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Posts tagged ‘komen’

Pink Ink: Jenn’s Ironwork Cross

September 30th, 2013

Lisa Dawson

Jenn's ironwork cross

Breast cancer runs in Jenn Nudelman’s family, and she’s been helping raise awareness by taking part in 3-Day walks and Race for the Cure events for years. She received her own breast cancer diagnosis in May 2011, and was unexpectedly laid off from her tax accountant job in the middle of her treatment. Determined not to let the diagnosis and loss weigh her down, she thought of ways she could take advantage of the time off:

“Little did I know that once the initial shock wore off (which took a little while), this would be one of the greatest blessings in my life. Once I didn’t have the burden of working a gazillion hours, I decided to do some things I’ve wanted to do for some time, but couldn’t do while working a crazy tax accountant’s schedule. I wanted to ACTIVELY volunteer for Komen, give back to the community served by St. James Cathedral and foster a rescue dog.”

If you’ve been to a Komen Puget Sound event in the past couple of years, chances are you’ve crossed paths with Jenn. Her willingness to help wherever needed, share her story and advocate for breast cancer programs and services is greatly appreciated by the Affiliate, who recognized her in May with their 2013 New Volunteer Award.

As the co-founder of Seattle Shar Pei rescue organization Aleks’ Angels, Jenn helps foster neglected and abused pets and helps them find permanent homes (she’s adopted a few of her own along the way). Her work with St. Vincent de Paul has broadened her understanding of need in our community, and strengthened her appreciation for how much she has, even when she was unemployed (she started a new job this summer).

scroll cross and pink ribbon tattoo

Jenn previously had seven pink ribbons tattooed on her lower leg, each signifying a 3-Day walk. Earlier this year, as a part of the Get Ink for the Cure event at Dzul Ink Lounge, she had tied them all together with an elaborate scroll-work cross. I saw it right after it was finished and it was gorgeous. Fully healed, the detail is simply stunning.

I ran into Jenn several times at the Seattle 3-Day walk and she was rocking her awesome tattoo and doing some awesome fundraising, too:  She personally raised over $5000 for breast cancer research!

One 3-Day Leads to Another…

September 29th, 2013

Lisa Dawson

3-Day walker

Last weekend I volunteered at the Seattle 3-Day walk as a member the Route Safety crew (here’s a terrific event summary).

2013 Seattle 3-Day Route Safety

Route Safety is responsible for, well, keeping the walkers safe on the route. The crew is made up of two dozen bicyclists and motorcyclists who head out with the first walker each morning, and stay on the route until the last walkers make their way into camp at the end of the day. It makes for a long day (I’m not even going to mention the HILLS) but it’s a lot of fun and you couldn’t ask for a better group to work with.


This was my third time volunteering (I’ve walked twice) and once again I was completely affected by the love, grace, friendship and courage of everyone I encountered:

  • I talked to a young mother whose cancer has spread to her brain, and watched as her friends – The Faithful Fighters – pushed her wheelchair 60 miles to make sure she could finish her 3-Day
  • I met a woman with late-stage, metastatic cancer who flew from Arizona to Seattle to walk with her sister and spend precious time with her family
  • I saw my friend Tracy, in between chemo treatments and surrounded by the formidable Team Tracy, celebrate raising more than $100k to fight this disease

I should have seen it coming.

The 3-Day is a life-changing experience no matter how many times you participate. I think I had forgotten how much I love this event, how it sneaks into your system and compels you to do something to fight this awful disease. I decided I needed to walk.

I registered for the San Diego 3-Day in November.

I’ll need some help: I’m going to be walking every weekend for the next six weeks and would love some company. And I will need to meet the $2300 fundraising minimum, so anything you can do to help there will be greatly appreciated. This will be my third time walking – I’ve done this before and I know, with your help, I can do it again!

Help me reach my goal for the Susan G. Komen Seattle 3-Day

p.s. 15 people graciously agreed to share their tattoos on the blog – photos coming soon!

“Get Ink for the Cure” at Dzul Ink Lounge

January 31st, 2013

Lisa Dawson

Dzul Ink Lounge

Dzul Ink Lounge has been a fixture in White Center for many years, but brothers Jacob and Alejandro (Alex) Dzul found they were spending more and more of their time in downtown Seattle. So they started looking, found a great space on 3rd & Lenora in Belltown, and officially opened their new shop in December.

As part of their grand opening, they decided to honor their friend Marvin’s mom, Anita, by donating 25% of the proceeds from cancer tribute tattoos to the Komen Puget Sound Affiliate. Get Ink for the Cure runs through the end of February, and includes any tattoo that commemorates a fight against cancer or remembers a loved one.

The studio is also hosting a “Honoring Survivors” party on February 23rd from 6-8pm. It’s open to the public (yours truly will be there) and promises to be a good time with some great door prizes.

Dzul Ink Lounge

I stopped by to check out the studio and had a chance to talk to Alex about their plans for the new location. I was a little surprised at how light and airy the shop is. Clean lines, high ceilings and a mural by Jacob as the backdrop to several open tattoo stations in the front (private rooms are in the back). Local art hangs on the walls – the shop will feature a new exhibit every few months.

Alex and Jacob are well known for their portraiture and black and white work, but have been doing more and more colorful, custom designs in recent years. Other services include piercing and airbrushing for people who want less permanent body art.

