TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) - For Kit Curran, the answer to the question "Why Komen?" is simple: It's a matter of life and death.
Susan G. Komen of Northwest Ohio not only funded the mammogram detecting her breast cancer. But she's found support, love, and community throughout her cancer journey, including the annual Race for the Cure.
"It wasn't until I got there that very first time and I saw hundreds, if not thousands of people. And I knew, I was aware that the people wearing the pink T-shirts were survivors, too. Then all of a sudden, I didn't feel alone anymore," said Kit Curran, a breast cancer survivor.
At the time of her diagnosis, this wife and mom of three didn't have enough insurance. Kit received one of nearly 11,000 mammograms Komen has sponsored since 2009.
Radiation oncologist Shaneli Fernando works closely with patients like Kit. She became involved as a Komen board member after hearing countless stories of people who don't get treatment because they don't have insurance or enough coverage.
"$460,000 were awarded to community gr ants to support the wonderful work of multiple organizations throughout the northwest Ohio region," said
Dr. Shaneli Fernando.
Since 1994, Komen of Northwest of Ohio has raised $14 million dollars. The organization has donated 25 percent, or $3 million, to national research to find a cure for breast cancer.
Of that $14 million, 75 percent has stayed in our area, with the money going to services like screening and diagnosis through mammograms, treatment including surgery, chemotherapy and radiation, as well as help with rent or utilities for breast cancer patients.
If Komen gr ants save lives through treatment, the emotional support programs are as vital for patients and their families, says Julie Grasson. Her organization, Hospital Council of Northwest Ohio, has received Komen community gr ants for 7 years.
"You can't focus on your health if you're thinking, how is my rent going to be paid. My electricity is going to be shut off in a week. Without having those stressors present, people can truly focus on their treatment and getting better themselves," said Julie Grasson.
"The love, caring, and kindness that goes out. The support for one another is real and it's strong," said Kit.
On Sunday, she will walk in Toledo's Race for the Cure in Toledo with her support network Team Curran. This year she's celebrating her 36th wedding anniversary.