The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

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October 31, 2013

Breast Cancer Series — Cash to find a cure

CLINTON — Local cancer foundation affiliates have seen an increase in donations in recent years.

While most October donations have not come in yet, Christina McNamara, the marketing and development director for the Quad-City affiliate of the Susan G. Komen foundation, expects to see a rush of donations. Last year, the foundation received approximately $5,000 from the Clinton Fire Department and  $2,700 from the Northeast School District. McNamara added that many area businesses collected funds, including the Clinton Herald.

“We’re seeing a steady increase in donations and interest,” McNamara said.

Clinton firefighters once again have worn and sold shirts to raise funds for the foundation. McNamara expects a good amount to come from that fund-raising activity as well.

Nancy G. Brinker formed the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation in 1982, based on a promise to her dying sister, Susan G. Komen, to do everything in her power to end breast cancer forever. According to the foundation’s website, http://ww5.komen.org, it has invested almost $2 billion to this goal.

The Quad-City affiliate serves eight counties within Illinois and Iowa, including Clinton County. Last year, more than 250 people from the county participated in the Race for the Cure fundraiser, held on the second Saturday in June. Next year’s event is set for June 14.

Andrea Goedderz, senior community relations director for the Dubuque American Cancer Society office, agrees that donations in Clinton County have increased.

The ACS’s major fundraising period is during spring and summer, when people are gearing up for the Relay for Life. This past year, $103,000 was donated within the county, a slight increase from the previous year.

“Relay for Life has a strong impact and following in Clinton County,” Goedderz said. “A lot of people in Clinton County are very passionate and come out to help.”

While ACS focuses on all types of cancer, the organization did host a Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event this month in Iowa City.

“October is a very busy month for us with breast cancer and the events supporting it,” Goedderz said.

Goedderz and McNamara encourage people to support their organizations. Both groups offer research funding and cancer services.

Between 2012 and 2013, The Susan G. Komen Quad-Cities foundation provided more than 200 vouchers for mammograms and breast exams in Clinton County. The group will accept grant applications starting Friday. More than $5.5 million has been granted by the Quad-City affiliate since its inception almost 25 years ago.

This year, the grants program has been restructured to address the Affordable Care Act, as well as aligning grant priorities with the comprehensive community profile that identifies specific areas of need within the community. These include increasing outreach efforts in African American and Hispanic communities in Rock Island County or Scott County, decreasing the percentage of last stage breast cancer diagnoses in Muscatine County and ensuring access to quality breast health to people in Rock Island or Scott counties.

Those interested in these grant opportunities can visit www.komenquadcities.org.

The ACS focuses on four areas associated with cancer: Cancer research, education, advocacy and patient services. The organization has provided $5.5 million for cancer research to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City. With 31 Hope Lodge locations throughout the country, the ACS also provides a home away from home for those receiving cancer treatment.

The organization provides information on handling a cancer diagnosis at its toll-free hotline, 1-800-ACS-2345. This line offers information about cancer around the clock.

“A cancer diagnosis can come very quickly and there are a lot of questions,” Goedderz said. “If you’re lying awake at 3 o’clock in the morning, we are able to help you.”

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