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    March 2015
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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.

Calling all Weekly Warriors!

Ready to see pink capes flying in the wind at the Race again? The Weekly Warrior program is back for its second year at Susan G. Komen Columbus and we’re eager to see who will win the eight coveted capes!WeeklyWarriors_2

The Race for the Cure participant who raises the most money from Monday to Friday of each of the next eight weeks leading up until the Race will win the title of that week’s Weekly Warrior.

Each week’s Warrior will receive:

  1. A visit to your office or home (if you allow it) to award you with a Komen Columbus prize pack and the official Weekly Warrior outfit.
  2. Your name entered to win the grand prize of a $200 gift card to Easton Town Center. (Your odds are good here – there will only be a total of 8 people eligible for this prize!)

In addition, we will share the good news of your recent crowning as Weekly Warrior on our social media channels and newsletter.

Here are the rules and other important information to help you:

1. To be considered for the Weekly Warrior competition, all fundraising dollars must be confirmed online or dropped off to the Komen Columbus office by 4PM Friday of each week.

2. The winner will be announced the following Monday on our Facebook page.

3. You can only be named a Weekly Warrior once during the weeks prior to the Race *staff and board member
s excluded

Get started today! Register, log on to your participant center and start sending those fundraising messages.
Prefer to use your mobile device to fundraise? Search “SGK Fundraise” from the App Store or Google Play.


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!


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.


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