My Race for the Cure Impressions

Guest Writer: Sarah Reed, Komen Missouri Communications and Marketing Intern

This year’s Susan G. Komen Greater St. Louis Race for the Cure® was the first Race for the Cure that I have ever attended. I had heard of some of my friends participating in honor of their family members who have battled breast cancer, but I had never physically gone to the Race. From pictures and videos of previous years, the Race had seemed like an incredible experience and event. I was thrilled to get the opportunity to take part in planning the event this year.

As a new member of the team, I had been anticipating the Race for the weeks I had been in the office. At Komen Missouri, there is so much preparation before the Race between new registrations, T-shirts, sponsors and beyond. Also, there were many people working endless hours to ensure that the Race was going to be a successful event. I was amazed by the dedication and commitment that the committee members and volunteers put into the Race.

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Sarah (right) and Janet before the sunrise on Komen Greater St. Louis Race Day 2016

The Friday before the Race was a preparation day. It consisted of long hours in the heat, heavy lifting, and a lot of teamwork. I focused on helping our sponsors get settled at their tent sites on Sponsors’ Row. By the end of the day, we were all exhausted, but we knew that our hard work would pay off in the morning. Needless to say, I was thrilled to see it all come together Saturday morning.

I arrived at the Race site around five am on Saturday morning. Even though I am not the biggest morning person, I could hardly wait to get to the site on Race Day. There were a large number of volunteers setting up the site such as the Survivor Pavilion and the Main Stage. I got see behind the stage, which was a really exciting experience. I also had to the opportunity to meet with the Pink Tie Guys and many of our top sponsors before they went on stage.

I think the most memorable moment of the Race was the Survivor Procession. It was very inspirational to see all of the pink shirts representing the battle and defeat of breast cancer. I loved seeing our executive director, Helen Chesnut, leading the procession. She has been a survivor for 10 years now. Watching and cheering on the survivors was a very emotional moment for me. I was able to see so much strength from our community all dressed in pink.

I also had the opportunity to stand at the finish line with last spring’s intern, Claire. Our role was to get the names of the timed participants who finished first in different categories. It was amazing to see the intense effort that the runners put into the race. It was clear to see that they put every ounce of energy into finishing the race. Their hard work represented the ongoing fight to end breast cancer for good.

Now that the Greater St. Louis Race is over, I am extremely excited to help plan our next events, including the Komen Mid-Missouri Race for the Cure in Columbia, where I will be in the fall, finishing my last year at Mizzou. I cannot wait to get my collegiate friends and peers involved with the upcoming events in Columbia.

 

Impact Luncheon 2016

Web Banner_Impact Luncheon 2016

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.
 

Calling All Artists: Design the 2016 Komen Race for the Cure® T-shirt!

TShirtContest_625x288_SubmitEach year, more than a million people across the globe participate in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure® series. Each participant has a personal story. Race participants run in honor of someone they’ve lost. They walk to support a friend or loved one currently battling breast cancer. They walk for themselves. No matter their story, they rise before the sun, put on their Komen Race T-shirt and join a community to race for a better future.

As we look to the future, we need your help…and your creativity! We’re calling on all breast cancer survivors, co-survivors and our supporters to help us design the shirt that a million fellow walkers and runners will be wearing in 2016. Would you like to showcase your original art on the front of our 2016 Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure T-shirts worn at Races around the world? Get creative and help us inspire!

Want to submit a T-shirt design? Simply follow the guidelines below: 

  • Design theme should be focused on the power and passion of a global community coming together for a common goal – to end breast cancer
  • Please do not use stock images, photos, copyrighted work or clip art, we are looking for your original designs
  • The design should include the color pink and up to 5 additional colors from this palette
  • Please submit your entry as a web-friendly image (.jpeg, png, pdf) not to exceed 5MB in size

This is YOUR Race T-shirt for YOUR community, so don’t wait! The due date is July 26.

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Komen St. Louis Race for the Cure: An Intern’s Perspective

Guest Writer: Lexie Sprague, Komen St. Louis Public Relations & Marketing Intern

It’s May 18, 2015. I’m walking into the welcoming and friendly and entirely pink office that is going to be my second home for the summer. It is my first day as an intern at Komen St. Louis, so of course I am nervous beyond belief. Janet greets me as I walk in. “Hi, Lexie! It’s good to see you again. Come on back, we’re just having a staff meeting.” Oh no, I thought, a staff meeting? Was I supposed to prepare for this? As if I wasn’t nervous enough.

