Join the Local Fight Against Breast Cancer at the Susan G. Komen Mid-Missouri Race for the Cure® on October 9

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Give strength to the local fight against breast cancer by participating in or donating to the 7th Annual Susan G. Komen Mid-Missouri Race for the Cure®. The fundraiser takes place Sunday morning, Oct. 9, in Flat Branch Park in historic downtown Columbia. Register online at http://www.komenmissouri.org/MidMoRace.

The Komen Mid-Missouri Race raises funds for the local fight against breast cancer, celebrates breast cancer survivors and honors those who have lost their lives to the disease.

The funds raised at the Komen Mid-Missouri Race will directly impact the breast health needs of local women, men and families. Seventy-five percent of the net funds raised by Komen Missouri stays in the local community to fund lifesaving breast cancer screening, breast health education and patient support programs. The remaining 25 percent funds cutting-edge, global breast cancer research.

The Race includes a 5K run/walk and 1-mile fun walk. For more serious runners or those pursuing personal fitness goals, the timed run offers electronic timing and a separate starting corral. Participants can form or join teams in honor or memory of a loved one to make an even greater impact. Those who cannot attend in person may choose the Sleep In for the Cure option.

The Komen Mid-Missouri Race supports Komen Missouri’s year-round mission of saving lives and ending breast cancer forever. The support of the community is vital to the continued local impact of the Komen Mid-Missouri Race for the Cure.

Support from Komen Mid-Missouri Race sponsors helps ensure more money can go directly to the fight against breast cancer. The 2016 platinum sponsors are KRCG TV 13 and Cumulus Radio. Gold sponsors are the Missourian and The Networks of Mid-Missouri. The Columbia Daily Tribune is a Bronze sponsor. Pewter sponsors include Boone Hospital Center, Gerbes, Inside Columbia, Joe Machens Dealerships, and Missouri Cancer Associates. The Workout Sponsor is Ellis Fischel Cancer Center.

Registration for the 2016 Komen Mid-Missouri Race for the Cure is open through Race day at www.komenmissouri.org/MidMoRace. All Race registration fees, fundraising dollars and donations help give strength to the fight against breast cancer.

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Komen Missouri Community Partner: Southern Illinois Healthcare Foundation’s START NOW Program

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Southern Illinois Healthcare Foundation’s START NOW Breast Cancer Awareness Services works to help provide care for patients who are living with breast cancer and women who are unsure of their breast health status. The START NOW team works directly with medical providers, surgeons, oncologists and mental health workers. The team also works in the community, spreading awareness and educating the more at-risk population.

Grant funding from Susan G. Komen Missouri is the main source of financial funding for START NOW.  The Komen Missouri grant for the START NOW program gives financial assistance to women without insurance, and allows women to receive annual clinical breast exams and mammograms. The grant provides staffing of navigators, transportation and gas cards to help women keep their appointments.

Debra Custer is the program manager and a treatment navigator for the START NOW Program. Debra has been working with START NOW since April 2008.  As program manager, her role is to, “ensure that the day-to-day functions and activities are meeting all the grant requirements, continue to build and strengthen our community partners, and find new community partners to enhance our network circle.”

As a treatment navigator, Debra is responsible for overseeing all of the women who receive an abnormal mammogram and women who receive a benign or positive result for breast cancer. “I work to reduce or eliminate any barriers related to breast care promptly and try to empower [patients] to take a more proactive approach to their overall health needs.” 

Debra describes the treatment navigator role as a “supportive resource” who helps with financial assistance and emotional and mental health issues related to coping with a breast cancer diagnosis.

Debra recalls a patient story that has affected her throughout her years working with START NOW.  A patient was referred to START NOW because she needed a diagnostic mammogram and did not have a way to pay for the service.  This patient’s medical provider called Debra because the patient had a breast mass and needed additional appointments and services.

