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Iconic Event Raises More Than $2 Million and Counting
For Breast Health Services, Education and Research


COSTA MESA, Calif., Sept. 24, 2012 – Pink roses were held in solidarity today during an emotional Survivor Tribute ceremony at the 21st Annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure® in Newport Beach, Calif. More than 18,000 attendees made an appearance at Fashion Island to run and walk two 5Ks and a One-Mile Fun Run in support of the fight against breast cancer. For more than two decades, the largest Race for the Cure in California has been the marquee event during a year of inspiring fundraising initiatives sponsored by the Orange County Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure.


Event organizers expect to meet the $3 million fundraising goal. Preliminary totals for the 2012 Race for the Cure currently stand at $2 million. Fundraising for the Race for the Cure will continue through Oct. 31, the deadline for participants to turn in donations.


“We are so impressed to see supporters from all over Orange County and the world come out to support the fight to end breast cancer,” said Lisa Wolter, executive director of the Orange County affiliate. “Seventy five percent of the funds raised will go directly back into our community to provide breast health services, education, mammograms and other financial and medical breast health support to those who are uninsured and underinsured.”


The first 5K kicked off with a new runner’s start time of 7:15 a.m. for running enthusiasts. Run/walk participants had the option to join the first 5K at 7:30 a.m., the second 5K at 9:45 a.m. or partake in a One-Mile Fun Run at 8:00 a.m. The hallmark moment of the event was the Survivor Tribute ceremony, which started with a parade of more than 1,000 survivors making their way up the steps of the Pacific Life building at 8:45 a.m. This year, four incredible women in Orange County, who are either fighting or have fought the battle with breast cancer, spoke during the ceremony.

Betty de la Torre, 42, of Tustin is currently in treatment for breast cancer. She has completed six rounds of chemotherapy, a bilateral mastectomy and reconstructive surgery and has seven weeks of radiation ahead of her. De la Torre found out she had the disease as she was balancing a full-time job, a son and taking care of her sick mother. De la Torre has been a supporter of the Komen Orange County Race for the Cure for 12 years and now Komen Orange County is helping support de la Torre through her treatment.

Georganna Hall of Huntington Beach was diagnosed with Stage II breast cancer in 2011 at the age of 38 and is currently in treatment. Hall found out she had the disease through a Komen Orange County funded biopsy after being turned away from two other doctors for her young age. She is a single mother with one daughter. Susan G. Komen Orange County has given financial and emotional support to Hall who says Komen saved her life. Hall is scheduled to be out of treatment on October 30 and will marry her fiancé two months later on December 29, 2012.

Sheri Howells was diagnosed with Stage III Triple Negative breast cancer in March 2010. As a single mother of two children, one with special needs, she didn’t know how she was going to survive with no money and no family nearby. With support from Susan G. Komen for the Cure and local grantee Breast Cancer Solutions, Howells was able to pay rent, her insurance premiums and ensure her family had food. After five months of chemotherapy, Howells was once again devastated when her insurance company refused to pay for further treatment. Breast Cancer Solutions found doctors who generously provided Howells with a bilateral mastectomy, reconstruction and radiation. Howells is now in her second year of survivorship and thankful for the support from Komen Orange County and Breast Cancer Solutions.

Jacque Ruddy of Huntington Beach was diagnosed on her youngest son’s birthday, July 12, 2011. As a 47-year-old single mother of three boys and a girl, Ruddy had recently started pursuing a higher education. Three weeks into her first semester, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Ruddy’s treatment included four rounds of chemotherapy and a mastectomy.  Komen Orange County directed her path for financial resources and provided her with wigs and other hair coverings. Ruddy is now a mentor and supporter for other women newly diagnosed with breast cancer.

Marie La Fargue is President of The La Fargue Group, where she consults for various hospitals and other health care organizations throughout California. In 2012, Komen Orange County awarded La Fargue Most Inspirational Breast Cancer Survivor. As a three-time breast cancer survivor, La Fargue has a renewed perspective on her past health care challenges and considers her career as more of a calling. She is committed to ensuring that patients’ needs are met and that each person is treated individually and holistically. She believes that patients play a key role in the healing process.


