Community ambassador Janet Long is encouraging her community and others to take action against breast cancer by supporting the virtual More Than Pink Walk this Sunday, Aug. 23 sponsored by Susan G. Komen Oregon and Southwest Washington.
The fundraiser supports breast cancer prevention and treatment, including Komen’s outreach to the African American community with its “Worship in Pink” gatherings and events.
For Long, church has become not just a place of worship and community, it’s a place to take action to educate, empower and inspire women and men to take control of their breast health.
Worship in Pink is a unique program for congregations of all faiths and community organizations in the Portland metro area to provide the information needed in order to increase the number of women receiving mammograms.
“Any action, big or small can make a difference in someone’s life,” Long said. “I have been a [Worship in Pink] ambassador since the beginning; we share information about breast health, [encourage attendees] to speak up when it comes to their body, and [educate them on] the importance of getting a yearly mammogram.”
A couple of years ago, for example, Long said a church member who had been attending one of the Worship in Pink events decided to have her annual mammogram, which allowed doctors to detect her cancer early and provide treatment. She is now cancer free.
Taking action is one pillar of four that make up the entirety of Komen’s work, the others being research, community and care.
Komen’s focus on advocating for more research funding and critical patient protections, educating health care providers, policymakers, opinion leaders and the public about the burden of breast cancer, and empowering patients and the public with fact-based information and guidance, is aimed at giving patients control of their breast health.
The upcoming More Than Pink Walk is Komen Oregon and SW Washington’s largest fundraising event of the year. Though participants can’t gather in person this year because of the social distancing requirements of the coronavirus pandemic, the dollars raised through this event are what pay for Komen’s important programs like Worship in Pink.
“I have participated in the Walk [aka Race for the Cure] since 2002, [when I] began walking with my daughter and friends in remembrance of the First Lady of our church, who lost her battle with breast cancer; we later signed up as a team from our church,” Long said. “The walk not only raises money for research [services, and programs], but it builds relationships, supports survivors, encourages those still battling breast cancer, and [honors] those warriors who lost their battle.”
Right now, Komen Oregon and SW Washington stands ready to help those affected by breast cancer with educational programs, screening, gas, food, and lodging, but the organization has experienced a significant decrease in donations since the beginning of the pandemic.
By joining the More Than Pink Walk on Aug. 23, you’re taking action and helping to keep Komen’s doors open, so they can provide programs and services to people who desperately need them in Oregon and SW Washington, officials said. Register today at KomenOregon.org.
If your church is interested in participating in Komen's Worship in Pink program and you'd like more information, visit komenoregon.org/worship-in-pink/ or contact Kathy Kendrix, Worship in Pink program planner, at WorshipinPink@komenoregon.org or at 503-735-1475.