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Ellen Limes named “Most Courageous Survivor Mom of 2015″


“It’s not the load that breaks you down; it’s the way you carry it.”

This quote perfectly illustrates the optimistic mindset and lifestyle of Ellen Limes, a three-time breast cancer survivor, that help her to conquer and defeat breast cancer.

Ellen was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004, then again in 2008 and again in 2014. All three of her daughters say that positivity and perseverance are what have kept her strong during these bumps in the road. Instead of getting into the mindset that cancer slows you down and prevents you from being productive, Ellen has the opposite mindset. “She never talks like she may not beat this cancer,” said her daughter, Katie. “She always says when I am done with this and to me that just shows how much faith she has…”

Through optimism and resilience, Ellen is able go about her daily life like any cancer-free person would – If not even more successfully! You would think that cancer would slow her down, but it has done everything but that! Ellen, a certified professional organizer, founded the company Organized by L in 2004, the same year she was first diagnosed with breast cancer. She is still actively working while going through chemotherapy treatment, and is also co-founder of Transitioning Through Life. Her daughter Erin said, “[My mom] does not have time to mope around and feel bad for herself.” Ellen has even created a blog, El’s Excellent Adventure II, where she keeps her family and friends updated on her miraculous journey.

Ellen Limes has been named the Most Courageous Survivor Mom of 2015 because of her inspirational positivity and persistent hope that enables her to obliterate the burden that is cancer. As said by Katie, “She doesn’t let cancer limit what she can do.”

Ellen is always looking out for others and her daughters want to be able to give her something in return. In the words of her daughter Rachel, “I cannot think of the last time that she slowed down and took a day for herself. If she is not working, she is doing something to better our family’s life.” She will be receiving a day of pampering including a $250 Charles Penzone gift basket, one night stay at the Westin Hotel (night before the Race), $50 Panera gift card, and flowers and balloons from Giant Eagle!

Local Media Figures Come Together for the Cure

Every week, more than 150 women are diagnosed with breast cancer and 35 of those women will die.

Komen Columbus has a mission to save lives and end breast cancer forever. The funding we receive helps us attack this disease on all fronts: in research, community outreach, education, advocacy and global work.

We are always so thankful for the strong support received from local media to help communicate our message. We are honored to have several media personalities to emcee the 2015 Komen Columbus Race for the Cure tomorrow, Saturday, May 16.RaceDay_talent_fb_1200x627

10TV’s Angela An and Mike Davis will kick-off the day as the Survivor Ceremony emcees. They will be celebrating all the survivors attending and even try to get the crowd warmed up with a survivor line dance. Click here to learn the steps.

This year we are thrilled to have three honorary chairs, who are breast cancer survivors – collectively they celebrate 17 years of survivorship. These three inspirational women are 10TV’s Tracy Townsend, NBC4’s Robyn Haines and ABC6/FOX28’s Maria Durant and will be located at the main start stage of the Race.

* Maria is an eight-year survivor. There’s no history of breast cancer in her family.

* Robyn is a five-year survivor. She was diagnosed when she was 27 years old.

* Tracy is a four-year survivor. Her breast cancer was discovered during a routine mammogram.

Cheering on participants in the Family Fun Walk are Sunny95’s Stacy McKay and CWTV Columbus’s Alissa Henry. 10TV’s Kristyn Hartman and Power 107.5’s Misty Jordan will be at the finish line handing out high-fives and hugs as survivors cross the finish line.

“The fact that we’re the largest Race for the Cure in the country speaks to the incredible strength and support demonstrated from the community in the fight against breast cancer,” said Becca Thomas, director of events and marketing at Komen Columbus. “The Race brings Central Ohio together and the unity from our media partners demonstrates this point.”

Please join us downtown on Saturday, May 16 and Race for the Cure. For Race day information, please click here.

May Volunteers of the Month: Abbott Nutrition

We are proud to announce that nine volunteers who work for Abbott Nutrition are our May Volunteers of the Month. This dynamic group organized “ice cream socials” to encourage more of their associates to register for their company’s team. Together they helped 930 members register, the most in Abbott’s history!

Kim Riggs (right), captain of the Ross Park Team and Rita Welsh, who passed away several years ago after heading the Abbott team.

