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Swim, bike and run to a life without breast cancer

A new athletic event is coming to Columbus on Saturday, July 30, and today’s guest blog includes info, insight and inspiration to get involved from one of the event’s co-organizers. Enjoy and we hope to see you on the course!

Ohio Tri for the Cure
Looking for a new way to support central Ohio’s fight against breast cancer? We hope you’ll join Komen of Columbus and HFP Racing as together we launch the Giant Eagle Triathlon for the Cure. The Giant Eagle Tri for the Cure is a Women’s Only event featuring a unique swim, bike and run format, set to take place on July 30th at Alum Creek State Park. Ladies of all ages and ability levels are encouraged to participate in this beginner triathlon, benefiting the Susan G. Komen Columbus affiliate.

Many of you may be unfamiliar with triathlons, but the popularity of the sport has grown immensely since I (Jen Kurek) and my Husband Shannon began our multi-sport company back in 1989. Over the past 22 years, we’ve invested our time, energy and money into building fitness events throughout Ohio and the greater Mideast. Our goal has always been to inspire those around us to become more active and live a healthier lifestyle. We, like many of you, received a shock to our system when out of nowhere in January of 2010, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I lived a very healthy lifestyle, had three children under the age of 10, and Shannon and I were traveling as a family across the great state of Ohio producing events nearly every weekend. This was not on our radar. After I was diagnosed, Shannon and I knew this would be a battle that we would need to fight as a family. After months of prayer, intense medical treatment and surgery we had beaten it!

After my final round of radiation in May of 2010, we were determined to find a way that we could support the Komen Foundation in their efforts to raise awareness and find a final cure to end the disease. Out of that vision, we have created the Women’s Only Tri for the Cure Series. It was very important to both Shannon and me that this new series would exist in a way whereas both experienced and inexperienced athletes could participate. We’ve taken enormous steps to take the intimidation factor out of our series. When you attend a Tri for the Cure, you’ll experience an incredible atmosphere of encouragement, support and camaraderie. In fact, the majority of our participants will be completing their FIRST ever triathlon in July! If you’ve competed in the Race for the Cure or simply can run or walk 2 miles, then you have what it takes!

The Giant Eagle Tri for the Cure is the fourth stop on the Ohio Women’s Triathlon for the Cure Series and features a beginner friendly 250 yard point-to-point swim in waist deep water, (that means if you need to stand, you can stand!), followed by a 7 mile bike and finishing with a 2 mile run. EVERY WOMAN has the opportunity to complete their first Triathlon. The best part of our series and the Giant Eagle Tri for the Cure is that 50% of your entry fee will go directly to the Columbus Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. I hope you’ll join me in the continued fight to end breast cancer and I look forward to greeting you at the Finish Line.

Sincerely,

Jennifer Kurek,
Wife, Mother, and Breast Cancer Survivor
More info

Community Health Grantee Program and KYP Members Meet

Members of the Komen Young Professionals committee work hard every month to organize a variety of activities to engage

Director of Community Outreach Megan Knapke shares what your Race registration and donation dollars support.

a new generation of breast cancer advocates and volunteers. The events range from educational to social to activism, and this month’s quarterly meeting featured a combination of those themes. New and existing members mingled with one another before the program began and soon heard from Chasity Cooper, program director for the Sister Screen Saver Program and this month’s community health grantee spotlight.

The theme of the KYP event was to reiterate the fact that 75 percent of all race registration and donation dollars support local programming, with the remaining 25 percent funding scientific research to find a cure. One of the programs who benefits locally is the Sister Screen Saver Program.

Program Director Chasity Cooper presents information on the project.

In an effort to reduce the health disparity in breast cancer among African American women, this program, coordinated through The Ohio State University James Cancer Hospital, Diversity Enhancement Program, aims to provide on-site mobile mammography screening services at local community churches and use culturally tailored information to educate African-American women about breast cancer prevention and early detection. The program also provides information on local resources where free or low-cost mammograms and support services can be obtained.

The program primarily screens African American women in Franklin county, but its mobile units have never turned down a woman who needs a mammogram or education based on her race or ethnicity.

