Advocacy Summit 2015

The Advocacy Alliance of Susan G. Komen for the Cure® uses the power of activism to achieve important legislative objectives at federal, state and local levels.  Three women from the Greater Cincinnati Affiliate put that activism into practice as they joined Komen Advocates from all over the country to spend the day on Capitol Hill lobbying their legislators.

On April 16, 2015, Peggy Isenogle, Executive Director, and Melissa Traylor, Affiliate & Finance Manager, of the Komen Greater Cincinnati Affiliate, along with volunteer advocate, Donna Traylor, spent the day on Capitol Hill lobbying legislators that serve the regions covered by the Cincinnati Affiliate.  This includes districts in the Greater Cincinnati, Greater Dayton, Southeastern Indiana, and Northern Kentucky areas.


Peggy, Melissa and Donna with Ohio Senator Rob Portman

Current economic conditions place unprecedented strains on federal and state budgets. Susan G. Komen® is committed to empowering people, ensuring quality of care for all and energizing science to find the cure. We called on lawmakers to join us in committing to improving access to lifesaving services and removing insurance barriers to cancer treatments.

The first issue we advocated for was preserving women’s access to breast cancer screening by funding the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCEDP) at $275 million in the FY16 budget. The President’s proposed budget includes a 20% reduction for the NBCCEDP bringing funding for FY16 to $148 million. We asked our legislators to support the funding at $275 million so that the NBCCEDP will be able to screen half a million women for breast and cervical cancer. The NBCCEDP provides potentially life-saving breast cancer screening and diagnostic services to low-income, uninsured and underinsured women who do not qualify for Medicaid. Ensuring adequate funding to vital safety-net programs like the NBCCEDP is key to ensuring all women have access to vital screening services.

The second issue we were advocating for was to ensure breast cancer patients can access the treatments they need by supporting legislation that eliminates the disparity in coverage between oral and IV anti-cancer medications. Patients should not be forced to chose a less appropriate treatment option simply because an insurer provides less coverage for a cancer drug that happens to be administered by mouth rather than intravenously. Patients and their physicians should be free to make treatment decisions based on what is best for that patient. Ohio passed this oral parity legislation in June of 2014, and both Kentucky and Indiana have also passed oral parity legislation. We were able to thank our legislators for passing the legislation in those 3 states, but also inform them that a Federal Oral Parity law is important to pass due to state legislation not covering all health insurance plans which leaves a significant number of patients without access to affordable treatment.


Melissa and Peggy with Indiana Senator Joe Donnelly

Peggy, Melissa and Donna were able to meet with several key staff members of the Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana Senate, along with staff from the Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana House of Representatives. Everyone was very interested in what we had to say and very supportive of our cause. Many of the staff members have been touched by breast cancer in some way. It was great to be able to connect on a personal level with so many individuals.

All in all, Advocacy Day 2015 was a huge success! We made a lot of connections and will certainly be following up with and building relationships with our lawmakers.

Sponsor Spotlight – Oxford Physical Therapy

Our Sponsor Spotlight blog series will feature stories from our wonderful sponsors. This month we welcome Oxford Physical Therapy to the blog!

Happy New Year from Oxford Physical Therapy Centers, the exclusive physical therapy provider for Susan G. Komen Greater Cincinnati!  We hope that your 2015 is off to a happy and healthy start.  We have an exciting announcement to share with our friends at Susan G. Komen Greater Cincinnati!

We offer a wide array of therapy methods and modalities from orthopedic injuries to general low back pain, but most recently we have started our lymphedema treatment program at our Montgomery Center!  Liz Reis, PT, DPT, CSCS, CLT, has begun working with patients who are suffering from lymphedema.  Lymphedema is an accumulation of protein-rich fluid, often manifesting in the arms or legs.  It is a chronic condition which may worsen if not addressed.

