You are the Cure Luncheon Brings Breast Health Awareness to Holland and Muskegon

You are the Cure Luncheon Brings Breast Health Awareness to Holland and Muskegon

Susan G. Komen Michigan hosts “You are the Cure” luncheons to educate the West Michigan community on breast health and the work that Komen does locally and globally.

In an effort to increase community knowledge on how donations are used, Susan G. Komen Michigan (Komen) held two “You are the Cure” luncheons in March of 2015. The quick, one-hour luncheons aimed to educate individuals in the community on the work that Komen does on a local and global basis. When you Race for the Cure®, everyone wins; 75% of net proceeds are used to fund local breast health programs to provide education, screening and diagnostic testing and survivorship programs, while the remaining 25% funds ground-breaking research to find cures for breast cancer.

The first event took place on March 10 at the Shoreline Inn & Suites in Muskegon. Gemini Da Poet performed a beautiful spoken word poem to start the event. “The only time we take [cancer] seriously is when there is a cancer tragedy,” Gemini said. Executive Director of Susan G. Komen Michigan and local breast cancer survivor, Jennifer Jurgens, urged individuals to know their normal and to not be passive and simply wait for that cancer tragedy. “I found it early and I beat it and I support Komen because everyone deserves [that chance],” said Jurgens.

Since 2006, Komen Michigan has granted over $430,000 to Muskegon County to fund breast health programs, such as the program this year at Hackley Community Care in Muskegon, to spread awareness and education and to fund screening and diagnostic services for under-insured and uninsured men and women. But it is not enough; in Ottawa and Muskegon counties alone, it is estimated that 290 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed this year and 53 individuals will be killed by breast cancer.

The second event took place on March 19 at the Haworth Inn & Conference Center in Holland where Komen has granted over $260,000 to Ottawa County since 2006, including a grant this year to Holland Hospital to provide screening and diagnostic testing. Dr. Susan Ervine of Advanced Radiology Services spoke on advancements in breast health and how the technology surrounding breast cancer is rapidly growing and how researchers are now discovering new genetic and environmental markers that cause breast cancer.

“We now know that when breast cancer is found early, before it spreads to other parts of the body, the 5-year survival rate is 99%,” said Jurgens. Diana Estrada, a breast cancer survivor from Holland, encouraged individuals to be their own advocate so they can find cancer early and increase their chance of survival: “Schedule your mammogram and get your pap smears because cancer doesn’t discriminate” she stated.

Many local companies got behind the effort as well and supported Komen’s messaging about early detection, education and awareness.  Sponsoring and attending companies included Flowers by Ray & Sharon, Meijer, Mercantile Bank, Noordyk Business Equipment, Raymond James, WZZM 13, Salon 297 and more. Thanks to the sponsors and individual donations, Komen was able to raise nearly $6,000 during these one-hour luncheons.  “In addition to being a fundraiser, this was also a big friend-raiser for us as people came to better understand our mission and our local work” concluded Jurgens. “Every guest left with a new understanding of the work that Susan G. Komen does in the West Michigan community.”

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About Susan G. Komen Michigan

Komen Michigan is an independent, local non-profit organization that is dedicated to combating breast cancer. Seventy-five percent of the organization’s net proceeds go towards programs and funding grants to local hospitals and community organizations that provide breast health education, screenings, diagnostics and survivorship programs for underserved men and women in Michigan.  The remaining 25% of net proceeds funds global, leading-edge research focused on the prevention of, and cures for, breast cancer. Komen Michigan’s mission is to save lives and end breast cancer forever by empowering people, ensuring quality of care for all, and energizing science to find the cures.  For more information call (616) 752-8262 or visit www.komenmichigan.org.

About Susan G. Komen®

Susan G. Komen is the world’s largest breast cancer organization, 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 $847 million in research and provided $1.8 billion in funding to screening, education, treatment and psychosocial support programs serving millions of people in more than 30 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.