Current goals of the program include:

  • 100 females will obtain an age-appropriate mammography screening via on-site mobile mammography screening unit or referral to a BCCP or BEST (other screening programs) over a 12-month period.
  • 100 females will attend a breast health awareness class session over a 12-month period.
  • Participants will demonstrate a 25% increase in knowledge about mammography screening and self breast-examination as measured by pre- and post-class assessments.

Program organizers created an image they distribute electronically to women to encourage them to use as a screen saver or wall paper on their computer in the hopes that it will prompt them to schedule or maintain regular mammograms.

The Sister Screen Saver Program Image

Education materials provided include information on the importance of screening, knowing your body, healthy lifestyle choices and basic breast health including information on Triple Negative Breast Cancer, a type of the disease that more often strikes young and African American women.

The following education programs have been scheduled through the grantee:

  • Love Zion Church – July 19th at 10 am
  • New Birth Christian Ministries – October 15th at noon
  • Corinthian Church – TBD October 2011
  • Refuge Baptist Church – October 8th at 6pm
  • Barnett Road Baptist Church – December 10th  at 1 pm
  • Antioch Baptist Church – TBD Feb/March 2012

Thanks to Chasity for a great presentation on how her program is positively affecting the community and to Maria Massenelli and Danielle Wampler, the KYP volunteer committee co-chairs, for organizing the event. The next KYP quarterly meeting will be on Saturday, September 17 and will be a little different than previous meetings – stay tuned for all the fun details!

Race for the Cure Recap

We’ve been busy processing all Race for the Cure donations and 2011 was another record-breaking year for Komen Columbus. Here’s a look at this year’s Race “By the Numbers:”

50,264 participants
$859,672 raised in individual pledges
100 local companies stepped up as corporate sponsors
$519,00 raised by corporate sponsors
$430,000 donated in the form of in-kind support
7,336 was the size of the Limited Brands team, the largest corporate Race for the Cure team ever
32,064 people participated as part of a team
1,000 volunteers helped with Race-related activities
38% of the Race’s 6 tons of trash was able to be recycled

We’re also proud to announce this year’s Honor Roll, the 100 Race participants who really went the EXTRA MILE and together raised $187,897.65! A complete list of the Honor Roll members is below.

In case you missed any second of the 19th Annual Komen Columbus Race for the Cure on May 14, we’ve put together a little recap for you:

50,000+ People Downtown

What happened at 7:07 am

Flickr Feed

Complete Coverage from the Columbus Dispatch

2011 Honor Roll Members
Patty Cramer
Ron Coleman
Connie Browning
Micki Hahn
Cynthia Piper
Victoria Bordner
Rhonda Bajenski
Ella Hampton
Sheila Downing
Becky Atcheson
Mary Duchi
Tammy Weis
Judith Mobley
Charlene Morgan
Dorothy Vannest
Carol Heuer
Jacinta Hooker
Kelly Moricca
Andrea Crutcher
Becky Wolever
Louella Jeter
Diamond Innovations
Kelly Allen
Hope Gerhardstein
Marybeth Ingram
Karen Hottinger
Dee Seidenschmidt
Tonya Semeraro
Hansa Bhatt
Kelly Hagemeier
Kerry Spitzer
Gloria Washington
Janet Mittman
Barbara Browning
Paige Sanna
Elizabeth Bowling
Lynette Wilcox
Michael Isaacs
Patrice Belmont
Joyce Wente
Julie Palmore
Jessica Manna
Marilyn Hatem
Kathleen Chase
Donna Akers
Pat McDermitt
Maria Massenelli
Jenn Monestere
Kathy Shepherd
Alix Soske
Gene Tipton
Thomas Wente
Cori Roberts
Debbie Chilcote
Rita Fortin
Lisa Kavanaugh
Ronda Daft
Andrea Silnes
Janice Joos
Jayme Mattimore
Susan Vance-Johnson
Beth Bryant
Elizabeth Cassady
Traci Sheward
Nora Crawford
Brandy Jordan
Judy Ann Schiewer
Tina Dicke
Carole Krouse
Anna Stuart
Meghan Blouir
Jackie Graham
Robin Lampkin
Rita Potts
Tonya Rumer
Sara Seewer
Wendy Naumann
Ohma Willette
Mandi Moore
Paula Yonnotti-Ansel
Marcia Shaffer
WANDA PHILLIPS
LINDA HAMMOND
Deborah Thompson
Susan Kroggel
Jennifer Moeller
Christine Trujillo
Jessica Hettrick
Alicia Weber
Lynne Baer
Susie Bland
Kay Lonas
Amy Salerno
Andrea White
Sheila Hanson
Lori Worline
Mary Mathias
Maureen Iosue
Kirk Lang



