Denver Broncos | News

Susan G. Komen Colorado Q&A

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The Broncos honored breast cancer survivors on Sunday with a pregame brunch and a halftime tribute.

What are the primary services Komen Colorado offers? **"Komen Colorado's mission is to save lives and end breast cancer forever. We do this by empowering people, ensuring quality of care by all and energizing science to find the cure. We aim to empower people to make healthy decisions about their breast health by providing public education about breast health and breast cancer risk through our volunteer-based presence at nine health fairs and other community events and by awarding grants for community health workers to provide culturally appropriate breast health education.

We ensure quality of care for all by investing 75 percent of net funds raised into our local communities through our Community Grants program, which pays for medical expenses for medically underserved Coloradans in need of breast cancer screening, diagnostics, and treatment care; and through our local public policy work to increase access to life-saving breast health care.

Lastly, we energize science to find the cure by returning 25 percent of net funds raised to our national office to be aggregated with our sister affiliates' revenues and awarded through the Susan G. Komen® national breast cancer research program.

As a non-endowed foundation, Komen Colorado's ability to meet the ongoing need in our community is tied to annual revenues raised through our signature Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure® in Denver, Ride for the Cure® - Aspen, Pink Tie Affair, Ski for the Cure® and other affiliate events."

Who does Komen Colorado serve?
"We serve 22 counties in Colorado which represents 72 percent of the population in Colorado.  Any individual, regardless of what county they live in, can come to our service area to access treatment if needed. Komen Colorado helps individuals who cannot afford or do not qualify for health insurance and those who have insurance but have extremely high deductibles that would prevent them from accessing care. We provide education to the larger community through health fairs, speaking engagements and other community-based events. Additionally, Komen Colorado raises approximately $600,000 a year for breast cancer research. "

What are some things people are surprised to learn about Komen Colorado and its work?"Many people think Komen has a large staff and more money than we need. The reality is that Komen Colorado only has nine full-time and three part-time staff and that includes both the Denver and Aspen office. What makes Komen successful is our dedicated volunteer base. Year-round, Komen Colorado has more than 300 volunteers working as board members, event volunteers, office helpers, educators and advocates. On race day, more than 1,200 volunteers donate their time and talents to help us put on the Race for the Cure for 30,000-plus people! 

This year, Komen Colorado has invested $1.7 million in grants to community clinics, organizations and hospitals to help individual's access breast cancer screening, diagnostics, treatment and patient navigation; however, we had more than $3 million in grant requests. The need is unfortunately much greater than what we can currently meet. We need the support of the community at our Race, Pink Tie, Ski and Ride for the Cure events. Every donation—from the $10 monthly donation to the $50,000 corporate donation—is critical to our mission and the work we do in the community."

What are some things people are surprised to learn about breast health and breast cancer?
"One in seven women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetimes in Colorado. Almost everyone knows someone who has been affected by this disease. Some women do not get a regular screening because they are afraid of a diagnosis and may not have insurance that can cover their treatment. Komen Colorado can help—our grants provide free breast cancer screening, diagnostics and treatment to women and men who have nowhere else to turn."

Why is screening and early detection so important?"Early detection is the key to survival. Although we have made a great deal of progress in how we treat breast cancer, we do not know how to prevent breast cancer.  If breast cancer can be detected early, when it is confined to the breast and has not spread to the lymph nodes, the five-year survival rate is 99 percent! If the breast cancer is detected at a later stage, the treatment is more invasive and the survival rate declines significantly."

What are some ways people can get involved with Komen Colorado?"We need your time, talents and treasures!  To learn about volunteering, please visit www.komencolorado.org and complete a volunteer application. We need help with education, public policy, event planning and office administration.

People can also register for one of our many upcoming events. We have Ride for the Cure on August 15, 2015 in Snowmass/Aspen; Race for the Cure on September 27, 2015 in Denver; and our annual Pink Tie Affair on November 7, 2015 in Denver.

Another way is by making donation to support the work of Komen Colorado, which can be done online at www.komencolorado.org or by calling 303.744.2088."

What does the partnership between the Broncos and Komen Colorado look like?"The Denver Broncos are an extremely generous partner with Komen Colorado. They work with us not only during October, which is breast cancer awareness month, but year-round. Their alumni players served as Honorary Chairs of our 2014 Race for the Cure. The coaches and their wives have participated in our Pink Tie Affair and one of our very best Pink Tie auction items is a Broncos-donated fabulous trip with the team to an away game!  It is such an honor to be partnered with the Broncos to raise awareness in the community and they also honor our survivors at one of the very best, pink days of the year—the "Pink Game" where the survivors perform at halftime of a home game."

How do the two organizations work together during breast cancer awareness month?
"The Broncos do a special Survivor Breast Cancer Awareness Game every October. Survivors are invited to a wonderful brunch, provided free tickets and are invited down to the field to perform during the halftime show. The survivors are so honored to be a part of this special recognition program. Additionally, the players, coaches and referees all don pink gloves, cleats, flags and more to raise awareness about breast cancer, Komen Colorado and the importance of early detection. Even the field goal posts are adorned with pink and we couldn't be more proud to be a part of this special, pink day!"

What feedback do you get from the survivors who participate at the Salute to Survivors breast cancer awareness game?
"Our survivors love the Salute to Survivors breast cancer awareness game! They are so honored by all the Denver Broncos do to honor and recognize them and their personal fight against breast cancer.  Additionally, the entire Bronco organization goes all out to honor the survivors ... from Joe Ellis, President and CEO of the Broncos, who takes the time to come speak to the survivors prior to kickoff to the cheerleaders and the pink balloon prop staff—the Broncos make the pink game one of the very best days of the year to remember!"

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