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.

Advertisements

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.

RhiannonRChavez

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

SGK_NBCAM_2014_LocalImpact

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:

http://www.ksdk.com/story/entertainment/television/show-me-st-louis/2014/05/19/missouri-baptist-mammography-van/9289361/

 

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.