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Marathon for the Cure Team Member Trains for 11th Full Marathon

daniel connerGuest post by Jenna Sopko, Events Intern

Daniel Conner has completed more than 260 miles of marathons around the world and now he will join the Marathon for the Cure team to add 26 more miles to his total. Daniel will be running his 11th full marathon at this year’s Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon.

Daniel began running in 2011 and completed his first 5k at the Komen Columbus Race for the Cure. Since then, he has run 10 marathons including one in Athens, Greece, and one in Dresden, Germany as an Athlete Ambassador for the Columbus Marathon. Another item he checked off from his list? Running the Boston Marathon twice.

This year as part of the Marathon for the Cure team, he runs for his sister. “My sister was diagnosed with breast cancer a couple years before that [2011]. She was cancer free until this year and had a double mastectomy the week after this year’s Komen Race for the Cure.”

For many people, one marathon is more than enough, but Daniel will begin training for this next marathon the end of June. When asked what keeps him going, he simply responds “I’m not sure what keeps me going. Some days are easier than others.”

Learn more about the Marathon for the Cure team and what you can do to help here. Every step toward the finish line is a step toward ending breast cancer forever.

Marathon for the Cure Team Runner Runs Miles for Mother

lindsay dollinger 1 lindsay dollinger 2Guest post by Jenna Sopko, Events Intern

“I remember thinking, if my doing this [a half marathon] will help another experimental drug get approved that my mom can use, and we will be able to have to have another family vacation, I’ll do it,” said Lindsay Dollinger, a member of the 2015 Marathon for the Cure team. Lindsay wanted for her mom want many others with a serious illness have wanted – more time.

“My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer almost 17 years ago and passed away January 12th of this year. Her inspiration and courage is what keeps me running all the miles and continuing to advocate to find a cure for breast cancer.  It also keeps me in shape–another preventative measure for breast cancer.”

This is Lindsay’s second year on the team; she experienced her first long-distance race with the Marathon for the Cure team in 2013.  She will be completing her second half marathon at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon on October 18, 2015.

Lindsay uses the 12-week program on the Hal Higdon app to train for her upcoming race. “So far, I’ve just been doing short runs. I’m saving the heavy training for when my 12 week program starts in July.” Lindsay also coaches a Girls on the Run team that keeps her running throughout the spring.

Lindsay is hoping that with her dedication to running the half marathon for her mother, she will be able to raise funds for more experimental drugs to help women battling breast cancer. In her last half marathon, she raised approximately $300.

“My goal is to beat that amount this time.  I’ve shared the link with my friends and family and am hoping to raise as much as possible!”

Want to join Lindsay in her fight to end breast cancer? Join our Marathon for the Cure team here. Every step toward the finish line, is a step toward ending breast cancer forever.

Meet the Staff at Komen Columbus: Shelly Lewis

Shelly Lewis

Shelly Lewis

What events/people or experiences led you here to Susan G. Komen Columbus?
I managed the Think Pink program at L Brands for many years that included the Race for the Cure Columbus, Race for the Cure Greater New York City, and the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk in Kettering, Ohio.  There was always so much energy and passion with the associates for this program and as we continued to grow into the largest corporate team in the world for Komen with the Columbus race, it was very inspiring.  Attending each race and seeing the thousands of attendees and hundreds of survivors was often emotional and it let me know that this organization was doing much more than talking about their mission…they were living it.  I feel honored to be a part of this great organization.

What do you do for Komen Columbus? How does your role help with Komen’s mission?
I manage the corporate relationships for Susan G. Komen Columbus.  In my role, I am responsible for building and maintaining corporate sponsorships and relationships throughout the counties that we serve.  Obtaining funding and support at any level helps Komen with its mission to save lives and end breast cancer forever by providing funds that go towards educating and empowering women and allowing Komen to provide services to those in need that have been affected by breast cancer.

What (or whom) inspires you come to work every day?
I don’t think that there is any one person who inspires me to come to work every day.  I do, however, feel that I am honored to get to come to work every day and work with an organization that is making such a positive impact on the lives of so many people.  No matter what we do, someone is always watching us.  So, I’m inspired if I am able to have a positive impact on someone’s life just by my example in the work that I do and the way that I live.

Shelly (far right) with family and friends at the 2015 Komen Columbus Race for the Cure.

Shelly (far right) with family and friends at the 2015 Komen Columbus Race for the Cure.

What is the most memorable moment or event you’ve experienced with Komen Columbus? And why?
This past race on May 16, 2015 was the most memorable for me because it was the first time that I did the entire 5k.  In past years, I was at the race in a work capacity and didn’t get a chance to do more than the 1 mile.  Doing the 5k was uplifting and at the finish line, I truly felt like I had walked to make a difference in the lives of each and every survivor.

