Komen Michigan’s new “Fueling the Cures” initiative aims to reduce breast cancer deaths in rural communities

Olivia Adams, Byrum & Fisk Communications
616.726.7705
oadams@byrumfisk.com

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Crystal Flash partnering with Komen Michigan to expand breast health education and resources in rural counties across Michigan

GRAND RAPIDS – Komen Michigan (Komen MI) announced the launch of “Fueling the Cures,” a breast health education program for rural communities, during its annual Powerfully Pink Luncheon at the JW Marriott today.

“Many women living in rural Michigan have limited access to breast health services and often forgo annual screenings and follow-up care due to lack of transportation or difficult driving conditions during snowy Michigan winters,” said Komen MI Executive Director Jennifer Jurgens. “Our goal is to save lives and ensure these women have year-round access to life-saving breast cancer screenings and eliminate any barriers that may keep them from getting the care they need.”

“Fueling the Cures” is a rural outreach and breast cancer screening initiative supported by Crystal Flash, which donated $25,000 to start the initiative. Through this multi-phased corporate and nonprofit partnership, Crystal Flash will work with Komen MI to educate and provide breast cancer screening opportunities for Michigan’s rural communities. This program aims to increase screening compliance and reduce late-stage diagnosis rates.

“Our partnership with Komen MI is critical in reducing breast cancer deaths in rural communities across Michigan,” said Marc H. Foerster, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Crystal Flash. “We partnered with Komen MI because we are in these communities delivering propane every day and want to help fill the gap by distributing breast cancer education materials and connecting our current customers with necessary screenings and care. Our next step is to generate another $25,000 through our employee and partner matching program. ”

There will be approximately 832 breast cancer diagnoses, 265 late stage diagnoses and 170 breast cancer deaths in Michigan’s rural communities served by Komen MI each year, according to data from Komen MI’s 2015 Community Profile. If women in these communities received proper screenings and treatment, Komen MI could save approximately 275 lives each year.Evidence shows if women just used the resources that are available to them now, breast cancer mortality can be reduced by 30 percent.

“Transportation is often a challenge for residents in rural communities, since public transit doesn’t typically extend far outside of small city limits,” said Elaine Bower, Director of Spectrum Health Breast Care Services. “Spectrum Health Betty Ford Breast Care Services is excited about this wonderful initiative as mobile services are very successful in reaching underserved populations.”

“Fueling the Cures” aims to educate 10,000 Crystal Flash customers about breast cancer risk, the importance of screenings and available breast health resources in their community. Crystal Flash is distributing educational materials with billing statements and will leave a breast health ”door hanger” at each home during propane deliveries this winter.

Komen MI is currently raising funds to expand the “Fueling the Cures” program by providing mobile mammography and follow-up diagnostic testing as needed. The Eaton Corporation has donated $12,500 to support mobile mammography. Komen MI estimates it needs an additional $83,000 to begin implementation and is seeking sponsorships and donations to fund this life-saving program. Once the initiative is fully funded, Komen MI will partner with local health systems like Spectrum Health and Metro Health to schedule rural community mammography days using their mobile units.

“Fueling the Cures” was announced at The Powerfully Pink Luncheon, which also highlighted community heroes who are making a difference in the fight against breast cancer. Participants heard from keynote speaker Heidi Floyd, who was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was pregnant with her fourth child in 2005. Amber Nicole Meyers was also awarded with the 2016 Young Survivor Award.

For more information about “Fueling the Cures,” visit www.KomenMichigan.org or call 616-752-8262.

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About Komen Michigan

Komen Michigan is committed to saving lives and reducing breast cancer mortality in Michigan. Through targeted, culturally-relevant education programs, screenings, diagnostics, transportation, survivor support programs and events like Race for the Cure®, Komen Michigan has touched more than 85,000 lives in Michigan in 2015 alone. Over the last 20 years, Komen Michigan has funded $12 million in community breast health programs across 24 counties, filling the gap for much-needed services across the region. For more information, call 616-752-8262 or visit www.komenmichigan.org.

About Crystal Flash

Crystal Flash™ is an employee-owned energy distribution company focused on commercial and residential customers throughout the Lower Peninsula of Michigan.  Established in 1932, Crystal Flash has grown as the demand for energy has evolved, and today concentrates on the sale and distribution of propane, diesel and other fuels.  Today, the company is one of the largest independently owned energy suppliers in the state with more than 250 employees in 14 locations.  For more information, visit us online at www.crystalflash.com.

About Susan G. Komen®
Susan G. Komen is the world’s largest breast cancer organization outside of the federal government, funding more breast cancer research than any other nonprofit while providing real-time help to those facing the disease. Since its founding in 1982, Komen has funded more than $920 million in research and provided more than $2 billion in funding to screening, education, treatment and psychosocial support programs. Komen has worked in more than 60 countries worldwide. Komen was founded by Nancy G. Brinker, who promised her sister, Susan G. Komen, that she would end the disease that claimed Suzy’s life. Visit komen.org or call 1-877 GO KOMEN. Connect with us on social at ww5.komen.org/social