Komen St. Louis’ 2013 Corporate Partner of the Year: KSDK NewsChannel 5

Komen St. Louis could not make an impact in the fight against breast cancer without individual supporters, or our volunteers, or our community and corporate partners. It takes so many working together to move us closer to our vision of a world without breast cancer.

At our 4th Annual Power of a Promise luncheon, we presented the Komen St. Louis 2013 Corporate Partner of the Year Award to an organization that’s been with us every year since our inaugural Komen St. Louis Race for the Cure in 1999: KSDK NewsChannel 5.

Komen St. Louis Board President Dede Hoffmann presents our 2013 Corporate Partner of the Year Award to Bree Smith, who accepts the award on behalf of KSDK NewsChannel 5

Komen St. Louis Board President Dede Hoffmann presents our 2013 Corporate Partner of the Year Award to Bree Smith, who accepts the award on behalf of KSDK NewsChannel 5

The support of our corporate partners is so important to the success of the Race and to ensure that more money can go directly to the fight against breast cancer. This partner has been committed to the cause and has been dedicated to helping us communicate our work and our mission to so many in our community.

KSDK’s team devotes time, expertise and resources as they share stories about the local fight against breast cancer and of Komen St. Louis’ efforts in our 17-county Missouri/Illinois service area. We appreciate their continued support and partnership.

Congratulations and our sincere thanks to KSDK NewsChannel 5, Komen St. Louis’ 2013 Corporate Partner of the Year!

Komen’s 2012-2013 Co-Survivor of the Year: St. Louisan Ben DuMont

Wildwood resident Ben DuMont was named the Co-Survivor of the Year at the annual Susan G. Komen Leadership Conference in Dallas on June 21. Each year, the Komen Organization recognizes one individual who has helped a loved one dealing with breast cancer and who has made a lasting impact on others.

Ben DuMont receives the Susan G. Komen Co-Survivor of the Year Award, with Komen's Heather Patrick and Eric Brinker

Ben DuMont receives the Susan G. Komen Co-Survivor of the Year Award, with Komen’s Heather Patrick and Eric Brinker

Ben’s wife Bridget was 30 years old and the mother of two young boys ages 1 and 3 when she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer in 2007. Bridget credits her husband and co-survivor Ben with getting her through her breast cancer journey and beyond. Ben was not only her primary caregiver, but also her biggest cheerleader and constant support system.

“I do not know that I have the words to do justice to how amazing my husband is and how much strength he gave me to maintain not only my quality of life during and after treatments, but also to help me come out stronger and more full of life in the end,” says Bridget. “Besides taking care of any and all of our family’s needs, Ben did not let my sickness bring our family down. He constantly lifted me up and helped me to look at breast cancer as a blessing rather than a curse.”

Ben hosted multiple parties to support his wife, including a “head shaving” party at Bridget’s salon and a surprise “Ta-Ta to Your Ta-Tas” party before her mastectomy. He invited her family and friends from across the country to attend, making these experiences less traumatic for Bridget.

Bridget and Ben DuMont

Bridget and Ben DuMont

As Bridget was nearing the end of her treatments, Ben decided to take on a feat that only a handful of people have done: to ride the Katy Trail, 225 miles across Missouri, in one day on his bike to raise money for Bridget’s Komen St. Louis Race for the Cure team. On June 9, 2008, he successfully completed this challenge – in the rain the entire day!

“With grace and gratitude, Ben dealt with the fact that our lives were no longer our own during the 18 months of my treatment,” says Bridget. “Ben truly lived the words he spoke to me on our wedding day, to honor and love me ‘in sickness and in health.'”

Ben also has been a resource for many husbands whose wives are battling breast cancer. He meets these men for lunch, talking about what it is like to have a wife going through breast cancer and listening to what they are going through. It was also during these meetings that Ben realized there were very few resources available for husbands, so he decided to write a book about his experience as a husband and caregiver. The book, titled Pathway to Peace, provides a realistic picture of what it means to be a caregiver and, once it is published, will likely be a valuable tool for breast cancer patients and their husbands.

Congratulations, Ben, on this well-deserved recognition as Komen’s Co-Survivor of the Year!

Thank you, St. Louis!

Survivors at 15th Komen St. Louis Race - June 15, 2013

Survivors at 15th Komen St. Louis Race – June 15, 2013

The 15th Annual Susan G. Komen St. Louis Race for the Cure brought together tens of thousands of people in our community to celebrate breast cancer survivors and to honor those who have lost their battle with the disease. It was a beautiful day in St. Louis!

We thank all who participated, volunteered and supported this milestone event.

The funds raised through the Race will benefit local breast health programs that serve women and men in our community who may not otherwise have access to quality care. The dollars raised here also will fund critical breast cancer research in St. Louis and beyond.

