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March Volunteer of the Month: Lindsey Lange

Lindsey Lange (right) and friend, Kori Alexander, take a moment during the 2010 Race for the Cure for a quick selfie.

Lindsey Lange (right) and friend, Kori Alexander, take a moment during the 2010 Race for the Cure for a quick selfie.

We are so happy to announce that Lindsey Lange is our March Volunteer of the Month!

For the past five years, Lindsey has been very instrumental in rallying her Bank of America associates to  help with our team t-shirt packing.

“This is one of the biggest volunteer projects before the Race,” said Natalie Guagenti, Director of Volunteers at Komen Columbus, “Bank of America provides a team of 50 volunteers every year and they pack nearly 30,000 team Race shirts. Lindsey leads the charge and we are very grateful for it.”

Lindsey shares with us, in her own words, why she enjoys volunteering with Komen Columbus.

What (or whom) inspired you to get involved with Komen Columbus?
Several people – Jamine Kozar (Waggle), Jennifer Locke, Teri Fancelli – I am a daughter, sister, aunt and mom. I have been lucky to not have (breast cancer) in my family, and I would like to keep it that way – I want an end to breast cancer.

What’s your favorite part about volunteering with Komen Columbus?
It is fun! The people I get to work with and meet are amazing! Knowing I am doing something I enjoy and it is actually benefitting others makes it even more worthwhile.

What is the most memorable moment or event you’ve experienced with Komen Columbus? And why?
I love the race – seeing the supporters, the survivors, the passion that can be put into something is amazing. I have never had a hobby – so this is cool that I can give focus, energy and passion to something and see the good that comes out.

When you’re not volunteering for Komen Columbus, what do you like to do?
Being a mom! I have a love of being mommy. I have three kids, all who are their own personalities. They keep me busy and it’s so rewarding. I love my girl time too with my girlfriends.

February Volunteer of the Month: Sue Ringler

We are happy to announce that Sue Ringler is our February Volunteer of the Month!

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Sue is pictured with her new rescue, Ernie. She hopes to train Ernie to become a therapy dog.

Sue is no stranger to Susan G. Komen Columbus or the Race for the Cure. She’s been attending the Race for the last 10 years and recently decided she wanted to become a Komen Ambassador to educate people in our community on the resources Komen Columbus offers. We are very fortunate to have volunteers like Sue who realize that in order to beat breast cancer we need to attack this disease on all fronts.

“Sue has such a passion for our cause and we are so happy to have her helping to share our mission int eh community,” said Natalie Guagenti, Director of Volunteers at Komen Columbus.

Sue shares with us, in her own words, why she enjoys volunteering with Komen Columbus.

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

I began volunteering with Komen Columbus before I knew anyone who had been diagnosed with breast cancer.  I participated in my first Race for the Cure in 2008 and when I saw the sea of people walking together for a single common cause, I was overwhelmed.  I began to volunteer for several Race registration shifts the next year and I have never stopped.  I have since joined the education committee and become a Komen Ambassador.

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

Educating just 1 person at a health fair about breast cancer and all the options that Komen Columbus is able to offer can be truly rewarding.  However, sitting at the Race registration table with people who have already committed to participating and being able to listen to their experiences, joys and determinations is, by far, the reason that I continue to volunteer with Komen Columbus.

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

The Race for the Cure – any year – walking amongst so many people who have come together for just 1 reason: survivors in their pink apparel; those openly paying tribute to someone; those with pictures streaming down their backs; those on their motorcycles; and those who simply care enough to show their support for and participate in this incredible event, never fails to bring tears to my eyes.

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

Although I work part-time, I always make sure that I am available to deliver Meals on Wheels every 2 weeks.  In Spring, I can usually be found in my garden.  Since my new dog’s job appears to be walking, I generally log several miles a day —just like the mail-person  ‘ Neither snow nor rain…’.

Top 5 Reasons you should be at The Main Event

Need a few reasons to attend The Main Event on Saturday, February 7th? 

1. Spend the evening with these lovely ladies!

An Honorary Race Chair Selfie.

An Honorary Race Chair Selfie.

2. Save $5 off your Race for the Cure registration when you purchase a ticket to the Main Event.

3. Take a chance at winning some of our fabulous raffle prizes including a behind-the-scenes tour of the Columbus Zoo & Aquarium, 12 tickets to a private executive suit at Nationwide Arena to watch the Blue Jackets play and much, much more!

zoo blue jackets

4.  Get an exclusive first-look at all our Race posters and materials (and you’ll be able to take some home!)

5.  Spend a fun night out enjoying delicious hors d’oeuvres and beverages, and celebrating the fact that Komen Columbus has the LARGEST Race for the Cure in the country!

The LARGEST Race for the Cure in the country!Registration for The Main Event is open online and starts at just $50 for survivors. See you there!

 

Top 10 Memorable Moments | Komen Columbus

It’s that time of year when we take a nostalgic look back to relive the moments of 2014.  We’ve had an amazing year, filled with moments we will treasure forever. The staff compiled a list of the Top 10 Memorable Moments at Komen Columbus. Please join us as we take a walk down memory lane.

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Ask the Therapist: Betsey Cowardin

In a previous Survivor Newsletter* we offered survivors the opportunity to ask questions about how to answer questions about their breast cancer diagnosis and recovery and also how to handle the expectations and stress of the holidays. We’re fortunate to have Betsey Cowardin, a therapist and 20-year breast cancer “thrivor” answer some of your questions.