When you’re not working, what do you like to do?
I love spending time with my husband and our family. In addition, I serve in ministry at the food pantry that is led by my husband at our church. Every week, we are able to assist those in need in our community with their basic need for food.  I also enjoy reading, shopping and traveling.

What’s your favorite quote? And why?
I don’t have a favorite quote per se, but I do have a favorite bible verse. Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path”.  This speaks to me because so often we don’t always understand why we go through some things or why we are placed in certain situations…sometimes, it’s not for us to understand.  We just have to believe that God is directing our every step and that He is leading us into our purpose…leading us to greatness.

To meet other Komen Columbus staff members, click here. Learn more about Komen Columbus by visiting our website, Facebook and Twitter Pages.

Take one more step toward the end of breast cancer

SGK-MFTC-WEBDid you know that 26 miles could make such an impact? This year you could make a difference by joining the Komen Columbus Marathon for the Cure team and running in the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus full or half marathon! Don’t think you’re ready for a full marathon? Try the half! Every step gets us closer to our mission of ending breast cancer forever.

Join the Marathon for the Cure team for $10 and you will receive a Marathon for the Cure t-shirt to show your support, team members to assist you in your training, and the Komen community to encourage your strength and dedication. In working with the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon, we will also be able to offer a special discount code to runners registered with our team. Contact us here for info on the discount code.

While you’re training for the full or half marathon, we’d also encourage you to fundraise as part of the Marathon for the Cure team. The more we train, fundraise, and learn, the closer we’ll get to finding the cures.

Are you ready to get started and lace up those shoes for a new challenge? Follow these easy steps and you’ll be ready to hit the pavement.

  1. Register for the Full or Half Marathon event of your choice. (The Nationwide Children’s Hospital Marathon is coming up on October 18 in Columbus if you need a local option AND we even have a special discount code available for all registered Marathon for the Cure team members!)
  2. Register as part of the official team online here and begin your fundraising. Registration for the team starts at only $10 and includes a Marathon for the Cure shirt and goodie bag.

Again, there’s no minimum amount required to raise, but every dollar, just like every step you take running or walking, will make an impact.

Register for the Marathon for the Cure team today!

Over My Head Boutique

Over my head Over My Head Boutique specializes in caring for women who are going through hair loss or have undergone breast cancer surgery. Over My Head has been located on the Riverside Methodist Hospital campus, inside the Bing Cancer Center since 2012. The shop was previously located in Upper Arlington where it opened in 1998, focusing primarily on hair loss.

This specialty boutique now focuses on carrying the highest quality of wigs and head coverings as well as a wide variety of breast care items. In order to ensure you achieve your best fit with plenty of one-on-one time with a certified professional, appointments are required for trying on wigs, hairpieces, bras and prosthetics. Of course general shopping is always welcomed! Our staff is small but mighty, giving everyone the personal attention they deserve as we work together to help them look and feel their best in spite of any medical treatments and surgeries they may be going through.  Our selection is ever changing, and features feminine, comfortable, colorful and modern styles.

Here at Over My Head we often receive questions on what is and is not covered by medical insurance. We are a Medicare approved and ABC accredited facility, and we can bill insurance for a majority of the products we carry. While wigs are always an excluded benefit for Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, many private insurance companies will cover all or part of the cost of a wig.

A very prevalent and unfortunate misconception regarding post-mastectomy bras and prosthetics is that they are not covered by insurance in conjunction with surgical reconstruction. This is NEVER the case, regardless of your insurance provider and regardless of how many surgical procedures you have had related to your mastectomy or lumpectomy. Beneficiaries can call the customer service number on the back of their insurance card to ask a representative about quantities of bras and prosthetics allowed under their specific coverage plan.

We are constantly working to spread this good news, and maybe you can help once armed with this information! Each woman affected by breast cancer has the right to look and feel comfortable and symmetrical.  Here are some helpful facts on insurance benefits and products available to both mastectomy and reconstruction patients:

  • It is federally mandated that insurance covers BOTH reconstruction and prosthetics. In other words, insurance cannot legally deny coverage for prosthetics, mastectomy bras and accessories which may or may not be needed after or during reconstructive surgery. This is outlined in the Women’s Health and Cancer Care Act of 1998.
  • Semi-custom prosthetic nipples are a very helpful product for many women undergoing reconstruction. They can be adhered with water or silicone based adhesives, and may aid in making a decisions on size and color when considering nipple tattoos/reconstruction.
  • Many pocketed bras are useful following reconstruction, as they can hold in place a push up pad to lift the unaffected breast, or smoothing pads to give a more round, natural breast apex.
  •  Custom fabricated breast forms are the latest and lightest technology. Many private insurance companies cover this item. The custom breast form is created as a mirror image of your existing breast (when applicable) and surgical site (for the back of the form). This construction allows the prosthetic to “lock” into place on the chest like a puzzle piece.  Over My Head is the second facility in the USA to offer this technology on site.
  • Benefits for pocketed bras and breast prosthetics/partial prosthetics are available to a woman her entire life, following a breast cancer diagnosis. Breast size and shape changes over time and different products may be needed as the body changes. Typically insurance will provide benefits for additional pocketed bras every year, and prosthetics every two years.

