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November Volunteer of the Month: Subha Lembach

Introducing our November Volunteer of the Month, Subha Lembach!

Subha’s infectious spirit and positive attitude are the keys to her success as a member of the Komen Columbus Speakers Bureau.

“Subha has unselfishly become an advocate for breast cancer survivors, through her work with several aspects of our affiliate over the past few years,” said Julie McMahon, Director of Mission at Komen Columbus. ” We are fortunate to have such a dedicated volunteer as part of the Komen community.

Subha shares with us, in her own words, why she volunteers with Komen Columbus.

Subha Lembach

Subha with her daughter, Elizabeth, at the Komen Young Professionals Fashion Show.

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

I became involved with Komen Columbus because in the time span of one year, I had seven friends all diagnosed with breast cancer. Only one of them was over the age of 40. It was a no brainer for me to be involved and to try to something so that I might one day never ever have to go through a friend telling me they have breast cancer or to hear those words directed at me or my daughter.

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

My favorite part about volunteering with Komen Columbus -they make volunteering fun. The other volunteers are great!

When I first moved to Columbus, I would coordinate Pink It Up the day before the Race and there would be dozens of volunteers running around putting up pink ribbons throughout downtown. It was so much fun and a great way to spend an afternoon with friends making a difference while still being able to push your baby around in a stroller.

Later, I became involved with the Grants Review Committee, which I also really enjoyed. As a member of this Committee, I met some terrific survivors, health care professionals, caregivers, and others. The diversity and richness of perspective was invigorating and inspiring. We had some pretty serious discussions and really thought through how we can make the most impact with respect to prevention, education, and survivor support.

I currently volunteer in the Speaker’s Bureau which is a real treat. I love public speaking and it has been fun getting to meet women interested in learning more about breast cancer.

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

My favorite event was the recent KYP Fashion Show. I took my 11 year old daughter and it was great fun as well as an inspiring educational message for her. There were so many great caregivers representing husbands, friends, etc., that it was wonderful for her to see what being a good spouse or friend really means as well as how life is a combination of happiness and sadness, but at the end of the day, its about the people in your life and resiliency and hope.

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

I really like to volunteer, hang out with my daughter and husband, and take advantage of all of the great cultural opportunities Columbus has to offer, from the ballet to theater to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium to the Conservatory to the Museum of Art.

Thank You Supporters!

Komen Columbus just completed a very busy Breast Cancer Awareness Month! October was filled with events and activities designed to educate, empower and fundraise.  We are able to give the gift of hope to so many only because of the generous support of our community. On behalf those who we help, we would like to extend a very warm thank you to the following individuals, schools and companies, as well as all our volunteers who give so generously of their time. For more information on how to become a partner, please call 614-297-8155 or visit us online at komencolumbus.org

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Becky Atcheson Fundraiser
BelFlex Staffing
Big Walnut Middle School
Columbus Aesthetic and Plastic Surgery
Columbus Crew
Encore Columbus
Epcon Communities
Grand Prix Karting
Komen Young Professionals
Lomonico’s Market and Eatery
Marathon for the Cure Team 2014
Ohio University School of Nursing
Olentangy Berkshire Middle School
Otterbein University
Scioto Downs Racino
Title Boxing Club Grandview
Yabo’s Tacos


Volley for the Cure fundraisers have already raised $42,706! Stay tuned for the final total from the 2014 season!



Shelly Biggs
Barb DePalma
Karen Ickes
Kim Jennings
Janice Joos
Susan Kelly
Kristin Mainzer
Diane & Bill Niehoff
Sue Ringler
Gail Sadler
Sharon Solis
Janell Thomas
Margi Wysong

Special thanks to Board Members Angela An, Doug Knutson and Tammy Weis for being so instrumental in hosting our Pink Tailgate Fundraiser.


This was a banner year for the Worship in Pink as the number of religious organizations which participated doubled from last year. In all an estimated 4,190 people were educated about breast health and about the local resources funded by Komen Columbus, and 290 survivors were honored and celebrated. We sincerely appreciate you embracing this message and sharing it with your spiritual communities.


Family Gives Me Strength – Adriana de la Peña


“I was 42 years old when I was diagnosed with breast cancer the first time. I was more concerned about my family and how my diagnosis would affect them. It’s because of my family that I fought against breast cancer and all the obstacles that presented itself. We just moved to the United States from Mexico City, Mexico for my husband’s job when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I didn’t understand English very well and I felt very isolated and scared.  Now I am proud to say I have beat this disease TWICE and I use my medical background and personal experience to help other Latinas in our community learn more about breast cancer and the resources available through the Latina Breast Cancer Project at OhioHealth – a program funded by Susan G. Komen Columbus. My family gives me strength to keep moving forward and keep fighting. Through my work I honor their unconditional love and support to help others.” ~ Adriana

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Faith, Family & Friends Give Me Strength – Maria Durant



“When I was diagnosed with breast cancer there were three things that kept me going: my faith, family and friends. All three kept me strong and are very much intertwined. My faith gave me the courage to look within and know that I would not be alone in fighting this disease…to know that I could help others if I spoke out about breast cancer. And of course my family and friends kept me motivated to fight. My son was only three when I was diagnosed so “mommy” had to keep moving to keep up with him.  You can’t give up when you have these three in your corner.”  ~ Maria Durant