The patient visited Debra’s office and Debra consoled her. Debra helped the patient apply for the Illinois Breast and Cervical Cancer Program, and contacted the local IBCCP agency for approval and to schedule an exam for the patient.  The diagnostic mammogram came back suspicious for malignancy and the patient was recommended to have a biopsy.  Debra helped the patient schedule an appointment with a surgeon.

The biopsy came back positive for breast cancer, and Debra helped the patient complete another application so that she could continue her treatment.  “Her postoperative treatment following the radical mastectomy was without incident and proceeded with reconstructive breast surgery.  After reconstructive breast surgery, the oncologist recommended radiation treatment on the right breast.”  The patient completed her treatment regimen, and seven years later remains cancer free.  The patient told Debra, “I can’t stop thanking you enough for being what I needed when I needed it.”

Susan G. Komen Missouri’s community grants help fund local breast cancer screening, breast health education and patient navigation and support services for those in our community who otherwise may not have access due to low income, lack of insurance or other barriers.

Komen Greater St. Louis Race for the Cure Helps Eliminate Financial Barriers, Fear for Breast Cancer Patients

No stranger to bad news, Kim Beard-Morris also knows a thing or two about surviving. The 53-year-old is finishing a second successful fight against breast cancer 11 years after the first. It’s a team effort, she said.

“This is very, very difficult and stressful,” Beard-Morris said about being diagnosed a second time. “But my breast-health navigators help me out. I don’t know what I’d do without them.”

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Kim Beard-Morris

She is one of 4,000 breast cancer patients helped every year by the Navigator Project at Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine. The program, funded in large part by Susan G. Komen Missouri, assists women from medically underserved areas who are undergoing diagnosis and treatment. Navigators coordinate services and provide referrals to community and social-service resources.

The navigators, including Nedra Bramlett-Stevenson of Barnes-Jewish Hospital, offer a sympathetic ear, too. She and Beard-Morris have forged a bond, and the two shared a hug before Beard-Morris’ recent doctor’s appointment

“When I first talked with her,” Bramlett-Stevenson said, “she was upset because she didn’t want to go through this again. She thought her world was going to end.”

Since 1999, the Komen Greater St. Louis Race for the Cure has raised more than $30 million for local breast cancer programs, including more than $7 million for the Navigator Project at Siteman. Registering for the Race is about more than raising breast cancer awareness or honoring a loved one. Contributions to the race, held this year on June 11, make a difference in the lives of thousands of St. Louis-area women.

Susan Kraenzle, RN, who manages supportive care at Siteman, said an application process determines which patients qualify for assistance through the Navigator Project. If screening results are abnormal or clinical follow-up is needed, the program ensures patients may access financial help needed to complete treatment.

“The Navigator Project is a perfect example of what Race for the Cure does for the larger community,” Kraenzle said. “With funding from the event, we’re working to eliminate not only financial barriers to treatment but also the confusion and fear that often come with a breast cancer diagnosis.”

Up to 75 percent of net money raised by the Komen Greater St. Louis Race for the Cure stays in the region to fund education, screening, treatment and support programs such as the Navigator Project.

When Beard-Morris shared her worry about being treated a second time for breast cancer, Bramlett-Stevenson discussed how therapies had improved considerably since 2005.

“I thank God they sent me to her, said Beard-Morris, who is cancer-free again.

 Learn more about Susan G. Komen Missouri at http://www.komenmissouri.org. Register for the 2016 Komen Greater St. Louis Race for the Cure at http://www.komenmissouri.org/STLRace.

Impact Luncheon 2016

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Susan G. Komen Missouri’s 7th Annual Impact Luncheon (formerly Power of the Promise), presented by Dowd Bennett LLP, will take place on Sunday, May 1, 2016 at the Chase Park Plaza’s Khorassan Ballroom.

Join us for this afternoon of celebration, inspiration and education. The event includes a vendor expo, Kendra Scott jewelry pull, raffle baskets, luncheon, awards presentation, the granting of Komen Missouri’s community partner funding for 2016-2017, and a special ceremony to remember those we have lost to breast cancer and honor breast cancer survivors.

Jen Myers of Y98 will serve as our Mistress of Ceremonies.
 