From the bottom of our hearts, we thank all who celebrated 15 years of hope, inspiration and impact in the local fight against breast cancer. We thank all who continue to join us in our mission to save lives and end breast cancer forever.

Stories of No Boundaries

No Boundaries  - Spring 2013

No Boundaries – Spring 2013

Ten weeks ago, more than 200 individuals made a healthy lifestyle choice. They all committed to train for the 15th Annual Susan G. Komen St. Louis Race for the Cure® on June 15, through FLEET FEET Sports’ No Boundaries 5K training program. Ten weeks later, here are three of the participants’ reflections on the experience…

A Personal “Project” for Anne-Sophie Blank

“In 2005, I signed up to form a Komen St. Louis Race team on the University of Missouri – St. Louis campus. One of my colleagues had just been diagnosed with breast cancer, and I was so impressed by her determination to “beat it.” So Team UMSL was born that year and this will be our team’s 9th Race.

Last year, in April 2012, I too was diagnosed with breast cancer, so this cause has become even more personal. On May 30, 2012, I underwent a double mastectomy and, later, several rounds of chemotherapy. Komen St. Louis Executive Director Helen Chesnut – and everyone at Komen St. Louis – has been wonderful and supportive.

When Helen called me in December to ask if I would like to participate in a “project,” I said yes. I did not know exactly what the project would involve, but she said it would be fun, so I accepted without any hesitation. Then I discovered I would be running and training for ten weeks as part of this “project.” I bought a new pair of running shoes and before I knew it, I was hooked. Hooked on running again, hooked on this wonderful group of men and women from everywhere in the St. Louis area. I feel great! Running with No Boundaries and Komen St. Louis is the best way to wrap up these last 12 months, which have been rough at times.”

Eva Enoch’s Inspiration for a Healthier Life

“A gentle push went a long way for me in February of this year, when I was asked to be part of the No Boundaries training program. I saw this opportunity as a new beginning, a new inspiration for a healthier life. My first step was to buy my training gear, my second was to actually do the job.

Spring was busy with all kinds of things, and I did not get to most of the trainings…but I’ve been following the training schedule I was given and I’ve trained by myself. I don’t think I am there yet to run the 5K, but I am on my way to be able to run the race course next year.”

Tom Miller: Off the Couch

“I was asked by a friend to join the Susan G. Komen St. Louis PR team a decade ago. The experience of giving my time for a cause was rewarding, and I was hooked. To see the Komen St. Louis Race grow in prestige and to see the bounty the proceeds bring to women and men in our community is worth every minute.

This year, in early spring, I was asked to join the Komen St. Louis team to train for the 5K race. During my more than 10 years volunteering for Komen St. Louis, I had not had the opportunity to run the race course. So, I jumped on this chance. I have not run long distance in years, but this was described as “couch to race” training. That sounded about right for me. The winter gave me a little too much couch time this year.

After several weeks of running and training with runners of all abilities (some of whom are breast cancer survivors), my aches and pains have diminished, my breathing has eased, my motivation has risen, and my weight has dropped.

Why do I run and volunteer for Komen St. Louis? I do it for my team, for my friends, and for the women in my life.”

“Cancer reminds me that none of us is guaranteed a tomorrow, so what we do today matters”

Guest Writer: Elizabeth Mannen, Wells Fargo Advisors

When people ask me about my life, and all the experiences that have come together to create my life, I would compare it to a dance that has kept me on my toes.

My “dance with cancer” started in 1991 and continues to the present day. I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at the young age of 26. The cancer returned in 2000 and again in 2003. If that weren’t enough to deal with, I learned in 2007 that I had breast cancer. The breast cancer returned this year.

Elizabeth Mannen and her family

Elizabeth Mannen and her family

There aren’t words to describe the day, the moment, you get your diagnosis. I remember being awash with a numbing disbelief that the doctor was reading someone else’s test results. It takes time to sink in, and for me that happened a few bits at a time. Still, after the initial couple of days I was left with the most primitive feeling of all: fight or flight. I chose fight. And fight I continue to do.

I admit there were watershed moments for me. My first chemo treatment and losing my hair, but there were also many others that aren’t so obvious to non-cancer survivors – things like seeing kids dressed up for prom and wondering if I would live to see my twins do the same.

Today, my 26-year-old twins, Kristopher and Katherine, are part of my support system that I am certain is saving my life. My support system has been key to my survival. My family, friends and co-workers have done everything from provide meals, to shuttle the twins around when they were younger. Cancer has taught me to be humble and to quickly learn to accept kindness and help from others when it is offered.

My biggest regret over the years is the fear, worry and downright inconvenience I’ve caused my husband Bill and our kids. I know it sounds ridiculous, but family doesn’t get much better than the three of them, and at times I feel they just deserve someone without all the baggage.

