The Komen North Louisiana Affiliate has grown since it started its first Race in 1994, and today we serve a 22 parish area. We have invested more than 5 million dollars into local programs to provide breast health education, screening mammograms for women who don’t have health insurance and support services for women who are diagnosed. We do that through our community and small grants program. We grant the money to local non-profits to provide these services. We call it our mission. Two years ago we put our mission in motion by working together with our grantees and other partners on a project we call our Pink Ribbon Pop Up. We go to the targeted rural parts of our territory that we have found are still underserved and still struggling with access to care. Together we are showing these communities that Komen North Louisiana belongs to them. Money raised here, stays here. When we host our Race for the Cure, money comes back to places like Arcadia and Springhill. Our grantees and other partner organizations are great when they work independently, but on Pop Up days, this collaboration is waking up communities and small towns for women to take action by getting screened for breast cancer.
Statistics show that one in eight women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. Louisiana has the second highest mortality rate of breast cancer in the country. Chances are everyone knows someone touched by breast cancer. A lot of people like to only think about breast cancer in October. At Komen North Louisiana, we think about it all year long. We help people all year long, and I’m fortunate to work with the organizations and the people we help.
We hope that the community will join us by registering for our September 30th Race for the Cure. It’s easy to register; go to the komennorthlouisiana.org website, and then join us at CenturyLink Center in Bossier City. This year we plan to “Give Breast Cancer the Boot” with a Louisiana country theme! The Arthur Ray Teague Parkway will be a sea of pink and filled with pink ribbons. Together we will show the community we are “more than pink”.
Written by: Kelley Matkins