Dine Out and Fight Breast Cancer on Thursday, October 8

Web Banner Large_Dine Out2015Fight breast cancer one bite at a time on Thursday, October 8.

Just Dine Out for breakfast, lunch and/or dinner at participating restaurants throughout the St. Louis metro area. A portion of your tab will be donated to benefit breast health programs and breast cancer research funded by Komen St. Louis.

Dine Out 2015 Honorary Chair Josh Allen, Komen St. Louis Pink Tie Guy and founder/owner of Companion, invites you to Dine Out on October 8:

DineOut_2015_JoshAllenVideoStillClick here to watch the Dine Out video.

This year, you can even Dine In for the Cure with GrubGo restaurant delivery service.

Visit the Dine Out for the Cure web page for event details and the list of participating restaurants.

Susan G. Komen® St. Louis and The Breast HealthCare Center at Missouri Baptist: Partnering Together to Help Women in Need Region Wide

The fear of breast cancer is something that’s haunted Jodi Roberts, 49, of Fredericktown, MO, for nearly 30 years. “It’s like I’ve been living my adult life, constantly looking over my shoulder, just waiting for it to find me. Deep down, I always knew it would show up someday,” she said.

Jodi has a strong family history of breast cancer. Two of her aunts battled the disease. One survived, and the other didn’t. Jodi’s mother was diagnosed at the age of 44, and elected to undergo a mastectomy of the one breast. However, the cancer soon returned in the other breast. This time, it was much more invasive, leaving her with a grim prognosis. Sadly, she lost her battle at age 46.

Jodi Roberts

Jodi Roberts

Jodi was only 21 at the time, but she remembers it well. “It was hard to watch my mother suffer from breast cancer, but it also reminded me that I needed to be proactive when it came to my own breast health,” she said.

Jodi kept her commitment to her health, undergoing mammograms every year, starting when she was in her thirties. Due to financial constraints, Jodi has relied on the services of the Missouri Baptist Medical Center digital mammography van and the hospital’s “Reaching the Underserved” program.

Funded by a Susan G. Komen® St. Louis grant for the past 13 years, the Missouri Baptist Breast HealthCare Center’s “Reaching the Underserved” program provides the hospital with resources to support uninsured and underinsured at-risk women (ages 40 to 64) throughout the region. Services are provided at the hospital’s main campus in Town & Country and on its digital mammography van, which travels to neighborhoods across St. Louis and rural towns throughout Missouri. Follow-up breast health services are provided at Missouri Baptist for women with mammography abnormalities.

“Jodi started undergoing her annual screening mammograms with our outreach program in 2010,” said Theresa Taylor, an outreach coordinator for the Missouri Baptist Breast HealthCare Center and a two-time breast cancer survivor. “With our program, we educate women by emphasizing the importance of early detection and how annual mammography screenings can save your life, especially someone like Jodi with such a strong family history.”

In September 2014, Jodi had her annual mammogram on Missouri Baptist’s digital mammography van when it traveled to Fredericktown. A couple weeks later, she received a letter indicating there was an abnormality in her left breast, which required further testing. So Jodi underwent a diagnostic mammogram and an ultrasound; however, the results were inconclusive. That’s when the medical team at Missouri Baptist recommended a biopsy.

Theresa Taylor

Theresa Taylor

On December 5, 2014, Jodi was told the news she had feared for almost 30 years: she had breast cancer. “Even though I wasn’t surprised about my diagnosis, I was still nervous about what was to come. I’ve seen the effects of breast cancer firsthand,” said Jodi.

Jodi then met with Paul Yazdi, MD, FACS, a breast surgeon and surgical director of the Missouri Baptist Breast HealthCare Center, to discuss her diagnosis, treatment options and prognosis. Although Jodi’s breast cancer was stage zero, it was also triple negative, so hormone treatments weren’t an option.

“After watching my mom suffer, I knew having a mastectomy would be the best decision for me. I also didn’t want to take any chances, so I opted for a double mastectomy,” said Jodi. “The last thing I want to worry about is having it come back in the other breast like it did with my mom.”

Dr. Yazdi supported Jodi’s decision, and on January 13, 2015, he performed a successful bilateral mastectomy on Jodi. Her recovery went very smoothly with no issues. More importantly, the breast cancer was contained within the ducts and completely removed. “I am really lucky, because we caught it early. I am living-proof that early detection saves lives,” said Jodi.

Jodi’s breast cancer services – two mammograms, ultrasound and biopsy – were covered by the Komen St. Louis-funded “Reaching the Underserved” grant program. Without this program, Jodi would not have been able to afford the cancer care she needed.

“I am very grateful to the medical team at MoBap’s Breast HealthCare Center. They made the entire process so much easier, holding my hand from the very beginning, explaining all of the treatment options, and helping me find the financial support I needed,” said Jodi. “And of course, I am very thankful for my wonderful husband, Lee, who has been my rock throughout this entire journey.”