My biggest surprise over the past 22 years is that cancer comes with so many gifts and insights. All the clichés and adages about the sky being bluer and the flowers smelling sweeter ring true for me. Cancer reminds me that none of us is guaranteed a tomorrow, so what we do today matters. It doesn’t have to be extraordinary but we need to live with intention and purpose.

Today, I feel more love, more joy, more compassion and have more capacity for life’s good and bad because of what I’m going through with cancer.

We are getting so close to a cure for breast cancer. And when that happens, the cure for other cancers won’t be far behind.

Once again, Elizabeth Mannen is on the Team Wells Fargo Advisors steering committee for the Susan G. Komen St. Louis Race for the Cure. Her goal is to encourage Financial Advisors in local branches to register for the Race and to get their clients, friends and family to join them.

 

Get “Inspired” at Komen St. Louis Race Registration Blitz on June 8, 9 and 12

ST LOUIS_RUN_FReady to be “Inspired”? That’s the message on the T-shirts for the 15th Annual Komen St. Louis Race for the Cure! And here’s how you can get yours:

Individuals who have registered for the June 15 Race can pick up their “Inspired” Race T-shirts at one of five local malls this weekend, Saturday and Sunday, June 8 and 9.

Those who have not yet registered for the Race can register in person at any of the malls this weekend.

For those who have pre-registered as an individual Race participant (not on a Race team) and those who wish to register in person at a local mall, these are the locations and times:

Saturday, June 8 (8 a.m.-6 p.m.) and Sunday, June 9 (11 a.m.-5 p.m.)

Chesterfield Mall – Lower level, outside Dillard’s; Mid Rivers Mall – Lower level, Center Court; Saint Louis Galleria – Garden Court; St. Clair Square – Lower level, JC Penney Court; South County Center – Lower level, outside Sears

The Registration Blitz/T-shirt pick-up continues at three of the malls on Wednesday, June 12.

Wednesday, June 12 (9 a.m.-7 p.m.)

Chesterfield Mall – Lower level, outside Dillard’s; Saint Louis Galleria – Garden Court; St. Clair Square – Lower level, JC Penney Court

Individual timed run/walk participants can pick up their Race bibs and T-shirts at the Saint Louis Galleria or St. Clair Square on Saturday, June 8 (8 a.m.-6 p.m.); Sunday, June 9 (11 a.m.-5 p.m.); or Wednesday, June 12 (9 a.m.-7 p.m.). Individual timed run/walk participants also have the option of picking up their Race bibs and T-shirts at any of the four local FLEET FEET Sports locations (Chesterfield, Des Peres, Fenton, St. Charles) on Saturday, June 8 (10 a.m.-5 p.m.) or Sunday, June 9 (12-5 p.m.).

Race participants who have registered on a team must pick up their T-shirts from their team captain.

Online registration for the 15th Annual Komen St. Louis Race for the Cure continues at www.komenstlouis.org through Friday, June 14, at noon.

The Twitter hashtag for the Race is #KomenSTLRace.

The Komen St. Louis Race raises funds for the local fight against breast cancer, celebrates breast cancer survivors, and honors those who have lost their battle with the disease. See you at the 15th Race on June 15!

Komen St. Louis’ Community Partner of the Year: Siteman Cancer Center’s Breast Health Care for At-Risk Communities Program

As Komen-funded scientists and researchers investigate breast cancer’s causes and search for cures, Komen St. Louis’ community partners also are at work every day in the fight against breast cancer. With Komen St. Louis funding, our community partners ensure that local women, men and families in need have access to high quality breast health screening, education and patient navigation. We value each of our community partners.

At our 4th Annual Power of a Promise event, we recognized one of our grantees with our 2013 Community Partner of the Year Award.

Komen St. Louis Board President Dede Hoffmann presents our 2013 Community Partner of the Year Award to Siteman's Breast Cancer for At-Risk Communities program team

Komen St. Louis Board President Dede Hoffmann presents our 2013 Community Partner of the Year Award to Siteman’s Breast Cancer for At-Risk Communities program team

The Breast Health Care for At-Risk Communities program has served thousands of underserved, low-income patients at Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine. The program provides services to a wide population, with approximately 80 to 85 percent of patients residing in the St. Louis urban area – where the occurrence of breast cancer is higher – plus patients residing in rural areas. The program is helping to save lives by reducing the incidence of late-stage breast cancer diagnosis through early detection. The program team provides screening mammograms, breast health education and navigation of patients through the health care system.

Congratulations to Siteman’s Breast Health Care for At-Risk Communities program, our 2013 Community Partner of the Year! Thank you for all you do every day for women and families in need.