I walk into the back room to an intimidatingly full table, and then spot some mini donuts in the center of it. Okay, they like donuts, so they can’t be that scary. This might not be so bad. We start with introductions, and a small sense of relief washes over me as I realize I only have to remember six names. Helen, Janet, Bree, Kathy, Sandy, Shelby. I can do that. More relief as I realize how comforting it is to know Shelby is going to be interning with me, so maybe we could have some sort of intern-alliance, or maybe our office can be called Intern-Headquarters, or something fun like that. Helen begins to address us. Ooops, I interrupted my own daydream, better focus. “For the first month of your internship, we are going to be solely focused on Race for the Cure, because June 13th will be here before you know it…”

* * *

Lexie Sprague and Shelby Narike, Komen St. Louis Public Relations & Marketing interns, Summer 2015

Lexie Sprague and Shelby Narike, Komen St. Louis Public Relations & Marketing interns, Summer 2015

Fast forward two weeks, the Race is right around the corner, and the office is in full swing (to say the least). I see so many new faces as our awesome volunteers are in and out of the office all day. Gone were the days where Shelby and I didn’t know how to work the phones, use the copy machine, and hadn’t even heard of “Convio” (the database Komen uses) before.

The phone is ringing. “Komen St. Louis, this is Lexie, how may I help you?” I walk to the back room to try and find the answer to the question this caller has. Wow, so many boxes back here, I think, just in time for me to trip over one. When did that one get there?! I finish up with the phone call, and head back to my desk to return to the stack of registrations I was just entering. Crap, where did the one I was just holding in my hand go? Janet steps out of her office and says to Shelby and me, “We’re leaving for the KSDK window around 9:20! Bring your umbrella — it’s pouring out.” What? It’s already Wednesday again? How many days in a row have I worn this purple committee shirt? Should I wash it? I momentarily flash back to yesterday’s conversation when Shelby and I had asked what time to plan on arriving on Race day. Bree had told us, “well… we’ll get to watch the sunrise together!” What could that possibly mean? Oh shoot, no time to think about that now, there’s the phone again.

* * *

June 13. Helen was right; it got here before we knew it. Why is my alarm clock going off? Am I dreaming? It’s 4:00 am, and I’m rolling out of bed. A college student out of bed before the sun: now that’s a sight to see. My phone lights up indicating a text from Shelby, letting me know she’s here to pick me up. I walk out the front door of my apartment into the pitch black morning (is it morning yet?), my purple committee shirt nicely offset by my pink tutu. Ah, there’s Shelby’s car. We hit the road and my mind slowly becomes less fuzzy with each sip of the life-saving coffee provided by Shelby’s mom. We finally get the car parked and find our purple-shirted bosses, throw some pink chalk in our hair, and it’s go time.

Janet gives us our first task of the morning. Shelby and I are racing around the Race site (on a golf cart!), visiting each sponsor tent to make sure we can get samples of the Sponsors’ Square giveaways over to the KSDK truck for them to talk about on air. After this task was complete, we spent the next hour behind stage checking people in as they arrived for their respective stage assignments, looking around in amazement at the massive amounts of people. I momentarily got lost in my own thoughts. All of these people are here to add ammunition to the battle against breast cancer. How cool is that? Finally, the emcee announced that it was time for the survivor procession to begin.

Lexie and co-intern Shelby pink-ing their hair before dawn on Race day 2015

Lexie and co-intern Shelby pink-ing their hair before dawn on Race day 2015

I knew what the survivor procession would look like. Heck, there are pictures all over the office displaying that exact moment from previous years of the Race. But I quickly found out that I didn’t really know.

Front and center, leading this year’s survivor procession was Helen, our fearless executive director, walking hand in hand with Shelby, my ever-inspiring co-intern. This duo was the embodiment of what it means to say “breast cancer knows no boundaries.”

Following them was an absolute sea of pink. And as I stood there awestruck, I thought, this is them. Standing there watching the procession made me realize that these women, and their families, were exactly who Komen is working for. If the frenzy of work wasn’t put in each and every week, both locally and nationally, it’s a strong possibility that not all of those women would be walking in the 2015 procession. Each one of those ladies, dressed in pink, walking down the street to ‘We Are Family,’ found the strength to say “sorry cancer, you picked the wrong girl.” And having even a small, intern-level role in the lives of these women was more than enough to bring me to tears. That procession was the most moving and powerful moment I have seen in my twenty years.