The future looks bright for Jodi. Thanks to regular screenings, she is confident that she avoided the same fate as her mother. She is also confident that her daughter, Amanda, 26, will be just as proactive about getting her annual mammogram when the time comes. Jodi hopes that by sharing her story, women – including those who are uninsured and underinsured – will better understand the value of annual mammograms. According to Jodi, “it’s the best defense in the fight against breast cancer.”

“I am blessed to be in this position to offer these breast health services to so many women in need in our local and rural communities,” said Theresa. “Jodi is a great example of how the money raised for Susan G. Komen St. Louis is invested directly into our community to help those who need it most.”   

We are Mobile!

APP_imageNew for 2015, the FREE Susan G. Komen St. Louis app is available now for iPhone and iPad. Android version is coming soon.

Search for the Susan G. Komen St. Louis app in the App Store.

Download the app. Access information on the go about the 2015 Komen St. Louis Race for the Cure, register for the Race, donate to the Race, post to your Facebook and Twitter accounts, and more.

Give STL Day – 5.5.15 | Midnight to Midnight

GiveSTLDay_OneDayWhat can we do in a day?

Let’s see how much support we can generate for Susan G. Komen St. Louis  and other St. Louis area nonprofit organizations in only 24 hours – from midnight to midnight, on Tuesday, May 5.

Visit GiveSTLDay.org on May 5 and donate to Komen St. Louis and other nonprofits you care about.

There will be prizes and incentives awarded throughout the day to help make even more of an impact with your donation dollars.

We’re excited to be one of 790 nonprofits participating in Give STL Day 2015.

We are all in this together, and we can only succeed with your support.

Click here to support Susan G. Komen St. Louis on May 5.

Let’s see what we can do in one day!

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.

Breast Cancer Research: Progress Toward the Cures

SGK_NBCAM_2014_ResearchBecause of medical research leading to effective treatments and earlier diagnosis, the death rate for breast cancer is 34 percent lower than it was 25 years ago. Today, more than 3 million people in the U.S. are breast cancer survivors.

Susan G. Komen®’s investment in medical research over the past 30 years has contributed to many of the advances that now help women and men affected by breast cancer live longer and healthier lives.

Major changes have had an impact, including:

  • Increase in awareness, screening, and early detection
  • Less invasive surgery
  • Improvements in breast reconstruction
  • More effective chemotherapy
  • More effective hormonal therapy
  • Development and use of targeted therapy
  • Extended survival and better tolerated treatment for metastatic disease
  • Dramatic changes in quality of life for survivors
  • Widespread options for conservative surgery
  • Extensive use of sentinel node biopsy

Learn more about Komen’s research accomplishments: http://ww5.komen.org/WhatWeDo/WeFundResearch/ResearchAccomplishments/ResearchAccomplishments.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.

Stories of Local Impact: Komen St. Louis and Our Community


Saving Lives Locally

With funding from Komen St. Louis, Christian Hospital’s Protecting and Healing Women program offers screening and diagnostic mammograms, patient navigation and breast health education for individuals in our community who otherwise may not have access.

Here’s a story that shows the direct impact of this funding and these services: http://www.ksdk.com/story/news/outreach/race-for-the-cure/2014/05/30/free-mammogram-christian-hospital-northwest-breast-cancer/9771681/


Fueling MoBap’s Mobile Mammography

Funding from Komen St. Louis helps support the Missouri Baptist mammography van, which offers mammograms to individuals throughout our community who otherwise may not be able to get screened for breast cancer.

Learn more and take a virtual tour of the mammography van:



Helping Younger Women with Breast Cancer

Komen St. Louis funding helps support Southern Illinois Healthcare Foundation’s START NOW Breast Cancer Awareness Services.

See how the program’s patient navigators are helping young women like Carla and Fany navigate their breast cancer journeys: http://www.ksdk.com/story/news/health/2014/05/23/start-now-breast-cancer-help/9513633/


Funding St. Louis Researchers’ Work on Breast Cancer Vaccine

Since 1999, Komen St. Louis has contributed more than $9 million to breast cancer research. At the same time, more than $20 million raised here and nationwide has come back to St. Louis research facilities.

That means more than 100 percent of the dollars raised here has remained in and returned to the St. Louis region.

Here’s a story about some exciting, Komen-funded research happening in St. Louis right now: http://www.ksdk.com/story/news/health/2014/06/06/komen-grants-race-cure/10102281/

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.

Local Impact: Susan G. Komen® St. Louis

SGK_NBCAM_2014_LocalImpactOn a Mission Every Day to Save Lives and End Breast Cancer

Susan G. Komen® St. Louis is on a mission to save lives and end breast cancer forever by empowering people, ensuring quality care for all and energizing science to find the cures.

St_%20Louis_SGK JPEG

Komen St. Louis serves 17 counties in eastern Missouri and southwestern Illinois.

Since 1999, Komen St. Louis has stayed focused on this core mission and on meeting the breast health needs of the women, men and families most at risk and most in need right here in our community.

Through fundraising events like the Susan G. Komen St. Louis Race for the Cure® and other year-round fundraising opportunities, Komen St. Louis has invested more than $39 million in the fight against breast cancer. These dollars are at work every day.