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Liz Reis, PT, DPT, CSCS, CLT working with a patient


You might wonder how physical therapy can help you.  During your treatment with Liz and the entire staff at our Montgomery Center, you will receive manual lymphatic drainage (a gentle massage  like technique used to increase the movement of lymph interstitial fluid), patient education, therapeutic exercises, and compression (assistance with obtaining garments or wrapping, which is done in our clinic).  In addition, we will conduct measurements of swelling, range of motion, and strength.  Similar to all of our patients, you will receive an education on home exercise program for continued healing outside of physical therapy.

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Aaron Molloy, PT, DPT, CSCS, COMT working with a patient


We welcome the opportunity to discuss with you how we can help you through this stage of symptoms.  Please feel free to contact Liz at our Montgomery Center (located near the Melting Pot in Montgomery) by calling 513.469.1444.

As a reminder, if you have any other type of pain/injury, we provide FREE injury screens at all our 14 locations in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky.  Feel free to stop by during our hours of operation, as a doctor’s prescription isn’t necessary for physical therapy and we can still bill through your insurance!  For more information or to find a location close to you, visit us at

Check a Box, Save a Life

You have the power to save a life, by simply checking a box on your 2014 Ohio state tax return.

The Ohio Affiliates of Susan G. Komen® were proud to support HB 112, recently signed into law, which will allow Ohio taxpayers to contribute a portion of their state tax refund directly to the Ohio Breast and Cervical Cancer Project (BCCP). Ohio’s BCCP, funded at the current levels, is only able to serve about five percent of the eligible women in Ohio. The BCCP Tax Check-Off will enable the program to serve up to 1,700 additional women (approximately an 11 percent increase) with life saving and cost saving access to early detection, diagnostics, and treatment.

Tax Check-Off Legislation

  • To ensure low-income, uninsured Ohio women have access to the BCCP’s life-saving services, the tax check-off will allow Ohioans to voluntarily contribute any portion of their eligible state tax refund directly to the BCCP to support breast cancer screenings across the state.
  • With maximum support, the tax check-off could allow as many as 1,700 additional women, an increase of almost 11 percent, to receive screening through the BCCP.
  • The Ohio Affiliates of Susan G. Komen will launch a social media campaign to activate our supporters and the general public to participate in the tax check-off. We will share pieces of this campaign with you to share with your constituents.
  • For the 2014 tax year, the State of Ohio has pledged to match all BCCP tax check-off contributions three-to-one, increasing the potential impact by 75 percent.

Ohio’s Breast and Cervical Cancer Project (BCCP)

  • Ohio’s Breast and Cervical Cancer Project (BCCP) provides breast and cervical cancer screening and diagnostic services to women in Ohio who do not qualify for Medicaid and have annual incomes at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level.
  • If a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer through the program, she is eligible for treatment for her cancer through BCCP Medicaid, which she may not have been eligible for based on her income. This is a critical and life saving safety net for the working poor in our state. In Ohio, these are the same women who make too much to be Medicaid eligible and too little to qualify for stipends on the state insurance exchange.
  • BCCP provided screenings to 15,000 Ohio women last year and diagnosed more than 200 cancers.
  • State funding to BCCP was reduced from $5 million in general revenue funds in FY08/09 to only $1.6 million in FY12/13 – a cut of almost 70 percent. State funding has remained level in current years.
  • At current funding levels, the BCCP can serve only six percent of the more than 270,000 eligible women in Ohio.

Breast Cancer in Ohio

  • In 2013, 9,060 Ohio women were diagnosed with breast cancer and nearly 1,720 died of the disease.
  • Ohio is 32nd in the nation in incidence of breast cancer but ranks 4th in mortality.
  • Early detection is a key to survival. When breast cancer is detected early, before it spreads beyond the breast, the 5-year survival rate is 98 percent. Once the cancer cells spread to other parts of the body, survival rates plummet to 23 percent.
  • Early detection saves Ohio money. When breast cancer is detected at later stages, treatment is up to 3 times more expensive than when it is detected early.