*Sign-up for our survivor-only newsletter.

Q1: What can survivors do and say to best support another survivor?  Many of us have gone through it, but time may have passed and things may have changed.

A1: Start by saying you are sorry the other survivor is experiencing cancer and that you will keep them in your thoughts and best wishes. Ask them how they are doing. Share that you are a survivor and want to support the other survivor in whatever way would be helpful for that person.

Q2: How do I balance my needs and stress with other people needing to feel helpful?  I feel like I need to be polite.

A2: Let the other people know that you appreciate their desire and willingness to be helpful and then let them know what you need at this time which could include a range of things from providing a dinner for your family, child care if you have young children needing attention, to running errands, taking you to your treatments or time for yourself simply to rest and be quiet. And if you don’t know what you need at this time, that is okay too. Also tell them that you are balancing a great deal and sometimes dealing with the stress requires down time for resting and recovering from the stress.This is not the time to try to please others however cancer doesn’t warrant being impolite.

Q3: What kind of feelings or struggles are my caregivers going through with my breast cancer journey?

A3: It is highly likely that your care givers are experiencing concern, fear, sadness, anger, hopefulness, fatigue, uncertainty and stress regarding your breast cancer journey. Not unlike what you the survivor is experiencing and struggling with.  Best to ask your caregivers what they are feeling and then you can open up the conversation for sharing your individual experiences.  After all, we are all in this journey together.

Q4: After the five year window of survivorship, I feel like I’ve reached a new place, kind of a no-man’s land or uncharted waters.  My identity as a survivor is different as I start to really move on from that experience. How might this affect me throughout the rest of my life?

A4: Indeed you have reached a new place in your life and created a new normal for yourself…however you define your new normal in life’s unchartered waters.  Hopefully your identity has transformed from a survivor to a thriver.  I can’t read the future for you so I don’t know how surviving cancer might affect you throughout the rest of your life.  I can share with you that as a 20 year breast cancer thriver, I am more sensitive to the vulnerability and fragility of life and how quickly life can change.  This has created an opportunity to live my life differently…in gratitude and with awareness of my life purpose.  Give yourself time for self-discovery and developing greater self-awareness.

Q5: What is the best way to handle the additional stress of the holidays?

A5: With or without cancer, we need to practice good self care in order to manage the additional stress of the holidays.  What does that look like? Set clear limits: Don’t over-commit, over-schedule, over-indulge. Establish realistic expectations with family and friends. Get enough rest. Eat healthy. Exercise a little bit each day if that won’t interfere with your treatment(s). Get outside in nature for some relaxation and enjoyment. Re-evaluate your holiday traditions and decide which traditions to keep and which traditions to let go of.  Try to focus on the true meaning of the specific holiday you celebrate.

Q6: For non-survivors, what should we say to a friend when we hear they are diagnosed?

A6: How about:  “Oh no, I am so sorry that you have been diagnosed with cancer. This stinks!”  What we say to our newly diagnosed friend depends on our personal style so just be yourself and convey your sincere feelings.

December Volunteer of the Month: Karen Ickes

When Karen Ickes was diagnosed with breast cancer 17 years ago, she knew right away she wanted to use her experience and breast cancer battle to help educate others. We are fortunate to have had Karen as a volunteer with Susan G. Komen Columbus for the last 16 years and are grateful for the many contributions she has made.

Karen at the 1999 Komen Columbus Race for the Cure with her chemo nurse, Tammy and the daughter of a friend .

Karen (center) at the 1999 Komen Columbus Race for the Cure with her chemo nurse, Tammy, and the daughter of a friend .

“From helping with Race registration, to being part of the Education Committee, from attending health fairs and to more recently helping to review grant applications – Karen’s insight and generosity are a tremendous asset to our organization,” said Natalie Guagenti, Director of Volunteers at Komen Columbus.

For these reasons and more, we are proud to name Karen Ickes as our December Volunteer of the Month!

Karen shares with us, in her own words, why she enjoys volunteering with Komen Columbus.

What (or whom) inspired you to get involved with Komen Columbus?
On April Fool’s Day in 1997 I was diagnosed with Stage II breast cancer. After going through one year of high dose chemo, a stem cell transplant and radiation, I wanted to find a way to get involved with an organization which would work towards finding a way to cure the disease and help educate other women about the importance of getting the proper testing and understanding changes in your body. Through Komen Columbus, I’ve met some wonderful survivors and volunteers and staff, all of whom are dedicated to the same mission and purpose.

What’s your favorite part about volunteering with Komen Columbus?
My favorite part about volunteering is when I can help just one person learn more about detection and the importance of working with your doctor. During a recent health fair, we had so many people stop by our booth with very little knowledge or understanding of breast cancer. The pamphlets and brochures provide a lot of good information in a simple and easy to understand fashion.

What is the most memorable moment or event you’ve experienced with Komen Columbus? And why?
Every time I go to the Race and see all of the survivors, along with the tremendous support from the community, it creates a memorable event for me. It is such a wonderfully positive experience with so much camaraderie and celebration.

When you’re not volunteering for Komen Columbus, what do you like to do?
I’ve been retired for a couple of years and I have enjoyed spending more time trying to improve my golf game, traveling and getting involved in a variety of community philanthropic activities.

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.

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