The event begins at 11 am with an hour to bid on raffle baskets and shop vendor booths.
The luncheon and program will begin at noon and last until 2 pm.
Tickets are $25 each and are on sale through Friday, April 22, at http://www.komenmissouri.org/ImpactLuncheon
Questions? Contact Bree Maniscalco at 314.569.3900 or bmaniscalco@komenmissouri.org.
 

Komen Missouri Community Partner: Saint Louis University’s Navigation to Manage and Prevent Hereditary Breast Cancer Program

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The Navigation to Manage and Prevent Hereditary Breast Cancer program at Saint Louis University provides individuals with the opportunity to discover their risk of breast cancer from a hereditary standpoint and take the necessary steps to proactively beat it.

A community grant from Susan G. Komen Missouri provides funding support for this program.

Once a person receives a positive result in genetic testing, their risk of breast cancer can be determined based on the specific mutation as well as the personal and family history of the individual. SLU is now able to test for over 21 genetic mutations that have proved to increase the individual’s risk of breast cancer.

Susan G. Komen Missouri has been incredibly generous over many, many years,” says Dr. Suzanne Mahon, program manager. “The funding is paying so that anybody in the region who needs genetic counseling and education, they get it, no questions asked. They are never billed for my service.”

This counseling and education explains the benefits and potential risks of genetic testing, and whether or not the individual’s family history indicates that genetic testing is the right call.

Suzanne’s role does not stop after testing is done and a genetic mutation is discovered. A navigation piece is in place as part of the program to ensure the patient is well-informed regarding all options.

She describes, “If someone tests positive, based on the gene they test positive for, I get them to all the services that they need to manage that risk…. We have never not been able to get someone to the next step.”

A positive genetic test also suggests that genetic testing should be done on the immediate family of that individual, if age appropriate. Suzanne explains, “If we can figure out if a family has a mutation …then we can help them make good choices about how they want to manage that so they have a little more control over the situation. It’s not like, ‘well I have to just sit around and wait for this bad thing to happen’.”

Suzanne recalled the story of a 36-year old who came in for genetic testing, as her mother had breast cancer twice. The decision was made to hold off on the genetic screening, and she instead had an MRI ordered, which eventually led to a positive biopsy result. The patient decided to do a bilateral mastectomy, and would check in every so often with Suzanne to let her know how she was doing. On one of those phone calls, Suzanne informed her that there was more testing available, so she came in and ended up with a positive result for a gene mutation. This would not even have been on her radar before the test. What’s more, her mother, sisters and brother are all now coming in for genetic testing. Suzanne states, “We don’t just forget these families. We really try to stay connected to them and give them state-of-the art [care] as it is available.”

Suzanne Mahon has been involved with the Navigation to Manage and Prevent Hereditary Breast Cancer program since its origin in 1999. The program has worked with over 2,500 families in that time. “I have the most fantastic job in the world,” she says. “I get to help people change the outcome.”

This is the 11th year of Komen Missouri funding for this program.

Susan G. Komen Missouri’s community grants help fund local breast cancer screening, breast health education and patient navigation and support services for those in our community who otherwise may not have access due to low income, lack of insurance or other barriers.

Komen Missouri Community Partner: Food Outreach’s Comprehensive Nutritional Support for Low-Income Breast Cancer Clients in Greater St. Louis

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Food Outreach, Inc.’s program to give Comprehensive Nutritional Support for Low-Income Breast Cancer Clients in Greater St. Louis helps the working poor, those who may experience a significant drop in income due to breast cancer treatment, and those who have lived in poverty their entire lives. Food Outreach assists those without the resources to buy food with medically-recommended nutrients, and who could be at a great disadvantage while battling their illness.

Komen Missouri’s community grant funding for Food Outreach’s program provides nutritional support to low-income women who are going through breast cancer treatments in the greater St. Louis area.

The program also provides personal nutrition counseling and nutrition education classes, helping participants with their nutrition through their treatments and the rest of their lives.

