Local Moving Company Provides Helping Hands

Over the past few months, a local moving company, Two Men and a Truck, has provided the Komen Miami.Ft. Lauderdale Affiliate with their support and dedication. The Davie branch of the franchise has helped the affiliate with much needed packing and moving of various Race for the Cure items. 

Thanks to their support and charitable donation, the affiliate has been able to reorganize its storage facility and is ready for the upcoming 2014 Race. 

For more information on Two Men and a Truck visit http://www.twomenandatruckftlauderdale.com/home

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Palmer Trinity School Receives Top Awards for Race for the Cure

This past Thursday, February 6, 2014, Executive Director, Cathy McCarthy and Race for the Cure High School Teams Liaison Patti Morgan, presented the School with two prestigious awards for their support and dedication to our mission. Palmer Trinity School was presented with the following plaques – High School Team with Most Participants and Top High School Fundraising Team.

Congratulations to all Palmer Trinity School students, staff, faculty and parents for their dedication to service and support of a cause that has touched so many in their school community. Over this past October, the school helped raise $2886.00 for the local Komen Miami/Ft. Lauderdale Affiliate. 

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Going above and beyond for Breast Cancer

On January 28, 2014, the Susan G. Komen Miami/Ft. Lauderdale affiliate awarded a roundtrip American Airlines ticket to the Top Overall Fundraiser and Top Team Captain for the 2013 Race for the Cure! The Top Overall Fundraiser was Howard Traeger, President of Traeger Brothers and the Top Team Captain was Ellen Brous Administrative Assistant for Traeger Brothers. The company participated in this year’s race as Team Traeger TITans and raised $13,698.30.

Their support is greatly appreciated by the affiliate and the service areas that we support! Thank you!

See above for an image of the winners with Board President, Grace Lopez and Executive Director, Cathy McCarthy.

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Supporting the Komen Mission

This year the Miami/Ft. Lauderdale affiliate has been fortunate enough to receive inspirational stories from local businesses in the community, that have been raising funds and doing good for the Komen cause. 

We would like to thank Exteria Building Products, a manufacturing company located in Miami Florida, that raised over $2,000 to help benefit this year’s Race for the Cure in Miami.

As one of the pioneers of early cedar replica siding; Exteria Building products is the leading U.S. innovator in polypropylene cladding that creates breathtaking home exteriors. One of the Customer Service Representatives at Exteria was this year’s front runner in the fundraising efforts for Komen, which the company has been participating in for over 8 years.

Each year the company sets a goal meter higher than the previous year and challenges each of the employees to surpass their previous team goal. Last year (2012) the company made an internal fundraiser in their cafeteria, where everyone donated goods. This year the company included all of their Outside Sales reps across the US, and through their generosity were able to raise over $2,000 in funds for the local Komen affiliate.

“Although we are a small company, we strive to take part in helping fund this amazing organization that impacts not only those in Miami-Dade but the outreach locations all over the world,” said Jessica Reyes | Customer Service Representative.Image

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Komen’s Fabulous Intern

This summer we had Alexis Lehrman come and intern with us for a few weeks at our office, and in May Alexis won the Prudential Spirit of Community Award!  Here is what was released about her by the Prudential Spirit of Community Award:

“Alexis, a freshman at Design & Architecture Senior High, has raised more

Imagethan $50,000 over the past five years for the fight against breast cancer by recruiting friends and professional artists to help her create paintings that are then turned into posters and sold at Susan G. Komen for the Cure events. When Alexis was 8 years old,

she spotted a pink donut in a Dunkin Donuts shop and thought the store should use the colored donuts to raise money for breast cancer. That’s when she realized she, too, had the power to make a difference. “Ever since that day, I have asked for charitable donations instead of birthday or holiday gifts,” said Alexis. “Save a life or get a present I will barely remember? That was a no brainer!”Alexis 

