Susan’s Champions

Susan Hangensicker

This is a cause that is very near and dear to my heart.  On August 9, 2010, I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer.   On October 11, 2010 I had a double mastectomy.   The cancer was worse than they thought and it had spread to the lymph nodes.  2011 was a very tough year for me as not only did I battle the Breast Cancer but just as I was finishing this battle, I was diagnosed with Lung Cancer.  I had a Carcinoid Tumor in the main airway to the left lung causing it to collapse.  Thank goodness, for a great lung cancer specialist in St. Louis that froze the tumor to get rid of it.  Once the tumor was gone, my left lung inflated and I was breathing better!  
One of the main highlights in 2011, was my first Susan G. Komen Ozark Race of the Cure.   When I received my survivor shirt I thought I am not a survivor, I am still fighting this!   On the day of the race, my daughter had come to walk with me along with a few co-workers.   I didn’t go to the Survivor Breakfast because I didn’t feel like a survivor.   We were getting ready for the Family Fun Walk and I looked over the hill and I saw the sea of pink, the ladies wearing their Survivor Shirts!   I suddenly felt the awesome feeling come over me.   I was one of them, I was a Survivor!!   I decided then, I was going to continue working and help raise as much as I could for this cause.   I certainly didn’t want anyone else to have to go through what I have been through!  
It has now been 7 years since that first race and this year I will have my Sister, Daughter, 4 Granddaughters plus co-workers and friends walking with me at the race!!   I am so blessed to still be here and Cancer Free!!!   You can’t ask more than that!!

Mission Moment – Meet Gretchen

gretchen2“When I got diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 38 it was overwhelming. I was scared and life felt fragile and unstable. After my diagnosis, Misty Johnson called me and let me know of the support and service that the Cancer Support Home provides. I received help from the “No Excuses” program, paying for some diagnostic tests since my deductible was so high.  The boutique at CSH has many items available for surgery support.  This wonderful team put me in contact with other community support programs that helped me through my treatments, as well as, survivor programs for myself and for my children.  Thanks to the Susan G. Komen Ozark and the many organizations that benefit from the Komen Ozark funding, my cancer journey was made into a blessing.”

Kids for the Cure – Coloring Contest Winners!

kids2We are excited to announce our 2018 Kids for the Cure coloring contest winners. Representatives from Bic, our Kids for the Cure sponsor, joined us in presenting  these talented 5th graders from Janie Darr Elementary their awards. A big thank you to Bic for making the experience exciting and memorable. Look for Payton’s artwork on the back of the Kids for the Cure T-shirts on Race day!

Congratulations to our winners:

1st place-Payton Smithkids1

2nd place-Gwyneth Miller

3rd place-Lyla Besaw



Peggy Summers Pink Pride 2018 Race for the Cure Team

PeggySAlmost a year ago my Mom  was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer.  She began her journey having her first chemo treatment on her birthday,  She tolerated her chemotherapy so well and she even did Cold Cap Therapy so she never lost any hair.  She had a mastectomy and lymph  node removal. Sadly, her scans after surgery indicated the cancer had metastasized.  We were devastated to hear the news.  Although there were many tears, my Mom never lost her positive attitude.  She would tell everyone that  “It’s ALL going to be OK”.  She lost her battle on February 11, 2018.  So my reason for starting the team Peggy Summers Pink Pride is in memory of my Mom and in hopes of helping others.

Jill Stanton

Jessica Andrews – 2018 Race Committee Volunteer Chair

Jessica-e1506626163485-768x985I have served on the Race for the Cure Steering Committee for over 5 years. I began serving in college in honor of my grandmother, who was a breast cancer survivor. Little did I know that just after my 25th birthday that I too would be diagnosed with breast cancer. I moved to Little Rock to be with my family through treatment, but immediately started serving on the committee again when I returned to Fayetteville. I now have an even deeper commitment to Susan G. Komen and am so grateful for all they do. I am a huge supporter of the Race for the Cure not just because of the funds raised for our community, but also because of the education and awareness aspect. I want others to know that breast cancer does not discriminate based on age. It can happen to anyone at any time, and catching it early is key. I serve as a volunteer because I personally have been touched by the lives of so many who have had breast cancer and by so many who have cared for and supported those with breast cancer.jessica wedding

Zac McCool – 2018 Race Operations Committee Member

zac-mccoolMeet Zac McCool, one of the awesome men that work to make your race day happen! Zac helps coordinate the various moving parts on our Operations Committee. This committee works to make sure every detail  from tent set up, signage, trash cans, barricades, generators and forklifts and more… are planned and implemented. 

 “My wife Jennifer and I got involved with Komen Ozark 6 years ago after Lauren Marquette asked us to chair the survivor breakfast. It was an easy decision for me considering my grandmother had battled breast cancer years ago. Though young at the time, I remember watching her going through treatment and the support she received from the Washington Regional Cancer Support Home. It was then that I knew that I was going to give back to the place that supported her and the community that supported the Cancer Support Home.” Zac McCool


2018 Race for the Cure – Committee Member Spotlight! Meet Anna and Lindsay

About your Concierge! AnnaYour race day liaison, Anna Daily, is a graduate of the UofA, lifelong hog fan, and longtime NWA resident.  Anna has volunteered in other capacities with Komen Ozark, and understands how the funds raised through this race will impact the lives of women and families throughout Northwest  Arkansas and Southern Missouri.

