week ten… it takes a team

Can you believe that there are only FIVE weeks until the 2012 Race for the Cure? Have you registered for the Race yet? There is still time to sign-up and join Patty and Mike at the start line!

It Takes a TEAM PATTY to Beat Breast Cancer

Patty Stump is my mother.  She is also a grandmother, a wife, a business owner and a two-time survivor of breast cancer.  You may know someone like my Mom.  But I want to give you some insight into how she is able to carry on all these roles with such success.  Besides being a naturally positive person, my mother has a “secret weapon”.  It’s called a support system, TEAM PATTY.

This system starts with her husband, Mike Shroder, who also is a breast cancer survivor.  Mike was the first to be diagnosed.  A year after his diagnosis, Patty was diagnosed.  You might think that this would be a knock-out blow for any couple, but not these two.  They met it head on; went through the necessary treatments and came out even more committed to each other.

Four years after Patty’s first encounter with breast cancer she was diagnosed with breast cancer a second time.  In addition to the blow of the diagnosis, Patty was about to lose her health insurance coverage.  If that weren’t enough, Patty and Mike had just started a new business and were trying to get it on its feet.  This combination would be overwhelming to any couple.  But that’s when the “TEAM” appeared.  That’s when the support system kicked in.

Patty’s sister came to visit and helped at the business and in so many other ways.  Old friends came to give emotional support.  Mike’s sister helped find insurance coverage and a whole lot of people offered to help with my two sons so I could spend more time at the business.  Husband, son-in-law, sisters, brother, cousins, friends, business associates and even customers were all team members.  There was no hand wringing or sad sighs; there was only an attitude that we were all going to do our part to help Patty and Mike get through this “bump in the road”.  People just stepped up.

It takes more than a good medical team to beat breast cancer.  It takes a TEAM PATTY.  The concern, the caring, the common goal are all part of forming a TEAM.  But it is the determination and the love given by each team member that helps BEAT BREAST CANCER.

Check out this interview on FOX19: Patty and Mike at Kings Island


week nine… medicine with a heart

Surgical Oncologist with a Heart of Gold

Dr. Elizabeth Shaughnessy (Beth), Surgical Director of the Breast Center at University Hospital’s Barrett Cancer Center, earned both her MD and PhD at the University of Illinois.  Beth completed two fellowships in surgical oncology, one of which was at the City of Hope National Medical Center, which performs a large amount of Komen-funded research.

Beth has been a Ray and Joan Kroc Academic Scholar Awardee, a recipient of the Charles A. Schiff Award for Patient Care at the University of Illinois Department of Surgery, a Young Investigator Awardee for the American Society of Clinical Oncology, a “Alumni Makes a Difference” Awardee of Illinois High School, a Distinguished Alumna Awardee of Rolling Meadows High School, and a University Hospital “Hospital Hero” Awardee.

Among the many awards, recognition, and publications that Beth has received and produced, she has never veered from her main focus: providing quality and compassionate surgical care to the women and men of Greater Cincinnati that experience a breast cancer diagnosis. Beth has provided comfort and support to her patients in a way that does not just provide them with the confidence they need to fight their disease. Beth provides each woman or man a level of assurance that their battle will be in the most competent hands in the tri-state as the battle the surgical portion of their disease. Beth extends not only her capable hands to each person she sees, but also her heart and caring spirit.

Beth is also a member of the following organizations: the American Association for Cancer Research, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Association of University Women, the American College of Surgeons (Associate Fellow), the American Medical Women’s Association, the American Society for Clinical Oncology, the Cincinnati Surgical Society, the City of Hope Surgical Alumni Society, the Mont Reid Society-University of Cincinnati Department Surgery Alumni, the Society for Surgical Oncology, and the  Warren H. Cole Society- University of Illinois Department Surgery Alumni.

week eight… here from the beginning

It is impossible to talk about those who have impacted the Greater Cincinnati Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure®Greater Cincinnati without talking about our Executive Director, Peggy Isenogle.  Peggy isn’t just a face of Komen Greater Cincinnati; she embodies the heart and soul of our mission.