Print and share this BCCP Flyer.

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Focus on Fundraising: Knocking Out Breast Cancer

The Komen Greater Cincinnati blog is back! We will be blogging a few times a month. If you have an inspirational story, topic or idea you’d like to share please contact Melissa at We’d love to hear from you!

This month’s post is focused on fundraising. Enjoy!

Brian Lane is 26. He works for his family’s business. He graduated from Miami University, played football for Moeller and started boxing at The Punch House in 2012. Sounds like your average guy right? Well, this average guy was able to raise over $6,000 for Susan G. Komen Greater Cincinnati in November 2014.

Rewind to the spring of 2014, Brian was on a business trip when his dad called and told him to cut the trip short and come home right away. When Brian got home, he walked into the kitchen to find his sisters looking somber, and his mom and dad waiting. There is never an easy way to tell anyone that someone they love has breast cancer, so Brian’s dad Mike came right out with it, “Your mom has breast cancer.” As Brian tells on his GoFundMe page, “I remember hitting the floor in tears searching for my breath. All I could hear were my sisters crying and my dad saying, ‘I am sorry there’s no easy way to deliver that message.’ Finally I feel someone’s hands pick my 270lbs body up, and go figure, the only person strong enough to do that was my mom, Holly Lane.”

Brian had been boxing and working out at The Punch House since 2012. The gym was a place he could go to talk to a friend or let out all his anger while taking it out on a bag. He’d been asked numerous times to take part in a Client Fight Night. But he always declined. He was approached again in September of 2014 and this time he had a reason to say yes, he thought to himself “Brian, your mom fought and she didn’t have a choice. It’s time to put your mind to something and dedicate yourself to something bigger than you and give it your all, win or lose.” He decided that if he was going to get punched, he was going to do it in the fight against breast cancer. So Brian teamed up with The Punch House on November 14th to Knock-Out Breast Cancer.

His goal was to raise $1,500, and within the first few days he had raised $3,000! Brian used It’s easy to use, easy to set up and you can link it to your Facebook and Twitter accounts. That way it’s easy for friends to share, so easy that in just a few days Brian’s Facebook post about the event had close to 500 shares! His close friends and family started donating first, and then it snowballed into friends of friends, his parents’ classmates, and people he didn’t even know. In just a month he had raised over $6,000! He said he didn’t do much planning, it all just happened.

Brian and his family

Brian and his family

On November 14 Brian entered the ring at The Punch House, wearing pink, to a crowd of 500 people – the majority there to support him of course. In the end his opponent’s hand was raised as the winner, but Brian says the fight could not have been closer. And we could not agree more with him when he says “I knew I won before I stepped into the ring.”

Brian and his mom embrace after his fight

Brian and his mom embrace after his fight

If you’d like to learn more about Brian’s story, please visit

week twelve… survivor, volunteer, fighter, JOSIE

Komen Greater Cincinnati Official Blog

Josie’s story told by her good friend Traci:

First time I met Josie, she was volunteering for Komen Cincinnati at Kings Island.  When we introduced ourselves, she told me, with her huge smile and her cute Filipino accent, “I have Stage 4 Metastatic…some doctors say I’m going to die…so I not listen to them…I keep fighting it!!”   I fell in love with her adorable attitude, and we have been friends since that day.

Both before and during cancer, she has gone through more hardships than many of us could ever imagine.  She had heart problems, was paralyzed by a stroke, pulmonary problems, and then on 8/8/08 found out that she had Triple Negative Breast Cancer.

The morning of her mastectomy surgery at UC Hospital, she found out that her mother had passed away in the Phillipines.
Her Breast Cancer has returned once, and when the doctors thought maybe she had…

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week twelve… survivor, volunteer, fighter, JOSIE

Josie’s story told by her good friend Traci:

First time I met Josie, she was volunteering for Komen Cincinnati at Kings Island.  When we introduced ourselves, she told me, with her huge smile and her cute Filipino accent, “I have Stage 4 Metastatic…some doctors say I’m going to die…so I not listen to them…I keep fighting it!!”   I fell in love with her adorable attitude, and we have been friends since that day.