Kim Riggs (right), captain of the Ross Park Team and Rita Welsh, who passed away several years ago after heading the Abbott team.

Congratulations to Brenda Betts, Jennifer Brookover, Jacqueline Craine, Kristen Manivilovski, Monica McGue, Kimberly Riggs, Jill Snyder, Christina Warga and Traci Wertz!

Here are the reasons why they got involved, in their own words.

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

I was fortunate enough to be very close with friend and peer, Rita Welsh. She lost the battle to this awful disease in November 2012. Knowing her changed my attitude about life in general – it’s precious, no matter what cards you are dealt. Her strength through even her darkest days was astounding. She was passionate about her company and vigilant about finding the cure. Her story touched everyone – her reach still does. I chose to honor Rita by taking over her role as the Team Abbott Captain.

What’s your favorite part about volunteering with Komen Columbus?
The best part is being present on race day. At that point, I am no longer a volunteer, but one of thousands who band together to support this important organization. I get to have conversations with folks who have no idea who I am and vice versa. The community that bands together is truly awe-inspiring. I run around with constant goose bumps. Sad for those we have lost, but excited for those we can help.

What is the most memorable moment or event you’ve experienced with Komen Columbus? And why?
My mother is a 14-year survivor. We walked together in 2014, her first time in several years. She was a Thunder Alley virgin – this is the stretch of road where the HUGE motorcycle crew revs their bike engines upon to honor the survivors wearing their pink t-shirts. Again with the goose bumps! My mother’s exclamation and sheer joy during Thunder Alley was priceless – there aren’t words. I’ll never forget it.

Christine Trace
What (or whom) inspired you to get involved with Komen Columbus?
Both of my grandmothers had breast cancer.

What’s your favorite part about volunteering with Komen Columbus?
Knowing that it is helping so many people and being able to recognize those that are survivors. Spread the word!!

What is the most memorable moment or event you’ve experienced with Komen Columbus?
It would be my very first race and every other race when you go down one of the hills on the course an all you can see is a sea of pink.  It means a lot just knowing that I’m taking part of something that makes a difference in someone’s life that day and hopefully many more by the funds raised.

Jennifer Brookover
What (or whom) inspired you to get involved with Komen Columbus?Rita Welsh inspired me to become involved with Komen.  I began working with Rita my first day at Abbott 28 years ago.  To know Rita, was to love Rita.  Words cannot describe this woman.  Rita lived life the way we all should live it, to the fullest.  Rita’s drive and passion for Komen came as a result of her diagnosis with Cancer.  She battled cancer for several years and lost the battle 2+ years ago.  During her battle with cancer, Rita inspired and challenged so many people to step up and help beat this terrible disease.  Though we lost this precious person, we cannot stop fighting.  We have to carry on for her and every other person who is fighting the same battle now or will fight the battle.  That’s what she would have wanted.

What’s your favorite part about volunteering with Komen Columbus?
My favorite part of volunteering for Komen is two-fold:  First, having the opportunity to become involved with Abbott employees and encourage them to participate in such a worthy cause and secondly, the early morning hours setting up our expo tent being downtown.  The streets are so quiet.  It’s a time to reflect on all that you have done to prepare for what’s to come, the crowd, the CURE!!!!!

What is the most memorable moment or event you’ve experienced with Komen Columbus? And why?
My most memorable event was 3 years ago.  Each year as tradition our family walks the 5K.  However, this year my 11-year-old niece Mackinley had a broken growth plate in her foot and was wearing a walking boot.  She was adamant she was going to walk and nothing was going to stop her.  Her doctor cautioned her but released her to walk.  Because she walked the entire 5K, my 2 year old nephew Connor walked along beside her rather than riding in his wagon.  Mackinley finished the race, but did end up wearing a full cast the rest of the summer.  Needless to say, we were very proud of both of them and their commitment to the race and the cause at such young ages.

