Komen Ozark Announces the 2019-2020 Grant Recipients at Promise Circle Luncheon

2019-2020 Komen Ozark Grant Recipients

(Springdale, Arkansas)-The Ozark Affiliate of Susan G. Komen announced on Friday, March 15 at the Promise Circle Luncheon that it will grant $403,633 to fund 6 programs that will provide thousands of women and men with lifesaving breast health screening, education and treatment assistance throughout the next year. In addition to revealing the grant recipients, Komen Scholar Dr. Kathy Miller served as the Keynote Speaker and presented about her breast cancer research.  Dr. Miller focuses on testing new therapies for breast cancer patients through clinical trials. Dr. Miller’s Komen-funded grant studied a new treatment regimen for triple negative breast cancer patients.

Top Fundraising Teams, Top Corporate Teams, Top Friends/Family Teams and the Top 25 fundraising individuals from the 2018 Race for the Cure were also recognized. 

The Ozark Affiliate raises funds through events like the upcoming MORE THAN PINK Walk™, which will be held on April 27, 2019 at the Pinnacle Hills Promenade Mall.   To register for the Walk, visit the website at www.komenozark.org.

Komen Ozark is one of more than 70 local Affiliates of the world’s largest breast cancer organization, working in communities across the U.S. to meet the most critical needs.  To help achieve Komen’s goal to reduce current breast cancer death by 50 percent in the U.S. by 2026, Komen Affiliates fund innovative breast health projects that provide vitally needed breast cancer screening, diagnostic and treatment services and support, including patient navigation, education and financial assistance.

The following programs have been selected for funding by the Ozark Affiliate.  Applicants were selected by an independent grant panel through a competitive application and review process.  For details about the Ozark Affiliate’s grant recipients, visit www.komenozark.org or call (479)750-7465.

Community Clinic (Awarded $90,000)

  • Serving Benton and Washington Counties
  • The “We Are Aware” program provides a culturally competent continuum of care for low-in­come, uninsured/underinsured patients in Northwest Arkansas through breast care education, screening, diagnostic and treatment support.

Madison County Health Coalition (Awarded $63,633)

  • Serving Madison County
  • The Madison County Health Coalition program provides a navigator to advocate for breast cancer patients and educate the community on breast health. The program also provides gas cards.

Mercy Foundation Fort Smith (Awarded $30,000)

  • Serving Sebastian and Crawford Counties
  • Provides educational outreach, navigation, screening, diagnostic and treatment funding for low income, uninsured or underinsured women and men, as well as, access to a mobile mammography unit.

North Arkansas Partnership for Health Education (Awarded $90,000)

  • Serving Boone, Carroll and Newton Counties
  • Provides comprehensive educational outreach and awareness campaigns to increase participation in breast health education classes, breast self-awareness training and access to treatment.  This program also provides screenings, diagnostic services, patient advocacy and transportation assistance.

Cox Health Foundation – Branson (Awarded $40,000)

  • Serving Stone and Taney Counties in Missouri
  • Provides access to breast care and cancer treatment for at-risk women by offering financial assistance for women in need of screening mammograms, diagnostic testing and transportation assistance.  A nurse navigator is also provided to help those diagnosed with breast cancer navigate their journey.

Washington Regional Cancer Support Home (Awarded $90,000)

  • Serving Washington and Benton Counties
  • Provides a breast health navigator and a bilingual navigator who offer specialized guidance and support to patients on their breast cancer journey.  The program guides patients through diagnosis, treatment and assistance to financial support resources as needed.
  • Also provides screenings, diagnostic services and treatment support.

