Most money raised through Race for the Cure stays localWritten by Sarah Ottney | Managing Editor | email@example.com
About 75 of money raised annually by the local chapter of Susan G. Komen for the Cure stays in Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan, assisting residents of 24 regional counties access breast cancer education, screening and treatment.
“Thanks to funds raised through the Race for the Cure, the Northwest Ohio Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure is proud to return more than $260,534 to Lucas County in 2011-2012,” said Mary Westphal, Executive Director for the Northwest Ohio Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, in a news release.
The remaining income goes to the national Susan G. Komen for the Cure Grants Program to fund research.
Jan Ruma, vice president of the Hospital Council of Northwest Ohio and executive director of Toledo-Lucas County CareNet, two of this year’s grant recipients, said Komen funds are stretch existing resources and are essential to allowing local organizations continue to provide needed services.
“Hospitals provide a lot of care to people who are uninsured and this helps to multiply that,” Ruma said. “I think the neat thing is these fund are raised locally and are helping people locally. It’s our community taking care of our community.”
The following grants will support Lucas County in 2011-2012:
- Fulton County Health Department ($85,000)
- Mercy Women’s Care at St. Anne’s and St. Charles ($50,750)
- ProMedica Cancer Institute ($40,000)
- St. Luke’s Hospital ($29,284)
- Toledo-Lucas County CareNet ($37,500)
- The Victory Center ($18,000)
Other area grants include:
- Allen County Health Department ($47,752)
- Blanchard Valley Health System ($28,800)
- Hospital Council of Northwest Ohio ($104,461)
- Mercy Memorial Hospital ($28,000)
- Mercy Tiffin Hospital ($19,686)
- North Coast Cancer Foundation ($20,000)
- Putnam County Health Department ($12,256)
- Wood County Health Department ($13,785)
- Wyandot County General Health District ($13,200)
Ruma said many people who suspect something is wrong don’t seek help because they are uninsured and know they can’t afford a screening, let alone any treatment that might be required.
“Komen funds are able to help take those barriers away and get people the treatment they need,” Ruma said. “We’re very proud of the fact that last year when a study was done, 78 percent of female CareNet members age 40 and over have had mammograms in the past two years, which meets the goal of the National Cancer Institute and exceeds what you find in the insured population.”
While CareNet covers Lucas County residents, the Hospital Council of Northwest Ohio aims to connect people to resources available outside Lucas County, especially those in rural areas with historically high rates of breast cancer and low rates of screening.
Ruma said she knows of a husband and wife, both breast cancer survivors, who were advised to be screened regularly, but could not afford it.
“Because of this program, they have been able to get back into preventative mode and make sure it doesn’t come back,” Ruma said.
While most of the grant recipients focus on prevention, screening and treatment, The Victory Center in Toledo goes a different direction.
“Cancer centers treat the medical portion; we treat the mind, body and spirit — the rest of the person,” Executive Director Dianne Cherry said.
Through its “Discovering Inner Strength” program, The Victory Center provides breast cancer patients and survivors of any age or income level with free services and programs, including massage, reflexology, reiki, healing touch, meditation, facials, yoga and Healthy Steps exercise as well as monthly support groups for survivors and caregivers.
“This grants means a great deal to The Victory Center,” Cherry said. “We provide over 6,000 units of service every year and there are expenses associated with that if we want to continue to provide the services for free. This grant helps us to do that. It’s really critical to us continuing this service that’s really important for breast cancer patients.”
Ruma said the coordination and cooperation between the grant recipients helps to ensure those who need services find a way.
“We really have to work together,” Ruma said. “If you get breast cancer, it affects your whole life. One program can’t do it all. That’s one of the benefits of Komen. It sees the big picture and supports comprehensive services. That’s really the goal – that people with breast cancer get the support they need to get back on their feet.”
For more information, visit www.komennwohio.org.