Anna is currently the Chief Scientist for Ascendant Dx and is working to develop a screening test for breast cancer using proteins from tears. Anna has had the opportunity to meet with women at all stages of the breast health continuum of care and is passionate about reducing deaths due to breast cancer by increasing access to care and breast health education. Anna looks forward to meeting you and helping you enjoy your race day experience


LindsayI am Lindsay Rutherford and I serve as a race day liaison.  I have volunteered with Komen Ozark for the past two years, serving as a concierge on the Race Committee.  I fully believe in the work Komen Ozark is doing.  By not only educating women on Breast Health but also by supporting women financially, emotionally, and physically, I truly believe that the number of breast cancer deaths and late stage diagnosis will be greatly decreased.

Breast cancer awareness is a very near and dear to my heart both professionally and personally.  Professionally, I work for Ascendant Dx developing a novel low cost screening test to detect breast cancer using tears.  Breast cancer is also personal for me as I, like countless others, have family members and friends affected by this disease.  Through my work at Ascendant and in my personal life I met countless women who have or had breast cancer which strengthens my resolve to  make a difference in their lives.

I am very excited to be on the Race Committee again this year and am looking forward to another successful event.




Michelle Yarber – Team Captain Stems of Steel

Michelle Yarber

Our family lost a young, beautiful, person to breast cancer about 20 years ago. She wrote a poem about the women of our family being different types of flowers with Stems of Steel, which is my teams name.  Since that time her husband was also diagnosed with Breast Cancer, has been through treatment and a survivor. I also have an aunt who is a survivor of breast cancer.  So the cause has always been close to my heart.

In April 2013 I ran the 10k Race for a Cure, not knowing I had Breast Cancer myself. The following month I had my annual mammogram, I was 41 years old, and had been having annual mammograms for several years due to lumps that had continue to come up, but all were benign until then. This time they saw some spots they wanted to check out.  I had a biopsy and in June was diagnosed with stage 2, HER +. After a year of treatment, and a bilateral mastectomy, I was told I was cancer free.

I am thankful for the research and developments in treatments, and that is why I am a Team Captain for Race for The Cure.

Kids for the Cure Coloring Contest

Want to see your kid’s artwork on the back of a t-shirt?  Think your kid has some drawing skills?  Enter our Kids for the Cure Coloring Contest sponsored by BIC today!

Kids age 12 and under can compete to have their drawing printed on the back of the Kids for the Cure t-shirts.  The winner will also have the opportunity to give the Pledge of Allegiance on stage at Race Day and will receive a prize from our Coloring Contest sponsor, BIC.  Second and third place entries will also receive a prize from BIC.

Entries (along with the application below) are due by Friday, January 19 , so don’t delay!

Contact the Komen Ozark office for any questions at (479) 750-7465 or

2018 RFTC Coloring Contest (1)-page-001

John and Brandy Furner Named 2018 Race for the Cure Honorary Chairs


The Susan G. Komen Ozark Affiliate announced today that John and Brandy Furner will serve as the honorary race chairs for the 2018 Komen Ozark Race for the Cure on Saturday, April 28, 2018 at Pinnacle Hills Promenade Mall in Rogers.

John Furner is currently CEO of Sam’s Club.   He and his wife, Brandy, are active members of the Northwest Arkansas community, and also the proud parents of four children.

“We are honored and excited to have both John and Brandy Furner serve as our Honorary Race Chairs this year,” said Lauren Marquette, Executive Director of the Ozark Affiliate.  “The Race for the Cure is our largest fundraiser and provides critical funding for local women and men who are in need of life-saving services.  John and Brandy’s support will help build awareness of the local need.”

“Like so many people, we know the pain and toll that breast cancer takes on patients and their loved ones,” said John Furner. “We are honored to help the incredibly passionate and effective team at Komen Ozark raise awareness and funds for families in Northwest Arkansas.”

The Komen Ozark Race for the Cure raises funds and awareness for the fight against breast cancer, celebrates survivors, and honors those who have lost their battle from the disease.  Participation in the event and individual fundraising help provide free services for every step of the breast cancer journey, including education, outreach, screening & diagnostic services, emergency assistance, transportation, and research.

This is the 20th Anniversary Race held in Northwest Arkansas.  On April 28, 2018, thousands of people will come together to celebrate the strong women and men who have fought or continue to fight this disease.

75% of all net proceeds are invested in the local community and provide education, screening, and treatment support services to women, men, and families in the 10 counties served by Komen Ozark.  25% of the net race proceeds will be invested in breast cancer research through the Susan G. Komen Research Program.

Race registration for teams and individuals will open soon.  Events include a Survivor Breakfast & Parade, timed 10K and 5K runs, a non-timed 5K and a one-mile fun walk.  Registration will also be available for Paws for the Cure, Kids for the Cure, and Virtual participant.

For more information about the 20th Anniversary Race for the Cure, please visit