Paint the Park Pink Chairs are passionate volunteers!

PTPP Chairs

Meet the 2018 Paint the Park Pink Chairs

Madeline Marquette and Dawn Turner

Miss Madeline.pngMadeline Marquette:  I have been participating with Susan G Komen Ozark Race for the Cure since 2000 with my daughter, Lauren Marquette. When Fort Smith began having the walk, Paint the Park Pink, I participated here as well. I was very glad that I was asked to help with Paint the Park Pink several years ago. I have been the chair for five years and I have worked with many wonderful committee members and sponsors. I have had many friends and co workers deal with this ugly reality of breast cancer and I have been honored to get to know so many survivors and their loved ones.  I am convinced that raising awareness and money will be the Cure. Susan G Komen will find the breakthrough Cures I am sure! 

Dawn Turner:  I understand the importance Komen Ozark serves for our community, especially for women in need of support as Dawn.pngthey battle to survive breast cancer. On February 14, 2014, I lost one of my fabulous aunts, Pat Davis, to breast cancer. She was diagnosed in January that year and lost her battle within four weeks. I joined the Paint the Park Pink Steering Committee that fall in her honor. During my four years serving on this committee, I have made wonderful connections to our area community of survivors, which helps motivate me continue to volunteer with Komen Ozark. I have lost friends my age to breast cancer recently, and I know the pain this disease still causes in our community. There is still work needed to find a cure as well as improving methods to detect and treat patients. I love that Komen Ozark celebrates local survivors and their families. I am honored to serve as a Co-Chair on this year’s Paint the Park Pink committee to help raise valuable awareness and funds for such a tremendously-important cause. I love attending the event with my beautiful daughter Ella and mom Cathy. I feel the event allows my mom to acknowledge her sister Pat in a beneficial way. The event is a fun and celebratory event for survivors, for those we have lost, and for the hope that we will find the cure with the help of events like these.


Exciting news from Susan G. Komen!OBESITY - Dr. Wellberg (2)

Komen researcher Dr. Elizabeth Wellberg and her team at the University of Colorado Cancer Center has shed new light on how obesity can negatively impact treatment and lead to poorer outcomes for postmenopausal women with estrogen receptor (ER+) breast cancer.

This new laboratory research, published today in The Journal of Clinical Investigation, shows that obesity promotes the way ER+ tumors progress and become resistant to endocrine therapy through a protein called FGFR1. Though more research is needed, targeting FGFR1 could help reverse the negative effects that obesity has on treatment response, ultimately improving survival for ER+ breast cancer patients who may be overweight or obese at the time of treatment.

“Dr. Wellberg’s work shows us that to deliver effective breast cancer treatment and improve outcomes, it’s important to look at the full picture of a patient’s health, and not just the characteristics of their tumor,” said Victoria Wolodzko, SVP of Mission at Komen. “This work not only provides a treatment target (in FGFR1) which may someday help women and men facing ER+ breast cancer, but supports a growing body of evidence that weight loss could play a critical role in breast cancer treatment in the future.”

“Dr. Wellberg exemplifies why Komen continues to invest in early career breast cancer researchers with promising ideas that will help us achieve our goal of reducing the current number of breast cancer deaths in the U.S. by half by 2026,” said Wolodzko.

To date, Komen has invested more than $956 million in breakthrough breast cancer research – the largest nonprofit breast cancer research investment outside of the U.S. government. 




Greg Leding – Presenter for national Susan G. Komen advocacy webinar on “oral parity” legislation

leding-gregHigh cost-sharing practices continue to cause a barrier to care for breast cancer patients. They can prevent them from accessing the treatments prescribed by their physicians and force physicians to make decisions based on outdated health plans rather than what is best for the patient. Patients and their physicians should be able to choose the most beneficial treatments. That’s why Susan G. Komen has long advocated for policies to reduce these insurance barriers.

Because of this tireless advocacy, patients are finally beginning to receive the treatment options they deserve, without breaking the bank. Unfortunately, we have found that most patients are unaware of these new treatment options, updated insurance policies and their options for cost-savings.

On the webinar, Representative Leding discussed the oral parity bill he filed and his journey to the passage of HB 1592 during the 91st Arkansas General Assembly – Regular Session in 2017. Greg discussed the importance of gaining bipartisan support and working with organizations with opposition to address their concerns.


Representative Leding had a host of House co-sponsors supporting HB 1592 and engaged Senators Greg Standridge, Elliott, S. Flowers, and Teague for Senate sponsors.  Senator Standridge was a vocal supporter of this bill. He was battling cancer and taking oral chemotherapy drugs.  Sandridge provided his own testimony on the high cost and the need for parity between IV and oral anticancer medications.  With sadness, Senator Sandridge passed away from cancer at the age of 50 in 2017.


VIPink Sponsor-Premium Retail Services

Premium Retail Services is proud to sponsor the 2018 VIPink area in the Rogers, AR Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. Since 1985, Premium has propelled brands to new heights with integrity and imagination. Driven by values including family, creativity, and eclipsing expectations, Premium’s team members drive brand awareness and sales for our clients.

We proudly join this race to honor not only our survivors, but all survivors. We celebrate your joy and honor your struggles. Keep moving forward; you’ve got this.

Tina’s Story – Premium team member

On May 4, 2015 at the age of 46, I was diagnosed with DCIS in my right breast. The cancer was discovered by a routine mammogram. It had already been over a year since my last mammogram when I was reminded to have one due to my step mom being diagnosed a couple months prior. I was not expecting to receive that phone call telling me I needed further testing because something looked suspicious. I can still remember the day I was told that it was breast cancer, and I can still remember the rush of feelings that took over – so many emotions. I was told by my team of doctors that the best course of action for my type of breast cancer was to have a lumpectomy and radiation. But after two lumpectomies, we were unable to get clear margins and I would need to have a mastectomy. I opted to have a bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction. I had my mastectomies with expander placement on Sept. 26, 2015. I endured 4 months with the awful tissue expanders and had my final surgery to place the implants on February 22, 2016. Since the lymph nodes were clear, I did not need radiation, chemo or hormone blocking drugs.

Through it all I was told how strong and courageous I was. The truth is that I could not have gotten through it without the love and support of my amazing family and friends. It is truly overwhelming! Most of all, my husband Tim who was and still is my biggest supporter and my ROCK. He was by my side at every appointment, procedure, surgery etc. Could not have done it without him! I consider myself very fortunate that my cancer was caught so early and I encourage all women to not put that simple exam off. It truly saved my life.


Loretta participates in the Race for the Cure because every dollar counts!

LorettaI became involved with the Komen Ozark Race for the Cure several years ago with my daughter-in-law and daughter. It was long before being told I had breast cancer. That was news that I never wanted to hear especially after taking care of my mother when she was diagnosed. For me, the meaning of this organization has changed so much. I have a deeper understanding and appreciation of what they do and just how important every dollar is and how it helps with the future of so many women.  Loretta

Through events like the Komen Ozark Race for the Cure®, Komen Ozark has invested $11 million in local breast health programs in our 10 county service area and has contributed nearly $3.75 million for investment in research. 

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