Seventy-five percent of the net funds raised here stay in the St. Louis region to fund breast health and breast cancer screening, education and patient navigation programs. The remaining 25 percent funds cutting-edge global breast cancer research, including research being done in St. Louis.

Local Dollars Making a Local Impact

Since 1999, Komen St. Louis has awarded more than $29 million in grants to local organizations that deliver life-saving breast health services to those who may not otherwise have access due to low income, lack of insurance or other barriers.

Komen St. Louis has supported dozens of local organizations offering breast health and breast cancer services to underserved and uninsured women – including free mammograms, breast health education and navigation through the health care system.

Investing in Breast Cancer Research Here at Home

Komen St. Louis has contributed more than $9 million to breast cancer research since 1999. At the same time, more than $20 million raised here and nationwide has come back to St. Louis research facilities.

That means more than 100 percent of the dollars raised here has remained in and returned to the St. Louis region.

We can only do this work with the support of our community. Thank you to everyone who joins us in our mission throughout the year!

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.

Local Impact: Susan G. Komen® Affiliate Network

SGK_NBCAM_2014_LocalImpactKomen Community Outreach

The Susan G. Komen® Affiliate Network is the nation’s largest private funder of community-based breast health education and breast cancer screening and treatment programs. No other breast cancer organization has this extensive network of grassroots volunteers and staff.

The 117 Komen Affiliates in the U.S. serve more than 18,000 communities across the country. More than 75,000 Komen volunteers and staff work throughout the year to save lives from breast cancer. They raise funds for breast cancer research as well as local breast health and breast cancer services for those who need it most.

Affiliate Community Health Programs

Komen Affiliates are local: they live in the community, they study the community, and they work with local medical experts and community leaders to fund programs that are right for their areas. Seventy-five percent of net funds raised by local Komen Affiliates fund breast health programs in the communities where they were donated.

These local programs aim to change behaviors and increase access to early detection and quality treatment. Programs range from access to breast health services to education, screening, diagnosis and treatment programs, as well as support for survivors and their loved ones.

Komen Affiliates strive to:

  • improve breast health outcomes for all people everywhere.
  • understand the communities’ breast health needs and the current resources available.
  • fund effective programs and services that meet the identified needs based on priority.
  • provide communities with breast cancer knowledge, tools and resources to empower them to take action.
  • evaluate, learn from and communicate program results and impact.
  • leverage relationships and build strategic partnerships.

Local Focus, Local Impact

Through thoughtful and strategic partnerships and coalition building, Komen Affiliates work to provide their communities with seamless access to breast health services.

Komen’s Community Health approach is designed to reduce breast cancer mortality in communities throughout the United States.

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.

My Commitment to the Susan G. Komen St. Louis Race for the Cure

Guest Writer: Jeania Lowery, SVP, Area Executive for the St. Louis and Kansas City Metro Area for Bank of America

Every year that I participate in the Susan G. Komen St. Louis Race for the Cure, I am utterly amazed at our community’s continued dedication to raising funds for life-saving breast health programs and breast cancer research. Whether these participants, racers, spectators and volunteers know someone who has been affected by breast cancer or not, race day is always an inspiring and moving display of passion for women and creating awareness of breast health issues.

My journey with Komen started after the passing of my dear friend and mentor at Bank of America, Jan. She was a true inspiration to me and my fellow colleagues—always making sure to show our team the importance of life and the value of having a positive attitude in everything we do. Because of her, every year I take part in this race to honor her memory and do my part to give every woman a chance to live the long healthy life that Jan was unable to have.

Jeania and her daugher, Meagan

Jeania and her daugher, Meagan

This is a commitment that I have also been able to pass down and share with my daughter, Meagan. Through my involvement with the organization, Meagan has seen firsthand what a powerful impact this cause has for other women and has become just as passionate about the cause as me. Now, the race has become a time that we look forward to coming together to remember Jan and ensure her legacy lives on through the healthy lives of other women.

Fortunately, through my job at Bank of America, I am also able to support the Susan G. Komen effort in another way. Bank of America has been a longtime sponsor of the organization, and this year we have a larger presence than ever with sponsorships in 130 Komen Race events across the franchise.

Jeania and her team and the 2013 Komen St. Louis Race for the Cure

Jeania and her team and the 2013 Komen St. Louis Race for the Cure

At the local level, I am channeling my passion for the cause by working to get all lines of businesses involved in the race. Through our Bank of America’s Community Volunteers, I organize our employees to help volunteer at the survivor and volunteer tents as well as encourage fellow coworkers to take part in the race itself as a walker or runner. I also help to coordinate donations from our associates who cannot otherwise participate or donate their time on race day.

Thanks to funds raised through the Komen St. Louis Race for the Cure, Komen St. Louis is able to support local organizations offering a variety of breast health services to underserved and uninsured women, men and families who otherwise may not have access. These services include free mammograms, navigation through the health care system, and breast health education.

This year, I am honored to have the opportunity to take the stage to speak about my and Bank of America’s commitment to the Susan G. Komen St. Louis Race for the Cure. I cannot wait to participate in the Komen St. Louis Race again on June 14 and am thrilled to lend my ongoing personal and professional support to this invaluable organization.