Breast Cancer Survivor Training for Second Half-Marathon

Regardless how busy the summer gets, one thing Janice Joos is sure to make time for is her running. She currently runs several times a week and is planning on starting an official training program in July in order to run the half-marathon with the Komen Columbus Marathon for the Cure team during the Columbus Marathon on October 16.

Janice, in the pink shirt and gloves, runs during the 2010 Columbus Marathon.

“I honestly did not start to run until 2006, one year after my breast cancer diagnosis,” Janice said. “I had some complications with my reconstruction and was not allowed to compete in the Race for the Cure. As I watched the runners cross the finish line, I was surprised that no survivors were in that first batch of runners finishing. I thought I could do that. So I have run that event and other 5k’s since that day.”

Janice never felt the desire to run long distances until last year. She challenged herself to run six miles and was surprised to find she could do it. Once she heard about the Marathon for the Cure team, she took it as a sign that she should join.

“Since 2008 I have been a member of the running group Speedy Sneakers and my coach from that formed a training plan for me. This year again I will start training in July for the half.”

This will be Janice’s second year as part of the Marathon for the Cure team and part of what drove her join the team again was the fact that she loves meeting new runners who “challenge themselves and commit themselves to the cause.”

“I also want more survivors to join the team. Survivors are the strongest people you will meet. I have been through various surgeries, ingested drugs that caused my hair to fall out and sat through weeks of radiation; running 13.1 miles is a lot easier,” Janice said.

She mentioned she has a good friend who was diagnosed this year and is also planning to join the team.

Currently the team is at 38 members and already bigger than it was last year. Members are encouraged to fundraise to support breast cancer research and local programs, but there is no minimum amount required to raise. Participants may run or walk the full or half marathon.

“I would encourage people to join the team to raise awareness of how breast cancer has effected them, to show that survivors are strong, capable people and to raise money.”

To join the Komen Columbus Marathon for the Cure team, or to donate to Janice’s efforts, visit their team page online.

Columbus Rocks the Cure

Looking for a new way to help raise money in the fight against breast cancer? Save the date for Saturday, July 23 for the Fourth Annual Columbus Rocks the Cure event at Skully’s Music Diner. This event, organized by Amee BellWanzo, front-woman of Black Eyed Betty, one of the local bands performing, began the event during her own battle with breast cancer. Even with the diagnosis, she continues to perform with the band, saying that she draws strength from the music.

Amee singing with her band.

Because Amee was diagnosed very young, at the age of 31, the event is aimed at spreading awareness to a younger crowd.

“Columbus Rocks the Cure celebrates survival, and raises awareness in a positive way,” says Amee. “Rock and roll is an incredible healer. The intensity behind rock music is empowering. We use this energy to generate awareness and raise money in a way that younger people can relate to.”

The Line-Up
The event will feature local bands, including Vanity Theft, Spruce Campbells, Black Eyed Betty and Dirty Girls. As with past years, 100 percent of the proceeds from ticket sales will be donated, with 50 percent supporting breast cancer education, screening and treatment programs through Komen Columbus. The other 50 percent will be used to purchase wigs for cancer patients who would not otherwise be able to afford it.

“As a survivor, I know how important it is just to feel normal – and a quality wig is the biggest comfort, wig donation is a way to support people who are fighting the battle right here and now,” says Amee.