Kristen Manivilovski
What (or whom) inspired you to get involved with Komen Columbus?
I have always enjoyed supporting the Race for the Cure, but now I have renewed interest as I lost my sister-in-law to a rare stomach cancer 3 years ago and my dad to mesothelioma 3 years ago as well.  My mom is currently battling pulmonary fibrosis which will eventually claim her life

What’s your favorite part about volunteering with Komen Columbus?
The stories that I hear from our employees—you never know what people are going through

What is the most memorable moment or event you’ve experienced with Komen Columbus? And why? 
The survivors that are participating in the walks/runs and the family/friends who are running in memory of a loved one.  Just seeing those individuals staying strong makes me want to stay strong

Christina Warga
What (or whom) inspired you to get involved with Komen Columbus?
My best friend Kim, who was able to participate as a survivor before ultimately losing her battle in January 2011. She was 45.

What’s your favorite part about volunteering with Komen Columbus? 
I love to see the Abbott community come together for a great cause! Handing out t-shirts before the race is my favorite part of volunteering. Everyone is so excited to see the Abbott team shirt and to share their experience of previous race days.

What is the most memorable moment or event you’ve experienced with Komen Columbus? And why?
Walking with my friend Kim and cheering her on during the survivor ceremony. I’ll never forget that day.

My family and friends continue to walk in Kim’s honor and our circle of friends and family grows each year. We all meet at Tommy’s Diner after the race – always a fun day of remembrance and hope.

Jill Snyder
What (or whom) inspired you to get involved with Komen Columbus?
My mother, Jacquelyn Klimek, is a two-time breast cancer survivor.  I wanted to do something to honor her battle.

What’s your favorite part about volunteering with Komen Columbus?
My favorite part about volunteering is that it’s something I can do to directly impact the fight against breast cancer.  It’s one day that raises funds, bring awareness to the battle, and celebrates the lives of those who have both succumbed to and survived this terrible disease.

What is the most memorable moment or event you’ve experienced with Komen Columbus? And why?
The Remembrance Wall is really something to see.  I’m most anxious to witness the Thunder Tunnel – it’s also a one-of- kind experience.

Monica McGue
What (or whom) inspired you to get involved with Komen Columbus?
My sister-in-law, Natalie Guagenti, works for Komen.  I admire Natalie’s passion in her position of Director of Volunteers at Komen Columbus.  Natalie lost her mother to breast cancer, and her personal family tragedy  has translated into a dedication and passion in Natalie for her work for the Komen cause that is evident to anyone that comes in contact with her.  It was my privilege to volunteer that day with both you and Kim; the event produced a lot of energy and interest.  My mom, my mother-in-law and my lifelong best friend have all had breast cancer, so when Natalie asked me to volunteer at the ice cream social, my answer was an easy YES!


April Volunteer of the Month: Megan Montville

Megan and her mom.

Megan and her mom.

We are so proud to have Megan Montville as April’s Volunteer of the Month. This amazing young woman has turned the devastating loss of her mother to breast cancer into a legacy that her mom would surely be proud of.

She’s a delight to have in the office and greets all the visitors – even the UPS delivery man – with a smile.

“Megan has been an outstanding intern. From answering messages and emails to reaching out to day care centers and athletic stores for Race participation, in her short time here she has nearly done it all,” said Becca Thomas, director of events at Komen Columbus, “Her energy and dedication to the cause and her passion to truly make a difference not only in her future career, but in her time volunteering is inspiring.”

Megan 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?
My mom brought me along to volunteer for Komen Northeast Ohio for the first time in 2003 when she was battling breast cancer for the second time. I continued to volunteer alongside her for the next 10 years at the Northeast Ohio location and grew up having a passion for this organization. When my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer for the fourth time in 2013, I knew I wanted to get even more involved with Komen. After my mom passed away in 2014, I wanted to continue her amazing legacy so I decided to run in memory of her in the Komen Columbus Race for the first time.

What’s your favorite part about volunteering with Komen Columbus?
In January 2015, I was given the amazing opportunity to intern for Komen Columbus. I talk to so many people every week who have the same passion as I do, which makes interning a complete joy. If I had to pick my favorite part about volunteering with Komen Columbus, it would be knowing that I’m making a difference for the largest Race for the Cure in the country!

