Most funds raised by Komen race utilized in NW OhioWritten by Kristen Criswell | | email@example.com
Lacing up for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure directly benefits breast health programs and education in Northwest Ohio.
Each year, the Northwest Ohio Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure sends 25 percent of the race’s funds to breast cancer research and keeps 75 percent of its proceeds for local programs.
“We raise the money here and we put it toward saving lives here,” said Mary Westphal, executive director of the Komen organization in Northwest Ohio.
Last year, the organization gave out approximately $500,000 in grants, with roughly $200,000 in additional funding used for education and awareness programs in the region, Westphal said.
For 2010-11, there are 14 grants that have been awarded to area organizations. The highest grant was $98,000 and the lowest grant was $10,000.
Mercy MAP is one recipient of funding from Komen. The program provides free mammograms to individuals who cannot afford them, who meet the federal income guidelines and who have no public or private insurance.
“Many times women put their health issues off … When you don’t have a means to pay, it puts it off all the more,” said Audrey Milbrodt, Mercy MAP coordinator. “We know the early detection of breast cancer saves lives. The earlier it’s detected, the better the prognosis is going to be. Mammograms are still the best way to detect cancer.”
Komen support allows the Mercy MAP program to provide 300 screening mammograms.
Another program that provides free screenings is Toledo-Lucas County CareNet. CareNet is a program for Lucas County residents who are 200 percent below the poverty line and do not qualify for private or public health insurance.
The program provides free mammogram screenings, biopsies, medications and surgical procedures if someone should be diagnosed with breast cancer.
“[The grant] is very important for the population we serve. Someone without health insurance tends not to pursue preventative medicine,” said Julie Grasson, member services coordinator for CareNet. “Through Komen they have the access to mammograms and, heaven forbid someone has cancer, we have access to treatment. Without the Komen funding, we wouldn’t be able to walk the person through each of the steps of treatment.”
CareNet has received funding from Komen the past three years. During that time, the program has diagnosed several individuals with breast cancer, including one male, Grasson said.
CareNet will be able to provide at least 75 mammograms with the grant and possibly more if no one needs treatment, she said.
Other programs that receive funding provide support to breast cancer patients.
The Victory Center provides both a breast cancer support group for patients and survivors, as well as a caregiver support group. The support groups at the Victory Center are the only groups of their kind to be supported by Komen, said Penny McCloskey, program director at the Victory Center.
The center’s grant has also been extended to include massages, yoga and the health steps program.
“When someone hears massage or facial, some people think it’s a pamper service. But really the service can help the person de-stress week to week going through chemotherapy,” McCloskey said. “Individuals get support they need both physically and mentally and these services can actually help the body deal with a lot.”
At the Victory Center, 50 percent of those served are breast cancer patients or survivors, McCloskey said.
The Victory Center received funding from Komen, which will provide at least 225 units of service. Programs supported by Komen at the center are for both those in treatment and survivors.
Flower Hospital also has a support program funded by Komen. The program, Breast Cancer Survivorship: Living Life After Cancer Treatment, assists patients post treatment.
As part of the program, a nurse, also known as a breast health navigator, sits down with each patient and preforms an assessment. The nurse and patient discuss all treatments, doctors, hormonal therapies, as well as why it’s important to report certain side effects with continuing medication and other ongoing health care issues.
“It has been identified across the country, women when they finish treatment have ongoing health care needs,” said Michelle Cocchiarella, a breast health navigator. “They may be done with their treatment and be thinking, ‘What do I do next? ‘What do I do with these fears and anxiety?’ ‘People say, ‘I’m cured and it’s back to normal, when I don’t really feel back to normal.’ The program addresses these issues.”
After needs are assessed, the program provides some ongoing support.
Additional programs are funded by Komen, including programs in Hancock, Wood, Fulton and Putnam counties. The Race for the Cure is the largest fundraising event for Komen each year. Race for the Cure is Sept. 26 with the opening ceremony beginning at 8:15 a.m. To register, visit the website www.komennwohio.org.
Tags: Komen Race for the Cure