Fundraising for Komen St. Louis: A Shoe Line with a Purpose

Susan G. Komen® St. Louis is honored to be contacted by passionate members of our community wanting to organize an event or promotion benefiting Komen St. Louis and the fight against breast cancer.

We love the creative ideas our community members come up with to help make an impact and support our mission.

Here’s a particularly creative third-party fundraising promotion: LaQuist + Komen St. Louis shoes.  St. Louis artist and student Lauren Rundquist has created a shoe line with a purpose. With each pair of LaQuist + Komen St. Louis shoes purchased, LaQuist will contribute $15 directly toward Komen St. Louis’ mission to save lives and end breast cancer forever, in addition to being matched by the TOMS One for One Movement, giving a pair of shoes to a child in need. Each of the 12 handpainted designs represents that mission through words and symbols chosen by Susan G. Komen St. Louis.

To learn more about this and other community events supporting Komen St. Louis, visit the Community Events page on our website.

To learn more about hosting a fundraiser for Komen St. Louis, visit our website.

Must-See TV: “Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies”

Emperor of All Maladies Event Cover PhotoThe documentary series, “Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies,” is set to air on PBS over three nights, March 30 – April 1.

This three-part, six-hour major television event is presented by documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, in partnership with WETA, the flagship public broadcasting station in Washington, D.C.

Based on the 2010 Pulitzer Prize-winning book, “The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer,” by Siddhartha Mukherjee, M.D., the series is the most comprehensive documentary on a single disease ever made. The film weaves a sweeping historical narrative with intimate stories of patients and an investigation into the latest scientific breakthroughs.

This “biography” of cancer covers the disease’s first documented appearances thousands of years ago through the epic battles in the 20th century to cure, control and conquer it, to a radical new understanding of its essence. The series also features the current status of cancer knowledge and treatment —the dawn of an era in which cancer may become a chronic or curable illness rather than its historic death sentence in some forms.

Learn more in this trailer:

Be sure to watch “Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies” on PBS (KETC in the St. Louis area) at 8 pm Central Time on March 30, March 31 and April 1.

Follow along with Komen St. Louis on Facebook and Twitter as we share information on the history of breast cancer. Join the “virtual watch party” on March 30-April 1, and let us know your thoughts about the film.

Register Now for the 2015 Susan G. Komen St. Louis Race for the Cure®

Race_2015_WebBanner_Register1_largeThe 2015 Susan G. Komen St. Louis Race for the Cure® will take place in downtown St. Louis on Saturday, June 13.

Registration is open now at

The Komen St. Louis Race for the Cure is one of the largest Komen Race events in the world and is Komen St. Louis’ signature fundraising event.

Race registration fees, fundraising and donations help raise vital funds for life-saving breast health and breast cancer services for the women, men and families most in need and most at risk in Komen St. Louis’ 17-county Missouri and Illinois service area.

These funds also support cutting-edge breast cancer research in St. Louis and beyond.

Because of all who have registered, sponsored, fundraised and donated to the Komen St. Louis Race since 1999, more than 100 percent of the funds raised here has remained in and returned to the St. Louis region.

The theme for the 2015 Komen St. Louis Race is What Gives Me Strength.

It gives Komen St. Louis strength to know that our community is behind us as we work every day to save lives and end breast cancer forever.

Register for the Race now at

Form a Team. Join a Team. Register as an individual participant. Or choose to Sleep In for the Cure.

Build a Team of your family, friends and coworkers. Recruit others to Race with you. Help raise additional funds by fundraising above and beyond your registration fee.

We can’t do this without you. And with you, we can be a tremendous force of strength in the fight against breast cancer.

For more information and to register for the 2015 Komen St. Louis Race for the Cure, visit


Kick Off the 2015 Race Season at the VIPink Party!

RaceKickoff_VIPink_2015Join us at the VIPink Party on February 26 and help celebrate the start of the 2015 Susan G. Komen St. Louis Race for the Cure® season!