What is the most memorable moment or event you’ve experienced with Komen Columbus? And why?
The most memorable event I have with Komen Columbus was at the 2014 Race. It was only a few months after my mom had just lost her battle to breast cancer. There were 35,000 Race participants surrounding me and we were all there for the same purpose. I had so many people I didn’t know come up and hug me and give me the greatest support. I was overwhelmed by the love and passion I saw that day and my eyes were opened to how many lives breast cancer effects.

When you’re not volunteering for Komen Columbus, what do you like to do?
When I’m not volunteering for Komen Columbus, I like to run, visit my family, and watch Netflix!

Public health means monitoring, protecti

Public health means monitoring, protecting and improving the health of our community. We’re proud to do all three through our community profile and programming! #nphw

Nominations Open for Most Courageous Survivor Mom Contest

“She was unstoppable. Not because she did not have failures or doubts, but because she continued on despite them.”

The fight against breast cancer is not an easy one, and being a mother while on the road to recovery can make it that much more difficult.

MCSM-NBC4-logoTo honor the inspirational moms who manage to do it all, Susan G. Komen Columbus and NBC4 have teamed up to kick-off the Fifth Annual Most Courageous Survivor Mom contest. We would like to honor one survivor mom who is currently battling or has recently completed treatment for breast cancer with a day of pampering! We will announce with winner week before Mother’s Day.

“This is about celebrating all of the brave mothers in Central Ohio who have faced breast cancer,” said NBC4 News Anchor Ellie Merritt, “Everyone diagnosed with this disease faces challenges, but we want to take the time before Mother’s Day to honor the moms who do so much for their families while trying to tackle breast cancer.  A mother’s love, strength and spirit is something worth celebrating.”

Nominations will be taken from Monday, April 6 through Wednesday, April 22. The winner will be announced the week of May 4.

To nominate a special mom, you can submit a 300 word essay to info@komencolumbus.org with the subject line, “Courageous Survivor Mom Entry”. In the essay please share a little information about your nominee – how long has she been a survivor, how many children she has, how long she has been battling breast cancer or any other information about why she should be awarded Most Courageous Survivor Mom. Please include the name and contact information of the mom you are nominating along with your own contact information. Lastly, please attach one or two pictures of the inspirational women you are nominating!

The winner will receive the following prizes:

Fine Print:

  • Past winners are not eligible to be nominated for this contest.
  • Past nominees can be nominated again.
  • Susan G. Komen Columbus Board members, staff and NBC4 employees are not eligible.
  • Each winner is solely responsible for paying any and all applicable taxes related to the prize(s) and paying any expenses associated with any prize(s).
  • Winners must make arrangements to pick up their prize(s) from the Komen Columbus office within 7 business days from the official announcement.
  • Affiliate sets all contest rules and is solely responsible for interpretation and application of the rules.
  • Winners may have the opportunity participate in media interviews (including, TV, Radio, Print and Social Media) and agree to have their pictures &/or video taken and shared on our social media channels.

My first Race as a Survivor

We can hardly believe that the Komen Columbus Race for the Cure 2015 is less than two months away!

We are thrilled to highlight, Catriona Hay, as one of the FIRST people to sign up for this year’s race! Catriona shares in her own words about what she is looking forward to about race day:

IMG_3794How did you first get involved with Komen Columbus?

This is my first year with Komen Columbus and the Columbus Race for the Cure. I decided to jump right in and get involved. I am on the Race Committee overseeing Kids for the Cure. I have a 7-year-old son so I felt that Kids for the Cure was a natural fit for me.

I got involved because on May 14, 2014 I was diagnosed with stage 2 triple negative breast cancer. Since being diagnosed, I’ve really felt a pull to get involved in the breast cancer community and I knew that Komen Columbus would be great way to become a part of that community.

What are you looking forward to most about this year’s race?

I’m most excited to complete this year’s race for the first time as a survivor! I was officially declared free of cancer after a bilateral mastectomy on November 17, 2014. Completing this race will mean a lot to me.

I did a small local race in October  and had a team of 32 people, but I am hoping to have an even larger turnout for the Race for the Cure! We call ourselves Catriona’s Cancer Army and we will be wearing our grey and pink shirts. We can’t wait to see everyone on May 16!

Join Catriona at the Race and register today.


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