Friday, September 14, 2007

It's Time

It's time for the Susan G. Komen Race in Charlotte. Last year, thanks to your generous contributions, I was able to raise more than $600 for the Susan G. Komen Foundation as a member of the Jazzercise team.

The foundation was formed in 1982 by Nancy G. Brinker, who promised her dying sister, Susan G. Komen, that she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer forever.

We all know of at least one person that has had breast cancer, died from it, been treated and cured of it, or is currently dealing with it. But most of us are not aware that we directly benefit from the efforts of this foundation whenever we have a breast cancer screening, such as breast exams, mammography, ultrasound, and breast MRI. The Komen Foundation is a grassroots organization dedicated to raising awareness of this disease, as well as offering grants and fellowships to further research. In 1982, the U.S. Government funded $30M in breast cancer research. Now funding is in the $900M range. The five-year survival rate for breast cancer, when caught early before it spreads beyond the breast, is now 98 percent (compared to 74 percent in 1982).

This past spring I found myself personally grateful for the work of this foundation. I have very severe fibrocystic breast tissue. The situation is so complicated that routine mammograms really cannot adequately screen me for suspicious lumps. Digital mammography was discussed and rejected as being not much better for my situation. I was referred to the Blumenthal Cancer Center. Dr. Richard White, who is a surgeon ("that tries not to do surgery!"), recommended twice-yearly breast exams, once-yearly mammograms, and a breast MRI every other year. He arranged for my insurance company to pay for this costly test. I thought of organizations like the Komen Foundation and how they have not only funded the research that went into the design and implementation of all these preventive screenings, but also how awareness of the importance of this screening is such that my insurance company instantly saw the value and approved the expense.

All is well.

I am participating in the 5k walk this year to honor and remember these breast cancer victims and survivors that I know: In memory of my grandmother, Pearl Edith White, who died in the mid-80s. And in honor of these survivors: Pam Gonnella, Nannette Carnes, Leslie Hoffman, Kathy Paulson, Linda McCorkle, and Marcy Valenty.

I invite you to support me in my walk this year. Click on
this link to donate and, if you have a breast cancer survivor or victim that you would like honored or remembered, please send me an email to let me know. Thank you so much for your time and commitment to fighting this disease.

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