Enjoy food, beverages and entertainment while we officially launch the 2015 Komen St. Louis Race.

A limited number of tickets remains. Reserve a complimentary ticket for you and one guest, while tickets last.

RSVP by midnight on Sunday, Feb. 22.

Call for Applications & Nominations: 2015 Komen St. Louis Pink Tie Guys

Komen St. Louis Pink Tie Guys are partners in the Komen promise to save lives and end breast cancer forever. The Pink Tie Guys are leaders who attest to the powerful fact that breast cancer is a disease that knows no boundaries and who bring a male voice to the urgency of finding a cure. These men prove themselves as givers in the cause to fight breast cancer. These men are not afraid to wear pink, for they know pink is a symbol of hope, courage, strength and survivorship.

Who: Each year, a select group of men in the St. Louis region are invited to serve as Pink Tie Guys, outstanding ambassadors and advocates for breast health action and breast cancer awareness. The Komen St. Louis Pink Tie Guys are leaders who can help mobilize, energize and engage individuals and groups in the breast cancer movement through their role within the community, within their companies and organizations, and through their personal involvement.

What: Pink Tie Guys bring personal stories that highlight how men’s lives are touched by breast cancer. They support and draw attention to the Komen promise and the work of Komen St. Louis by wearing their signature Komen pink necktie and speaking out about the importance of doing everything possible to support breast cancer survivors and those affected by the disease, and to find the cures for breast cancer.

Where: Komen St. Louis Pink Tie Guys live and/or work in the Komen St. Louis 17-county Missouri/Illinois service area (St. Louis City and the Missouri counties of Franklin, Jefferson, Lincoln, Madison, Montgomery, Perry, St. Charles, St. Francois, Ste. Genevieve, St. Louis, Warren, Washington; Clinton, Madison, Monroe and St. Clair counties in Illinois).

When: Pink Tie Guys attend and participate in Komen St. Louis events and other related activities throughout the year, as their schedules allow. They speak out in their community about breast health and work to engage their friends, families and coworkers in the fight against breast cancer.

How: Each Pink Tie Guy is expected to represent Komen at local events and Komen St. Louis events by wearing his Komen pink tie (provided by Komen St. Louis) or other Komen apparel and advocating for Komen St. Louis in an honest and informative manner. Each Pink Tie Guy is also asked to help with Komen St. Louis fundraising efforts in some way, big or small.

Why: Breast cancer affects 1 in 8 women and 1 in 1,000 men in their lifetime. Pink Tie Guys help Komen St. Louis fight this disease. Together, Pink Tie Guys and Komen St. Louis work to inform, influence and inspire our community and raise funds to help end breast cancer forever.

Do you have what it takes to be a Pink Tie Guy? Do you know someone who is Pink Tie Guy worthy?

Complete the 2015 Pink Tie Guys application/nomination form.

Trivia Night 2015: A Sold-Out Success!

TriviaNight_2015_WebBanner_SoldOut_largeThe inaugural Komen St. Louis Trivia Night fundraiser on January 17 was a sold-out success! Thanks to everyone who attended and supported the event, we raised nearly $13,600. These funds will benefit local breast health programs and breast cancer research.


Komen St. Louis Trivia Night 2015

Thank you to Mike Colombo of KMOV News 4 for serving as our master of ceremonies.

Thank you to the many volunteers who helped make the event happen.TriviaNight_2015_HeadsTails

Thank you to our media sponsors for helping to spread the word about the event: 93.7 The Bull, 100.3 The Beat, 103.3 KLOU, WILD 104.9, Z107.7 and KTRS 550.

Thank you to our round sponsors: Ameriprise Financial, Watson Imaging Center and Wordscapes, LLC.

Komen St. Louis Trivia Night 2015

Komen St. Louis Trivia Night 2015

Thank you to our dessert raffle, food and beverage supporters: Anheuser-Busch InBev, Cake Pops by Angela, Katie Dalton, The Donut Palace, Folsom Distributing, Gordon Food Service, Harter Bakery, Kuna Foodservice, Paul Lovell and Todd Burrell, McArthur’s Bakery Cafe, Nadoz Cafe, Lynette Palmer, Patisserie Chouquette, SweetArt.