The Komen Missouri grant allows Food Outreach to enroll 60 low-income breast cancer patients into their program. The grant funding also provides 25,000 meals to breast cancer clients, and helps improve their nutrition status.

It is mandatory in the Food Outreach program for clients to meet with the program’s Registered Dietitian at enrollment. The dietitian assesses the client’s nutritional status, including weight measurement; conducts an interview determining barriers in their nutrition “food recall”; and administers a Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA), that measures body mass and fluids.

The dietitian provides clients with a recommended eating plan based on their assessment, disease stage, treatments and other illnesses.

Once a client is enrolled in Food Outreach’s program, they can order up to 28 nutritious meals every two weeks. Clients can contact the dietitian at any time for advice or questions about their nutrition. Clients are also encouraged to attend the program’s weekly gathering three-course lunch and are welcome to bring a guest.

Food Outreach gives breast cancer clients proper nutrition to help build strength and lessen the severity of the side effects they may experience from treatments. All of the program’s clients can remain enrolled for up to six months following their last treatment to regain strength and health.

Director of Development Becky Reichardt reflects on a patient’s story: Food Outreach recently enrolled a 66-year old woman whose breast cancer returned and spread to her lungs and bones. This woman was going through an aggressive treatment plan while also battling diabetes and neuropathy. Her illnesses made it difficult to get around and prepare meals, and she was making poor food choices. Food Outreach’s dietitian created a food plan for her and counsels her on her food choices. The dietitian meets with her regularly to do BIA testing, measuring muscle mass. Becky says, “She consistently orders meals from our Grocery Center and has shared Food Outreach recipes with family members and friends. Her energy has improved, and her muscle mass has increased, both of which have helped her to stay in her home while facing another round of treatments.”

Food Outreach has been providing low-income cancer patients with nutritional support since 2006. Established in 1988, Food Outreach continues to be the only St. Louis-area nonprofit that focuses on the importance of nutritional support at no cost to low-income persons that are battling HIV/AIDS or cancer.

This is the 6th year of Komen Missouri funding for this program.

Susan G. Komen Missouri’s community grants help fund local breast cancer screening, breast health education and patient navigation and support services for those in our community who otherwise may not have access due to low income, lack of insurance or other barriers.

Komen Missouri Community Partner: SSM Breast Care: Empowering and Engaging Women

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Susan G. Komen Missouri community-grant funding allows SSM Health Care’s SSM Breast Care: Empowering and Engaging Women program to provide care to patients who are low income and underinsured. Funding from Komen Missouri also helps the program aid male patients, who are often overlooked.

The Nurse Navigators and Project Coordinator for SSM Breast Care help patients through different types of care, including screening mammograms, diagnostic mammograms and breast health services and consultations.

“It takes a team to make SSM Breast Care successful,” says Tammy Hamma, project director. “Each of our roles plays an integral part in making this program possible.”

Tammy says she has a “direct responsibility to Susan G. Komen Missouri to ensure we are being good stewards of the funds we are given and that we are meeting the goals for the year. This program enables us to spread the inspiring Komen story and to emphasize the vital importance of annual screening mammograms in order to aid in early detection.”

The program educates women in the community to be their own greatest advocates for breast health.

Tammy recalls a young woman in St. Charles County with no insurance who was cared for recently by an SSM Breast Care Nurse Navigator. This young woman was caring for her mother, a Komen Missouri-funded patient battling breast cancer. In her mother’s final days, the young woman discovered a breast lump and promised her mother she would have it checked. The day after her mother’s funeral, the daughter called a Nurse Navigator at SSM Breast Care and received help and guidance through diagnostic procedures.

Fortunately for this young woman, the lump was benign, and she is now on a high-risk screening schedule to detect any other issues early.

“SSM Health Care has had the privilege of being partners with Susan G. Komen Missouri for 14 years,” says Tammy.

Susan G. Komen Missouri’s community grants help fund local breast cancer screening, breast health education and patient navigation and support services for those in our community who otherwise may not have access due to low income, lack of insurance or other barriers.