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Family Gives Me Strength – Amber Burg


“Today is another new day.  I can choose to reflect on the things I have lost, or I can choose to reflect on the reasons I still have to be thankful- my family: my godsend of a husband John and my two incredible kids Grace and Johnny.  The love from my family is what gives me strength every day to fight and survivor this disease.  When my four-year-old daughter looks into my eyes and asks me if she is going to get cancer too, I want to tell her with certainty she will not be another statistic.  Since my diagnosis, I have found a new purpose for my life.  I want to be an advocate for young women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer and to raise awareness that breast cancer does not discriminate when it comes to age.” – Amber Burg

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Upcoming Free Webinars


Webinar Info: 10.10.2014
Topic: Understanding the Role of Biomarkers in the Care and Treatment of People Living with Cancer
1:30PM ET

Register here

Webinar Info: 10.15.2014
Topic: Integrative Oncology Services: Introduction to Naturopathic Medicine
11:30AM/12:30PM CT/ET

Register here.

Description: Join Michelle Smekens, Naturopathic Oncology Provider with the Cancer Treatment Centers of America, as she provides a basic overview of naturopathic medicine. In addition, the presentation will address breast cancer risk reduction and and side effect management through supplements, minerals, and lifestyle.

Webinar Info: 10.22.2014 
Topic: The Metastatic Cascade
11:30AM/12:30PM  CT/ET

Register here.

Description: Welch serves as the founding director of the Department of Cancer Biology and director for National Foundation for Cancer Research Center for Metastasis Research for The University of Kansas Medical Center, chair and professor of Cancer Biology at The University of Kansas School of Medicine and is a Kansas Bioscience Authority Eminent Scholar. In addition, Welch is a Susan G. Komen International Scientific Advisory Board Member and his laboratory at The University of Kansas Cancer Center currently receives funding from the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

Webinar Info: 10.30.2014
Topic: Update on Early Stage Breast Cancer
1:30PM ET

Register here.

Ask the Exercise Physiologist: Amanda Putnam

In a previous  Survivor Newsletter* we offered survivors the opportunity to ask questions regarding exercise during and post treatment and surgery. We’re fortunate to have Amanda Putnam from Mount Carmel Cardiac Rehabilitation answer some of the questions submitted.

*Sign up for our survivor-only newsletter here.

Q1: Where should I focus my time, cardio or weight lifting?

A1: It is important to do a good balance.  A cancer diagnosis can mean many things: a change in the center of gravity with surgery; weakness due to surgery, treatment side effects or a more sedentary lifestyle during recovery; and many side effects that may involve bone loss, lymphedema and possibly many other things.   It is suggested that we all get 150 min/week of moderate aerobic exercise, less if exercise if more strenuous.  It is important to take into account where you are starting and ease into the exercise as you try to reach this goal.  This does a lot to keep the cardiovascular system healthy, decreases cholesterol and blood pressure, among many other benefits.  It is also very important to maintain muscular strength and endurance, bone mass and balance, all of which can be prompted wth resistance training.  If lymphedema is not an issue, finding a weight that is moderately difficult to lift 10-15x is key.  Do a balance of muscle groups to prevent injury and try to do them three days per week, trying not to work the same groups two days in a row.  If time constraints are an issue, combining many muscle groups in one exercise and doing some intervals of aerobic and weights can be helpful.

Q2: How can I cope with post-chemo muscle fatigue?

A2: Keeping up with everyday activities is important, but adding stretches, light weight workouts and even gentle exercise like Tai Chi or some yoga can keep muscles strong and limber.  Rest and listening to your body is also key, but too much rest can lead to  muscle loss and weakness.  Sacr tissue  from surgery or treatment can also form, so keeping up with range of motion exercise can help to avoid that issue.  Be sure to stay hydrated since dehydration can make muscles feel more fatigued and even cramp.  Proper nutrition with a balance of vitamins and minerals can also affect how the muscles feel.

Q3: Can exercise cause lymphedema?

A3: A short answer: yes, it can.  But, the good news if that we are in the times of continuing advancement in surgery and treatment that is allowing less and less removal or scarring of multiple lymph nodes.  Given that, if you are at risk, it is important to first go to a class that will teach you of the symptoms and prevention of lymphedema and to see if you need a compression garment.  Wearing these during exercise gives the muscle extra pressure to contract against and helps to recirculate some of the fluid that may tend to pool.   Start slow with exercise and go lightly on weights AND low on the repetitions.  It may seem tedious, but advancing repetitions and then weights gradually will allow you to keep track of symptoms and to know at what level they may have occurred.  Avoiding these huge changes all at once also keeps you form getting sore, which can lead to the body sending extra fluid to the muscles (a normal response.)  Pool exercises are ideal since the water elicits a nice even pressure against the body, like a compression garment might.  There are many many women who safely exercise with risk of lymphedema or with developed lymphedema that does stay in control.  Asking a professional who is has knowledge on this topic is also helpful.


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