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Alexis meeting Senator Nelson

contacted her local Komen chapter for information and then decided to have birthday parties “with a purpose.” An avid artist, Alexis invited her party guests to create paintings based on the pink-ribbon symbol for breast cancer awareness. She also recruited renowned artists to paint alongside her. After the paintings are completed, they are mass-produced and sold at Komen events. Alexis also displays her posters at events throughout South Florida, works to secure support from corporate sponsors, mentors other young women at Girl Scout jamborees and speaks at a wide variety of charitable events. In the five years since Alexis began her project, women on both sides of her family have been diagnosed with breast cancer. “When I began, I thought I was fighting for other women’s lives,” she said. “Today, I realize I may be fighting for my own.”She was named Florida’s top high school youth volunteer in February, and was officially recognized in May at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History along with the top two youth volunteers in each other state and the District of Columbia. At that event, each of the 102 State Honorees for 2013 received $1,000 awards as well as personal congratulations from Academy Award-winning actor Kevin Spacey and Olympic gold medalist Allyson Felix. The honorees each also received engraved silver medallions and all-expense-paid trips with a parent to Washington, D.C., for this week’s recognition events.” Image

Florida Senate Passes The Cancer Treatment Fairness Act! Remembering Patient Advocate Debbie Giardina.

Did you know that some anti-cancer medications in the form of a pill are costing patients thousands of dollars each month because they are not covered under the benefit that intravenous (IV) medications are?

The Cancer Treatment Fairness Act, House Bill 301, which the Florida Senate just passed yesterday, will help grant fair access to the cancer treatment options prescribed to patients by their physicians. Florida Komen Affiliates, including the Miami/Ft. Lauderdale Affiliate, have been supporting this issue which would require that individual or group insurance policies that currently provide coverage for cancer treatment medications also provide coverage for orally administered cancer treatment medications.

On March 6, 2013, Florida Komen Affiliates traveled to Tallahassee for the Senate bill hearing. Our message is simple: it is time Florida joins the 22 other states across the country, and the District of Columbia, in granting equal access to life-saving cancer treatment drugs regardless of how they are administered.

Debbie Giardina was a local patient advocate dear to our hearts. In 2007, Debbie was diagnosed with breast cancer and went through six months of IV chemotherapy plus radiation and a double mastectomy. Debbie then learned her cancer had metastasized to the bones in her back and she counted on a new promising form of cancer therapy to fight her cancer. However, Debbie’s insurance company, like many others, only covered 50 percent of this drug expense because it was in a pill form, as opposed to IV form which is largely covered by insurance companies.

Debbie and her husband Sal pictured on the right

Debbie and her husband Sal saw themselves paying $2,000 a month with a credit card to cover the cost. A 2011 Miami Herald article stated Debbie was “among a growing number of cancer patients who find themselves unable to take advantage of the latest drugs because they can’t afford them and insurance won’t fully pay.” Debbie’s vow in supporting the Cancer Treatment Fairness Act was to be able to see her grandchildren grow up and spend time with her loving husband. As she told the Miami Herald, “nobody gets to put an expiration date on me”. Debbie was eventually able to get assistance through the drug company for her oral chemotherapy but there are many cancer patients that are not as lucky.

Debbie (sitting down on the right) and friends having a great time at the 2012 Cruise for the Cure

Unfortunately, Debbie’s battle with cancer ended on January 8, 2013 as her husband Sal and best friend Deborah Anthony sat by her side. Deborah Anthony, who had known Debbie since 1976, remembers Debbie “never complaining about feeling lousy and rarely feeling sorry for herself.” Deborah Anthony and Debbie went on many trips together, including four “Cruise for the Cure” events in the Bahamas.

Debbie (left) and best friend Deborah Anthony

“True friends like Debbie are hard to find… I have many friends but only Debbie was my BEST friend, there is something different about a best friend – we had that connection”, says Deborah Anthony.

We will always remember Debbie’s dynamic personality and strength. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends.

Click here to stay up to date on the Cancer Treatment Fairness Act as it goes to the Florida House.

Click here to join Komen Advocacy.