Thank you, everyone!


A Survivor’s Story: A New Way to Fight Cancer

Guest Writer: Rhiannon Reynolds Chavez, two-time breast cancer survivor and Komen St. Louis volunteer from Belleville, IL

My mother was 38 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1990, and it was unexpected to say the least. She was young and our family did not have a history of breast cancer. My breast cancer diagnosis came when I was 27. I knew I carried a higher risk for breast cancer, but the results were still shocking.


Rhiannon Reynolds Chavez, two-time breast cancer survivor and Komen St. Louis volunteer

I figured we must have some genetic predisposition for breast cancer. In December 2005, during my treatment at Saint Louis University Hospital, Dr. Suzanne Mahon submitted a genetic sample to determine if I had one of the BRCA genes linked to breast cancer.

Two weeks later I was reluctantly ready to hear their findings. I knew I was going to be positive for one of the BRCA genes. I knew it was good to have as much information as possible, and yet I knew I would be upset to see it on paper. I opened the envelope with Dr. Mahon ready to interpret the results.

The lab found nothing. There were no genetic markers indicating that I would be at risk for breast cancer.

I looked at Dr. Mahon, she looked at the results, frowned and said, “I think we just haven’t advanced far enough yet. I believe your cancer is genetic, we just don’t know where to look for it yet.”

Frustrated and angry that I had no answers as to why my mother and I had the same type of breast cancer, I tried to put it in the back of my mind. I continued aggressive treatment and focused on recovery. My hair started to grow back, I got a new job, I bought a house, I got married.

Seven years later, at the age of 34, my breast cancer returned. Dr. Mahon informed me that cancer researchers and geneticists had made significant advances since I had last seen her frowning at my results. I was encouraged that there were many more DNA areas to look at. So I again swabbed the inside of my cheek, swished with mouthwash and sent in the sample, with my health insurance covering the cost.

Two weeks later Dr. Mahon told me, again, there was nothing to indicate a genetic predisposition for cancer. Disappointed and irritated, we carried on the same conversation from seven years before; it’s probably genetic, there’s still a lot we don’t know, etc.

Dr. Mahon then said, “There are places some researchers are looking at, it’s pretty new and your insurance may not cover it, but I think it’s worth a shot.” Intrigued but doubtful, I hung up the phone. If my insurance wouldn’t cover this, could I afford paying out of pocket? Would I have to wait for years for health insurance to catch up?

Two weeks later Dr. Mahon called, but this time our conversation was very different. She was able to have the lab run new tests. That third test found the answer I had been looking for since 2005.

Now my doctors and I know what we’re fighting. I know that I’m at risk not only for breast cancer, but other cancers as well. It’s scary, but knowledge is power.

Now I get additional screenings each year.

Now my cousins, even distant ones, can speak more confidently about their own health.

Now I know my son will need to be tested when he’s an adult.

I am so grateful that Susan G. Komen St. Louis granted funding to Dr. Mahon in 2012, and that she armed me with a new way to fight cancer. I am constantly encouraged by the advances in breast cancer treatment. My hope is that cancer treatment continues to become more and more refined so oncologists can isolate the cause and effectively treat each patient with a direct, targeted approach. I believe we can find a way to fix or turn off genes that cause cancer.

This is why I choose to volunteer with the Susan G. Komen St. Louis Affiliate. As a member of the Komen St. Louis Young Professionals, I can serve as an ambassador in our community, sharing my story and making sure other young women and men are aware of the resources in St. Louis. We work together year-round to raise awareness and funds for Komen St. Louis, ensuring support for critical breast health programs in St. Louis.

Rhiannon is a member of the Komen St. Louis Young Professionals and also volunteers on the committee for Komen St. Louis’ inaugural Trivia Night, taking place on January 17.