relationships through Komen is very gratifying and we’re grateful to have the opportunity to do so.

What is the most memorable moment or event you’ve experienced with Komen Columbus? And why?

I suspect our most memorable moment thus far was our recently completed fashion show and seeing the survivors and their supporters have a great time and be received so well by a packed house. That was the perfect confluence of what we seek to do as a group; putting on the show is a great deal of work, and to see it come together like that was very exciting and very rewarding.

When you’re not volunteering for Komen Columbus, what do you like to do?

We each have demanding jobs, and we each bring our own set of diverse interests and commitments to the table. Some of us commit a lot of time to fitness, some of us are heavily involved in other outstanding non-profits in town, some of us love to travel. But we all have a passion for this city, and for doing our part to make it a little better. We feel both Komen and the city of Columbus have given us much, and we hope we’re giving equal or more in return.

Stay connected with Komen Young Professionals on Twitter @KomenColumbusYPFacebook  or their website.

August Volunteer of the Month: Sue Swyt

Sue with her family during the 2014 Komen Columbus Race for the Cure.

Sue with her family during the 2014 Komen Columbus Race for the Cure.

We are very pleased to announce our August Volunteer of the Month is Development Intern, Sue Swyt.  Sue began her journey with Komen Columbus in February of 2014, focusing her time on assisting our Director of Development, Beth Waldren, on the Affiliate’s fundraising efforts.She has dedicated almost 500 hours of service to Komen Columbus by interning three days a week for the past six months.  Sue took ownership of several projects and her assistance with corporate sponsorship of the Race was invaluable.

No project was too small or too intimidating!  Sue jumped in with both feet and enjoyed the opportunity to learn more about Komen Columbus and the people we serve.  We are extremely grateful for Sue’s service and commitment to our vision of a world without breast cancer. Congratulations to Sue!

What inspired you to intern at Komen? 

I recently finished my MPA with a capstone in Nonprofit Strategy and Innovation and I wanted to put my skills to work for an organization and a cause that I was passionate about. With 1 in 8 women experiencing breast cancer, and 1 in 1,000 men, who hasn’t had their life touched by breast cancer?  My cousin, my aunt, my friends’ mom, my children’s teachers and our PTO president are all survivors. My neighbor is a chemo nurse.  I didn’t want to pass up the chance to join the fight to end breast cancer. It was a little terrifying: Komen has a 30 -county service area, and the second largest Race in the United States. Plus, there is so much to Development – Race for the Cure, our partnership with Rally for the Cure,  then October is Breast Cancer Awareness month.  There’s no break to catch your breath, and you have to juggle, but it was so rewarding.

What’s your favorite part of interning with Komen?

I have two favorite parts: learning development from Beth Waldren, Director of Development at Komen Columbus, and working with all the wonderful people that make up the Komen community.  Beth has been amazing: she made sure I participated in our regional meeting, Komen 360 event in the Spring, the Race, After Party, Rally, etc. Beth breathes development; I was lucky to learn at the feet of a master. Beth allowed me to develop the first After Party for the Cure program this year, giving smaller, local businesses a way to continue the fight to end breast cancer after the Race.The first sponsor to join After Party was Café Brioso, and Jeff Davis’ (the owner) first commented that he wanted to increase his donation. What an amazing business community we have! Beth had me speak to the Greater Columbus Tennis Association about Rally for the Cure, then I got to attend a golf Rally at Foxfire. We have even discussed Rally with the sailing community- no one thinks of Central Ohio for sailing, but we have a number of sailing clubs.

My other favorite part of my internship is the people. Everyone at our office is so nice. Working with the Race community, other volunteers, the Komen staff and board and our sponsors has been an inspiration, every day. Look at the progress we have made:  in 1980, women with breast cancer, detected early, had only a 74% five-year survival rate, this year that rate is 99%.  That would not have been accomplished without all our great donors, Rally hosts, Racers and Race sponsors.  I thought it would be intimidating to meet Race sponsors, but many were already part of the Komen community. My son works at Giant Eagle (Komen Columbus’ official Race Grocer) and we shop and gas up there.  I live in Dublin, so Tim Hortons (a Platinum level Race sponsor) is where I head for donuts, lunch and an iced cap. New sponsors, like Piada, had already been my family’s favorite, so it was easy to approach them.

What do you like to do in your free time?

The usual: hang out with family and friends, listen to music, annoy my children.  I need to get a group workout in at least once a week: spinning, yoga, boot camp or Zumba. I volunteer with Dublin’s Drug and Alcohol Coalition (Dublin ACT Coalition) to combat underage alcohol, marijuana and prescription drug abuse in my community. I love magic, and I attend the local Society of American Magicians (SAM) meetings whenever I can. Unlike my amazing SAM friends, I am not that skilled, but I love the science and psychology of magic. I need to practice a little more.

What is the most memorable moment or event you’ve experienced at Komen Columbus? And why?

The Race for the Cure, of course.  Seeing downtown Columbus in a sea of pink …  So many friends and family were there: My husband ran the Race, my teen volunteered. It was incredible and moving to see it all come together, to be able to celebrate our survivors and Race in memory of  those we have lost. I held it together until after the Race, then I saw Natalie Guagenti, our Director of Volunteers, with tears in her eyes, and I lost it.  It’s very emotional.


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