Peggy’s first contact with Komen is likely similar to yours.  In 1988, Peggy’s closest friend was diagnosed with the breast cancer.  Peggy’s friend lost her battle a short ten months later.  With that loss, Peggy gained a sense that she needed to do more to fight back against breast cancer.  Not long after that, Peggy learned about the Race for the Cure.  She was one of a small group of women to bring the first Race to Cincinnati.  In 1997, Peggy was one of four ladies who founded the Greater Cincinnati Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure.  She is the only original member still on our staff.

In the nearly fifteen years that Peggy has been at the helm of the Greater Cincinnati Affiliate, it has grown exponentially.  Founded in 1997 as Susan G. Komen for the Cure Greater Cincinnati Race for the Cure (RFTC), this Affiliate has grown from a RFTC event with 2,700 participants making $170,000 in revenue to combined Race/Affiliate revenue of over $1.8 million.  Last year marked a landmark Race year for the Affiliate with the largest number of Race participants and volunteers in Affiliate history, at approximately 19,000 coupled with an increased Race revenue of approximately 10%.  For the first time in our Affiliate’s history, we were able to fund more than one million dollars in grants in 2012. None of this would have been possible without Peggy’s steadfast commitment to wiping out this devastating disease in loving memory of her friend.

Because of Peggy’s passion and dedication, the threat of breast cancer has become less ominous in the Greater Cincinnati area.  What was once her dream of giving every woman in our 21 county service area access to a no cost mammogram has now become a reality.  Her current vision of making medical treatment available to any woman facing this disease is also fast becoming a reality.  This year, our Affiliate has the funds to test a pilot treatment program that will next year be available to any person who qualifies.

Recently, the Affiliate also accomplished another of Peggy’s goals — funding the entire continuum of care.  For Peggy, it’s not  only important that more women have access to Komen’s life-saving funds, but that the funds are also used in ways that have a lasting impact on those who receive them, no matter where they are in their fight against breast cancer.

            And maybe it is because Peggy is a breast cancer survivor herself that every person who comes in contact with her feels her genuine care and concern.  It was actually after Peggy was already the Executive Director of the Greater Cincinnati Affiliate that she was diagnosed.  And because she has been on the receiving end of this horrible news, her sincere compassion ripples through our community touching every person who needs it.

There is not a single person in Greater Cincinnati who has had more of an individual impact in the war against breast cancer than Peggy Isenogle.  Every day, Peggy is in the trenches, saving lives and giving those battling this disease the weapons they need to fight back.  No, she is not alone in this work. But she is, without question, leading the charge.

week seven… working to save lives

Madonna Vinicombe loves her job, but she admits that she hopes someday the work of Susan G. Komen for the Cure will put her out of work.

Madonna Vinicombe, Program Manager for the Mobile Mammography Program at St. Elizabeth Healthcare, oversees two mobile mammography units that provide community-based mammograms to women all over the tri-state. These vans and their committed staff travel all over the area, including the most remote areas of Greater Cincinnati offering both insurance-billed and “no-cost” mammograms to women in the most convenient location possible- where they live and work. The services and locations that Madonna sets up are the entry point of breast health services for women in the area. This first step in the breast health continuum of care provides women with the peace of mind and much needed answers about their health. Many women that may not have the financial means or encounter transportation barriers are able to access breast health services as a result of the mobile mammography units coming to their area.

Madonna states, “Komen Greater Cincinnati allows me to truly make a difference and that is why I got into the nursing field in the first place.” “The work that we are doing is able to make an impact in someone’s life”, expressed Madonna. Madonna grasps that as a result of its fundraising Komen Greater Cincinnati has two goals: (1) provide services and fight for tri-state women and their families in need of breast health services and (2) fund significant advances in research to find a Cure for this disease.