The rest of the day was just as inspiring. Shelby and I found ourselves at the finish line, keeping track of winners, as well as hanging out with the Cardinals’ Wives to oversee that each breast cancer survivor got the pink rose they deserved upon crossing the finish line. Every second I spent on Race day was more than worth it, and I couldn’t believe when it was over and time to go home. I honestly thought I knew what it would be like to be so closely involved with Race for the Cure. But I realize now that I didn’t know the half of it.

That single morning changed my entire viewpoint of the weeks leading up to the Race. The phone calls we received were no longer just questions needing to be answered; each one was now one more person that was able to have an amazing experience on Race day. The forms all over the office were no longer simply registrations or donations; each one was now helping one more woman in need that will be able to go and get a mammogram. The daily whirlwind of activity around the office was no longer simply a flurry of activity; it was a group of absolutely inspiring individuals doing something about their unrelenting passion to end breast cancer forever.

I still find myself reflecting on the Race today. The day was nothing short of incredible and I know that I will be forever grateful to have had the chance to share it with everyone involved. I wholeheartedly hope it is known that whether you wore a purple committee shirt, blue volunteer shirt, or white participant shirt that day, you gave the survivors in pink the celebration that they deserved, and you are the reason that Komen is one step closer to its vision of a world without breast cancer.

* * *

Lexie is a junior at Washington University in St. Louis majoring in marketing and psychology at the Olin Business School. She is part of the Goldman Fellows Program and is a member of the WUSTL Women’s Soccer team and Pi Beta Phi.

6th Annual Power of the Promise – May 3, 2015

Web Banner Large_Power of the Promise 2015You’re invited to the 6th Annual Power of the Promise luncheon – an afternoon of celebration, inspiration and education.

We know you won’t want to miss the opportunity to visit the great new and returning booths at the vendor expo, bid on raffle baskets and enjoy the live music. Plus, Bridget DuMont and Ben DuMont, 2013 Susan G. Komen National Co-Survivor of the Year, will share the story of their breast cancer journey.

Tickets are $25. To buy your ticket, click here. Space is limited. We look forward to seeing you there!

Questions? Contact Bree DeGraw, bdegraw@komenstlouis.org or 314.569.3900

Save the Date for the 2015 Race!

Race_2015_WebBanner_largeThe 17th Annual Susan G. Komen St. Louis Race for the Cure® will take place in downtown St. Louis on Saturday, June 13, 2015!

Race registration opens in February 2015.

Collaboration: National Treatment Assistance Fund

SGK_NBCAM_2014_CollaborationThe costs of breast cancer treatment can impose a significant financial burden on survivors. The Susan G. Komen® National Treatment Assistance Fund helps bridge the gap for individuals who are actively undergoing breast cancer treatment.

The aim of the National Treatment Assistance Fund is to increase the number of individuals who remain in the breast cancer continuum of care by providing financial assistance to ensure adherence and completion of breast cancer treatment. Funding helps individuals of any age who have been diagnosed with breast cancer, at any stage of the disease.

The fund provides two types of financial assistance – assistance grants and co-pay – based upon need and eligibility requirements. This limited financial assistance program is currently administered by CancerCare and the co-pay program is currently administered by Patient Advocate Foundation.

Limited financial assistance grants of $300 are awarded to underinsured or uninsured individuals across the country in need of:

  • Pain and anti-nausea medication
  • Lymphedema support and supplies with a prescription
  • Durable medical equipment ordered by their physician
  • Transportation to and from treatment
  • Childcare and/or eldercare necessitated by treatment
  • Oral medication for cancer treatment

Co-Pay Relief up to $5000 is provided for insured patients who qualify medically and financially to help with the co-pays for their prescriptions and/or pharmaceutical treatments.

For both programs, financial assistance is granted to individuals who meet pre-determined eligibility criteria.

Learn more: http://ww5.komen.org/WhatWeDo/IntheCommunity/NationalCommunityHealthPrograms/NationalCommunityHealthPrograms.html

We’re celebrating National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Connect with and follow Komen St. Louis and use the hashtag #bcjourney to join in the conversation.