Turning a Diagnosis into Inspiration
“Several of our songs have absolutely been inspired by my experience with kicking cancer’s butt, as I like to position it,” Amee said. “My favorite song is called ‘Refuse to Drown,’  which is about refusing to let the diagnosis get me down and coming through the situation stronger.”

Amee added that her bandmates have all become terrific activists for the cause as well, sporting their anti-cancer shirts to gigs and wearing pink for events.

Black Eyed Betty performing at the Race for the Cure

“It goes to show how a diagnosis will affect the people close to you in ways you’d never imagine – but they’ve all been good ways. People want to show their support and lend their strength!” Amee said.

Since this is the fourth annual event, the concert has changed over the years. Amee hopes this will be their best year yet.

“We started off pretty small. The first year was actually during the time while I was on chemo – so it was really more of a party where the band played, and everyone came out to show their support.”

Amee stressed that her focus is on survival, instead of statistics.

“A lump doesn’t equal a death sentence,” she said. “People do not have to be intimidated to check themselves, or to go to the doctor if they find something. You can take care of it and keep on going!”

Skully’s Music Diner is located in the Short North of Columbus. For more information, check out Columbus Rocks the Cure online.

KYP Hosts Second Quarter Meeting

Any young professionals out there looking to fill some free time this summer? We’d love for motivated, passionate volunteers to join our Komen Young Professionals (KYP) Committee. If you’re interested in learning what the KYP is all about, we hope you and a friend can plan on attending our Second Quarter Meeting on Wednesday, June 22 from 6-7 pm at the Komen Columbus Office.
KYP members will be on hand to share what they’ve been up to, and we’ll also hear from a special community health program that benefits directly from your Race registration dollars and donations.

Whether you ran, walked or slept in for this year’s Race for the Cure, you’re helping to support local programs like the Sister Screen Saver Program through The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, Diversity Enhancement Program.

In an effort to reduce the health disparity in breast cancer among African American women, this program aims to provide on-site mobile mammography screening services at local community churches and use culturally tailored information to educate African-American women about breast cancer prevention and early detection. The program will also be able to provide information on local resources where free or low-cost mammograms and support services can be obtained.

Learn more about this program and how you can get involved in the fight against breast cancer on Wednesday, June 22. We’ll provide snacks and special raffle prizes. Hope to see you then!

Marathon for the Cure Team Headed by Veteran Runner

Joseph Shearer has always been very involved in the running community, but when he realized he could use his talents to help a good cause, it was an opportunity he could not pass up. Joseph’s mother is currently battling her second bout with breast cancer, so it made perfect sense for him to join the Komen Columbus Marathon for the Cure team, participating in the Columbus Marathon on Sunday, October 16.

Joseph Shearer participating in a previous running event.

“I’m just a runner who loves his Mom and has compassion for people who suffer,” explains Joseph. “I have a talent that I’m aware of and I see it as my duty to use that talent to engage suffering.”

This year, as a veteran member of the team, Joseph is ramping up his preparation efforts. Not only is he training to participate individually, but also he has become very involved in organizing the team. To train, he packed his weekends with races leading up to the Columbus Marathon to gain more experience, typically running between 40 and 60 miles a week. He has also worked very hard at recruiting more people for the team as well as expanding the demographics of the team members. He also hopes to get the community more involved through various types of support and to have more creative fundraisers.

“Instead of the routine solicitation to friends and family, I have several ideas to host fundraising events like a themed poetry night at a local coffee shop, working events for some of our corporate sponsors and several other ventures that I think will be highly effective,” he says.

Members of the 2010 Marathon for the Cure team at the 2010 Columbus Marathon.

Joseph says that this year he is most looking forward to his mom coming to the event, with her knowing that he is running this 26.2 mile race in her honor, and to encourage and support her to continue fighting breast cancer.

Additionally, he is excited to see the outcome of all of his planning efforts.

“I look forward to seeing how so many people come together to make a significant impact in the lives of others,” Joseph says. “I think this year will be a humbling experience and it will be an honor to have been a part of it.”

Visit the team online for more information or to register for the Komen Columbus Marathon for the Cure team.

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