Both before and during cancer, she has gone through more hardships than many of us could ever imagine.  She had heart problems, was paralyzed by a stroke, pulmonary problems, and then on 8/8/08 found out that she had Triple Negative Breast Cancer.

The morning of her mastectomy surgery at UC Hospital, she found out that her mother had passed away in the Phillipines.
Her Breast Cancer has returned once, and when the doctors thought maybe she had eight months left to live, she stood up and went down to the Chemo room, and yelled “Please start my chemo!”  She and her amazing medical team beat it.
Last year, she nursed her husband Gary through Prostate Cancer.

To keep her mind off the negative, she stays busy….volunteering.  It is one of her strongest medicines.  The second time I met her, after Kings Island, she had her chemo nurse call the Komen Cincinnati office to let us know that she wanted to apologize.  She was going to be late for her volunteering time folding race shirts.  THAT’s how amazing she is.

She would much rather be at UC’s Football 101 or at a Reds Game or volunteering for Susan G. Komen than sitting around thinking about cancer.

Several weeks ago, she found out that her Breast Cancer had moved to her lungs.  She had let her husband drop her off and go on to work, because she thought it would just be a regular appointment, so she found out by herself.  Gary obviously was terrified when he heard also…as well as her daughter Joey, who is working and furthering her Medical Education in California.

Her AMAZING team of physicians at UC, especially Dr. Palacek and Dr. Shariff, offered her an Experimental Chemo for Triple Negative Breast Cancer.  It is in conjunction with MD Anderson in Texas.  They planned several scans and a surgery to implant a port for the chemo.  She is SO proud to be able to be part of this trial.  She passionately wants to help herself if possible, and if not, to help her daughter and all other women to not have to go through this.

Then they told her to go Volunteer at Komen’s Booth at Kings Island…..because they know her!  She volunteered for two days straight!!

On Labor Day weekend, she began having horrible headaches.  Gary took her to the ER on Sunday evening, and the scans confirmed that the cancer has moved to her brain.  Josie’s main request to everyone was PRAYER!!  She let herself have her breakdowns (the nurse even helped her have a little scream….which ended up bringing the police to the ER…but that’s another Josie story!), and when they admitted her to the Neuro ICU, she began strengthening herself for the battle.  On Tuesday, she went ahead with the surgery to  implant her port, and got to go home on Wednesday evening.  She can’t drive or be home by herself, but she is still ready to go help someone else!

Dr. Patar has fitted her with a Radiation Mask, and they are working on a plan for her brain radiation next week.  Dr. Palacek and Dr. Shariff have told her that she will still get to do the chemo soon after the radiation.  That is what keeps her going…..knowing that she has a plan.

Josie’s #1 goal is to fight to beat this and stay alive for herself, Gary and Joey.  Her #2 goal is to be able to help the physicians at UC, Susan G. Komen, and all women (and a few men!) and to find a CURE for this.  She said yesterday to her oncologist…..”Doc, we have to fix this so NO ONE else has to go through it”.

That’s Josie for you….

week eleven… research to help find a cure

Finding Answers in the Environment

Dr. Glendon Zinser is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Environmental Health at the University of Cincinnati’s College of Medicine. Dr. Zinser earned his PhD in Cellular and Molecular Biology at the University of Notre Dame.

Dr. Zinser, a member of the American Association for Cancer Research, has been the recipient of multiple funding awards, including research awards from Susan G. Komen for the Cure®. With these multiple awards, Dr. Zinser has been able to investigate the effect of nutrition on body tissue and link to cancer. The work by Dr. Zinser and his research team specifically addresses the importance of Vitamin D3 signaling within the breast, either through diet/dietary supplements or exposure to sunlight.

Interested in this topic – here is a list of articles by Dr. Zinser.