About Susan G. Komen and Komen Ozark

Susan G. Komen is the world’s largest breast cancer organization, funding more breast cancer research than any other nonprofit outside of the U.S. government while providing real-time help to those facing the disease.  Komen has set a Bold Goal to reduce the current number of breast cancer deaths by 50 percent in the U.S. by 2026.  Since its founding in 1982, Komen has funded more than $988 million in research and provided more than $2.2 billion in funding to screening, education, treatment and psychosocial support programs.  Komen has worked in more than 60 countries worldwide.  Komen was founded b Nancy G. Brinker, who promised her sister, Susan G. Komen, that she would end the disease that claimed Suzy’s life.  Komen Ozark is working to better the lives of those facing breast cancer in the local community.  Komen Ozark has invested $11 million in community health programs in 10 counties and has contributed nearly $3.75 million in research.  For more information, call (479) 750-PINK or visit http://www.komenozark.org.

Recognition of Survivors in the audience at the Promise Circle Luncheon
Komen Scholar, Dr. Kathey Miller with the Komen Ozark Team
Top Team Recognition goes to the “Stores and Clubs the Difference Makers.”
Top Fundraiser and Top Survivor Fundraiser, Marybeth Hays
Komen Scholar, Dr. Kathy Miller presents about her Komen funded research
Promise Circle Luncheon 2019
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Donna Jo’s Story

My name is Donna Jo East and I am a breast cancer survivor! I was officially diagnosed on November 19, 2015, at the age of 44, with Stage 2b Triple Positive Invasive Ductal Cell Carcinoma. I went through five months of chemo, six weeks of radiation, three surgeries with one more still to go, and a year of Herceptin infusions. I feel so fortunate to have been one of the lucky ones to have made it through and to be able to call myself a survivor. Because of this, I feel so strongly about giving back by helping to fundraise, raise awareness, and support those still fighting and those who are yet to even know they will someday have to fight.

I remember so well the last Wednesday in October 2015. My daughter’s school, St. Boniface Catholic School, had done a “Pink Day” and a little fundraiser for breast cancer awareness. My daughter was all decked out in pink for the day and as I took her picture in front of the angel at school that morning, I had a strange feeling go through me. After I took her picture and sent her into school, I said a prayer for those that had been through breast cancer and went about my day with a gnawing feeling in the pit of my stomach. At that time, I had been told my lump was nothing to worry about, but I was still waiting for my mammogram that was less than two weeks away. I will never forget that day and the feeling that I had. At that point, my cancer was the size of a small lime and I didn’t even know it. In just a little over three weeks from that day, my life and the lives of my husband and little girl, who was nine at the time, would forever be changed. We never know when we will wake up one day and our lives will be shattered by our own cancer diagnosis or that of a family member or friend. That is the reason I am so passionate about being a part of Komen and Paint the Park Pink. I feel it is my responsibility, as a survivor, to help prevent others from going through the same nightmare I had to go through. Just think, if everyone that was a survivor would get involved with raising awareness and fundraising, what a huge difference that would make! I have met a lot of people who just want to forget what they went through and some that are so bitter that this happened to them they don’t want to be in the vicinity of anything that reminds them of cancer. I choose to look at my battle with cancer differently. And I choose to make something good come of the nightmare that I endured. I am so proud to be a part of Komen for what they do locally in our communities and for what they do for research. After I was diagnosed, I had genetic testing done. I was found to have the ATM gene mutation which has been linked to an increased risk for breast cancer. This rare mutation, along with several others, have been found because of groundbreaking research. Funding for research is crucial in the fight against breast cancer. Imagine where we would be had immunotherapies such as Herceptin not been discovered.

So I ask, especially if you are a survivor, please take a moment and think about what could happen if we all joined together for this great cause and consider being a part of Komen and Paint the Park Pink. Let us all give back to those who are fighting, raise awareness for those not knowing they will someday fight the cancer battle, and honor the memory of the beautifully brave souls that have been taken from us because of breast cancer.

Our Woman Crush Wednesday, Melanie Fitts!

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Melanie Fitts, survivor from Farmington, AR was diagnosed when she was only 24 years old after finding a knot during a self examination. With no family history and testing negative for BRCA Melanie is now working with a doctor in California who does studies on the relationship between cell phones and cancer – her lump was detected in the same spot where she carried her cell during workouts throughout college. Despite many surgeries and hours of radiation, Melanie is positive and works to help other women fight against this terrible disease. Melanie is why we race!

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