Everyone’s cancer journey comes with unique struggles and solutions. Over My Head would love to be a part of your solution. Please visit us at www.overmyheadboutique.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pages/Over-My-Head.

June Volunteer of the Month: Ronda Sobotka

We’re honored to have Ronda Sobotka as the June Volunteer of the Month!

Pictured left to right: Cathy Ives, Ronda Sobotka, Joyce Sabgir and Celeste XXX.

Pictured left to right: Kathy Ives, Ronda Sobotka, Joyce Sabgir and Celeste Krolak

As soon as you meet Ronda you can sense her boundless energy. She will tell you that she discovered her love of life and adventure through her personal breast cancer battle. Ronda will also tell you that since cancer didn’t kill her, she was going to make the most of her life. No excuses.

In the spirit of that promise to herself, she’s now an endurance athlete. Ronda has completed two half marathons and a sprint, Olympic and and half Ironman distance triathlon.

Wait. there’s more.

Ronda’s recently achieved what some may have on their “bucket list,” an eight-day hike to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro.

This year, Ronda  co-chaired the registration committee and spent a week on her feet helping to lead dozens of other volunteers and committee members.

“Even before registration week started, Ronda could be found at the Komen Columbus office helping to distribute team packets and shirts,” said Becca Thomas, Director of Events at Komen Columbus. “She always had a smile on her face and was so helpful in ensuring a successful week. She never seemed tired or put out and her fantastically pink outfits got better (and pinker!) each day of the week.”

Here’s why Ronda volunteers for Komen Columbus in her own words.

What (or whom) inspired you to get involved with Komen Columbus?
I met so many courageous people battling breast cancer during my own fight that I knew I wanted to encourage and inspire others to fight as well. Over the years I’ve met so many strong and wonderful people – each and every one of them inspires me to remain involved with Komen Columbus.

What’s your favorite part about volunteering with Komen Columbus?
The interaction I have with so many different individuals who have such diverse background yet all have a common hatred of cancer. Yet we don’t focus on the hated. We focus on the hope for a future where it has been eradicated.

What is the most memorable moment or event you’ve experienced with Komen Columbus? And why?
Having my mother and my daughter participate in Columbus Race For The Cure with me the first time. Their love and support carried me through and propelled me through the finish line. It was very emotional for me.

When you’re not volunteering for Komen Columbus, what do you like to do?
I am an endurance athlete who does triathlons, so you’ll find me either in the pool, on the bike, or out on the road running. I also volunteer at The James Cancer Hospital.

$2 Million Raised at Komen Columbus Race for the Cure 2015

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On May 16, 2015, tens of thousands of people instilled an inspiring feeling of hope as they gathered in the streets of downtown Columbus, Ohio to show their support for breast cancer survivors and to remember those who have died from the disease.

The 23rd Annual Komen Columbus Race for the Cure, the largest Race for the Cure in the United States, reached 31,755 participants and raised approximately $2 million which will support local breast cancer programming for under-served and uninsured women, as well as global research.

Of the participants, more than 1,700 breast cancer survivors wore pink survivor shirts. This year’s Komen Columbus Race for the Cure had nearly 1,000 volunteers and over 300 A.D. Farrow Harley Davidson riders showed their support by comprising “Thunder Tunnel” over the Broad Street Bridge to cheer on participants. More than 700 corporate, civic and individual teams – including the largest corporate and civic Komen teams in the United States – Team L Brands with 9,740 people and Team Perez with 625 people. Additional team participation winners include:

  • Division I (companies with less than 100 employees): Team NDA from NorthPointe Dance Academy with 71 team   members;
  • Division II (companies with 101 to 250 employees): FST Logistics with 64 team members;
  • Division III (companies with 251 to 500 employees): Lifestyle Communities with 174 team members;
  • High School Division: Hamilton Township High School with 252 team members

“Once again, Central Ohio came out in huge numbers to unite friends, relatives, supporters and survivors as one family in the battle against breast cancer,” said Katie Carter, Komen Columbus Executive Director. “We have funded more than $25 million for community programs and global breast cancer research. We have a long way to go, but it’s days like today that renew our faith that one day there will be an end to breast cancer forever.”

Even though the next Race for the Cure 2015 has ended, the race to find the cure for breast cancer continues year-round! Susan G. Komen always welcomes donations.

Make a donation

Check out pictures from the 2015 Komen Columbus Race for the Cure.

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