Without the commitment of Madonna and the multiple partners, grantees, corporate sponsors, and fundraisers, Komen Greater Cincinnati would not have been able to make the impact that it has made in the tri-state area for the past 15 years. And with that continued commitment of the entire community, Madonna hopes we will see a day very soon when there is a cure for breast cancer.  She says she will not complain one bit about not having a job!

week six… the one who does it all

November 4th, 2012- a day to celebrate a 10-year survivor, my sister, Jeannie.  But rewind 10 years,  November 4th ,2002- a day we would like to forget.  The words, “you have cancer,” were unbelievable and devastating.  But to my 30-year old sister, it was the day she stepped up to the plate, ready for the fight of her life.  She had been diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer and had a long road ahead. Thinking back on her journey, she would agree, there was a large down side; lumpectomy, chemo, radiation, hair loss, nausea, dozens of doctor appointments, and a hysterectomy.  But all this is overshadowed by the life lessons and good that have come since that day.  She learned to take small steps to get to a goal, especially in fighting breast cancer.  She learned to surround herself with positive people and positive stories. She learned not to sweat the small stuff.  She has met so many new people along her journey;  some that have given her courage to keep fighting and some that she has been able to inspire with hope.  She has never questioned “why?”, but instead, “what can I do to help.”  She learned what her true strength is, the meaning of faith and the power of hope.  Her favorite quote, “what lies behind us and before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”

Jeannie’s daughter at the Race for the Cure

During my sister’s battle, she organized her first Race for the Cure team, one that rallied family, friends, doctors and nurses alike, to join together in celebrating her journey.  This year will be her tenth year for a team.  The day touches our hearts just the same as the very first race we attended.  We are so proud to be in the presence of such strong women and men who have won the battle, and just as aware of the strength of those we have lost to the disease.   For this is why my sister continues to join Komen in finding a cure.  She too has lost a dear friend and made her a promise that she would continue the fight.

Jeannie and friends at the 2009 Race for the Cure

This diagnosis certainly was not my sister’s plan for her life at the age of 30, but today could not imagine her life without THIS plan.  She believes this has made her the person she is today and defined her mission in life. She strives to make a difference in the lives of those touched by breast cancer and hopes one day to prevent any others from the battle.   She reaches out to any newly diagnosed women to answer questions, listen, and cheer them on.  Jeannie has been able support and encourage our three aunts that have been diagnosed since her journey. She also helps Komen Cincinnati in any way possible.  She organizes survivor gift bags each year for the Race for the Cure along with family and friends, she volunteers for many Komen events to raise breast cancer awareness, and has appeared on news programs promoting self-detection and yearly exams.  She believes strongly in their cause.  She has even inspired her daughter, Hope, who has had a lemonade stand raising money for the Race, remembering each dollar is another step closer to finding a cure.
So this November 4th we will celebrate the life of one of the strongest people I know, my sister Jeannie.  We will place ten pink flamingos in her front yard, one for each year of survival.  This is an annual family ritual that reminds my sister to smile because she is a SURVIVOR.   The flamingo represents grace and beauty,   both of which she has displayed on her journey.  She encourages others to celebrate their “day” with something that inspires them as well.  We look forward to herding a flock.

Jeannie’s flamingos!

week five… famous faces go above and beyond

Frank Marzullo and Tracey Johnson celebrating the one year partnership between FOX19 and Komen Greater Cincinnati.

You recognize their faces.  Tracey Johnson and Frank Marzullo bring you the information you need to know and the weather to plan your day every morning.  But maybe there is something about this duo you don’t know — their commitment to the war on breast cancer.