Also present at the Race for the Cure this year was Mark Goldstein, a 79-year-old breast cancer survivor from New Jersey who is an official Komen Race for the Cure ambassador. He participated in his 222nd Race for the Cure after 24 years of survivorship.


The 21st Annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure by the numbers:

  • The Race featured 18,505 registered participants in preliminary totals.
  • Of the registered participants, more than 1,200 were breast cancer survivors and the rest enthusiastic supporters, many of whom were racing for a loved one affected by breast cancer.
  • There were more than 800 teams, the largest being USPS with 850 team members.
  • More than 1,300 volunteers from Orange County and all over the world helped at booths, water stations and on the course to ensure all facets of the Race went smoothly.


Carla Cammack of Fountain Valley was the top individual fundraiser, having raised $16,475 to-date for this year’s Race. Cammack is celebrating her fifteenth year of breast cancer survivorship.

The top fundraising team was Team PIMCO, whose team fundraising total is currently at $67,010.


Miguel Gurrola of Santa Ana won the 7:15 runner’s start 5K, with a time of 16:31; Mr. Fuentes of Santa Ana won the 9:45 5K with a time of 18:47. Top finishers of the breast cancer survivors were Maha Al Khayat of Lake Forest for the 7:15 runner’s start 5K with a time of 22:04; and Francesca Polleta for the 9:45 5K with a time of 29:17.


“It is so inspiring to see the many thousands of people come together each year on race day to fight against breast cancer and celebrate those who we lost to this horrible disease,” said Marie Cammack, event chair of the 2012 Race for the Cure. “We would like to extend sincere thanks to all of our corporate sponsors, enthusiastic teams and individuals for helping make this Race for the Cure a success each and every year.”


The annual Komen Orange County Race for the Cure kicks off Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which begins in October, and fundraising for Komen Orange County Race will continue through Oct. 31. All donations are appreciated and will be accepted at, or by mail to Komen Orange County Affiliate, 3191-A Airport Loop Drive, Costa Mesa, CA, 92626. The Komen Orange County Affiliate encourages further community involvement through volunteering, donations, and participating in the Passionately Pink for the Cure initiative to get communities involved in the fight against breast cancer.


Seventy-five percent of the funds raised are invested in local breast cancer awareness and education programs, breast self-examination classes, medical and diagnostic services for uninsured and underinsured women, and other unmet community needs through grants to community breast health organizations.  The remaining 25 percent is dedicated to the Komen Award and Research Grant Program to fund groundbreaking breast cancer research.


Local Presenting Sponsors included The Allergan Foundation, Chevron, The Orange County Register, Ralphs and Food 4 Less. Platinum Sponsors were ABC7, Churm Media, Pacific Life, Yard House and SOCO. Gold Sponsors were ADP, Cox Communications, PBS SoCal, Spa Gregorie’s, The PIMCO Foundation and The Sound 100.3.


There are more than 2.9 million breast cancer survivors in the world today, the largest number of survivors in history. This year, one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer, along with many more already battling the disease. The Komen Orange County Affiliate is at the forefront of ensuring that life-saving breast health initiatives are accessible to all women in the community, regardless of their age or background.


For more information about the Komen Orange County Affiliate, call 714-957-9157 or visit


About Susan G. Komen for the Cure®

Nancy G. Brinker promised her dying sister, Susan G. Komen, she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer forever. In 1982, that promise became Susan G. Komen for the Cure and launched the global breast cancer movement. Today, Komen for the Cure is the world’s largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists fighting to save lives, empower people, ensure quality care for all and energize science to find the cures. Thanks to events like the Komen Race for the Cure®, we have invested nearly $1.9 billion to fulfill our promise, becoming the largest source of nonprofit funds dedicated to the fight against breast cancer in the world. For more information about Susan G. Komen for the Cure, breast health or breast cancer, visit or call 1-877 GO KOMEN.


For more information on the Orange County Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, please visit or call 714-957-9157.

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