As a Pink Tie Guy, Frank proudly wears his Komen pink tie on the air and to events in the community.  But Frank goes beyond that, he helps spread awareness about the devastating disease of breast cancer.  He raises money to help us battle this disease.  On the 19th of every month, Frank and Tracey spend an entire hour during their “Think Pink” bringing you important stories about the local war on breast cancer, from ways you can join in the fight to important advances in research and local programs available to breast cancer survivors.  Last year, when thousands gathered in a scorching August day to make a huge human pink ribbon in the parking lot of Kings Island, Frank braved the heat to keep everybody upbeat on the microphone.  We are honored that Franks gives generously of his time and talent to help spread the important message about Susan G. Komen Greater Cincinnati and our local impact on the war on breast cancer.


Tracey Johnson will apologize when she tears up on the air.  It happens from time to time when she talks to survivors about their personal battle with breast cancer.  But we think Tracey’s honest reaction shows her huge heart and great empathy to those battling this disease.  Each month, Tracey goes far beyond the call of duty to plan the information she and Frank deliver during their “Think Pink” segments.  This year, Tracey emceed Komen’s Power of the Promise event, receiving the “Promise of One Award” for giving so selflessly of her talent and spirit to our mission of ending breast cancer forever.  We are honored that Tracey is the newest member of the Komen Greater Cincinnati Board of Directors.

Tracey at this years Power of the Promise accepting the Promise of One Award.

The dynamic duo of Frank and Tracey, along with the entire on-air and behind-the-scenes crew at FOX19, are an amazing example of how a team can come together and make a huge impact.  Look for them September 29th at the Race where they’ll bring live coverage of Cincinnati’s number one fundraising event, the Race for the Cure, into homes across the Tri-State and welcome all of our survivors and friends and family to the finish line.  We are incredibly honored to have their team on our team!

week four… man with a passion

When the Komen Greater Cincinnati Affiliate needs help, there is one man who we can always  call in to get the job done. Bill Teater has a passion for showing support to the women in our community. It started with a Bridal Show but Bill’s connection to the affiliate has become so much more.

Here is his story, as told by his daughter Stephanie:

Stephanie Teater and her dad Bill. At this year’s Power of the Promise Awards night. This is one of the many events that would not be the same without Bill.

Eight years ago, my dad started a bridal show and partnered with the Susan G. Komen Foundation in order to bring more visibility to the show.  I am sure my dad had no idea how that decision would impact him in the future. Dad also thought it would be great if actual survivors could model in the fashion show.  Komen was quick to help set this up.  The thought was that young women in the audience would see that this is not just a disease that attacks older women.  He wanted to encourage young women to be proactive about early detection and awareness by seeing younger survivors on stage. The dramatic part was that nobody would know that many of the models were survivors until the end of the show.  He was hoping this decision would have a bigger impact on the viewers. Komen would also have a booth at the event to talk to young women and encourage them to be proactive regarding their health in this area. The first year was a success, and a bond was formed for my dad with the organization.

The impact was significant to my father.  That first year of the show, while
being stressful from a production standpoint, was extremely emotional for
dad.  He would constantly talk about the great battles that many of the
models had fought. These young women inspired my dad with
their courageous stories of survivorship, their strength, and hope for a
future without breast cancer.  He was in awe of these unbelievable ladies
going through such horrific battles and showing such a resilient spirit.
As the first show was finishing, he vowed he wanted to do more; He
wanted to be more involved.  He wanted to help more in the fight.  He
didn’t want to see anyone lose the battle.  Dad got more connected becoming
a sponsor at Race for The Cure, and trying to help out where ever he

One of the beautiful survivors at the Bridal Show!

The one thing Dad feared most since starting this show has occurred three different times; Three of the survivor models lost their battle with this terrible disease.  Each time it happened, I have seen my father get more committed to helping so that others can win the battle and imagine a world without breast cancer!  Each year since 2005, the bridal show has been able to increase it’s donation to Susan G. Komen, and knowing how my dad works I know that will continue to happen each year.  Great Day Producions may be the company he owns, but his passion is helping in the fight against breast cancer!