I know some of you have been thinking about getting a tribute tattoo (you know who you are), so I encourage you to talk to the guys at Dzul Ink Lounge. Be sure to let me know if you end up getting something done – I’d love to feature you on the blog!

Get Ink for the Cure

Komen for the Cure: 6 Months After the Planned Parenthood Storm

July 31st, 2012

Lisa Dawson

It’s been six months since the news broke about Susan G. Komen for the Cure’s changes to its grants policy, resulting in a loss of funding eligibility for Planned Parenthood. Three days later, after a public relations maelstrom and outrage from many of its affiliates, the organization reversed its decision.

Impacts to individual Komen affiliates since then has varied greatly, with the Puget Sound Affiliate hit especially hard. The annual gala auction on March 3rd raised more than expected, but June’s Race for the Cure came in $700K below goal. As the Affiliate’s largest fundraiser, this shortfall will most certainly reduce the availability of free mammograms and patient assistance funds for women in Western Washington.

Earlier  this month I had the opportunity to meet Komen President Elizabeth Thompson, who shared her perspective on the conversations leading up to the Planned Parenthood announcement. As with any polarizing news story, it can be challenging to ensure the accuracy of information shared in the media.

Liz didn’t offer excuses.

Rather, she accepted responsibility for the mistakes of the organization’s leadership, fully acknowledged the gravity of the situation, and spoke to the lessons Komen continues to learn from this crisis. She believes the foundation has a responsibility to continue to tell the breast cancer story, but in “a better and different way.”

Liz also talked about some significant changes being made at the national level:

  • A strategic communications firm has been retained to help with immediate and long-term communication plans, something that was painfully missing during the days following the announcements. Efforts will also be made to increase transparency into the organization’s decision making process.
  • Komen’s Board of Directors has traditionally held one of its nine positions for an affiliate representative. This is being increased to two positions.
  • Among other leadership changes, the organization has hired a new General Counsel and is in the process of hiring a Chief Operating Officer.
  • Seven Regional Vice President positions have been created to serve “as a two-way communications conduit between Headquarters and Affiliates, ensuring Affiliates stay informed of and aligned with Headquarters initiatives, and that Affiliate perspectives and needs are heard and responded to at Headquarters.”

Komen is currently focused on addressing ongoing impacts to local communities, where the anger and disenchantment of supporters is having a direct, negative effect on fundraising efforts. Here in the Puget Sound region, the decrease in funds will result in fewer breast health services for underserved women. With the year’s remaining major fundraising events scheduled for October, the Puget Sound Affiliate has its work cut out.

This has been a challenging time for everyone involved with Komen, but I stand firm in my commitment to the organization’s efforts.

How about you? Six months later, how do you feel?

Pink Ink: Julie’s Celtic Knot

July 24th, 2012

Lisa Dawson

Julie's Celtic Knot

I met Julie and her mom, Marylucia, at the Komen Puget Sound Grace Notes auction in March. Both of them are breast cancer survivors. Julie’s cousin Titus McKnight is a tattoo artist in St. Paul, MN. He designed this beautiful tattoo beautifully incorporating a pink ribbon into the Celtic knot.

I love how her dress was cut as if it were made to honor the tattoo! Thank you, Julie  for supporting Komen during a challenging time, and thank you for letting me share your pink ink.

Julie's Celtic Knot
Julie's Celtic Knot
Julie's Celtic KnotJulie's Celtic Knot


The 2012 Grace Notes gala raised more than $825K for breast health programs in the Puget Sound region.

Pink Ink: A Ribbon & Cross Tattoo for Mom

June 5th, 2012

Lisa Dawson

pink ribbon and cross tattoo

Sunday’s Race for the Cure was overcast, but warm enough for a few people to go sleeveless. I spotted Richie and his friends after the finish line and asked if I could snap a photo of his pink ribbon tattoo.

Richie raced in memory of his mom, Trudy, and his grandmother, Gertie. His family lost Trudy to breast cancer in 1996.

Like so many others at the Seattle Center on Sunday morning, their Race was less about Komen and more of a time to pay tribute to loved ones.

Richie, if you see this, thank you for letting me share your story.

8,500 people participated in Sunday’s Komen Puget Sound Race for the Cure, raising over $1.1 million for breast health programs in Western Washington.

Race for the Cure: More than Komen, It’s Our Community

May 30th, 2012

Lisa Dawson

2001 Seattle Race for the Cure

I signed up for my first Seattle Race for the Cure in 1996 and was so moved by the experience I began a relationship with the Komen Puget Sound Affiliate that has spanned more than 15 years.

At that first race, the only breast cancer survivor I knew was my grandmother. Since then, my mother and her older sister have been diagnosed and successfully treated. Odds are one of my sisters, cousins or I will be faced with a breast cancer diagnosis in the future.

Komen has always been there for my family, providing us with valuable information, helping us understand diagnoses, treatment options, risk factors, genetics and so much more. I know dozens of women and families who also benefited from Komen support and services as they faced a breast cancer diagnosis. Thousands of women in Western Washington are alive today due in part to the good work of the Puget Sound Affiliate.

Back in February, when the controversy around Komen National’s funding of Planned Parenthood grants became public, I wrote about my concern that critical local programs would no longer be funded due to the backlash.

This concern has become reality. Read more

Occupy Komen? Unclear Objectives for Gala Protest

March 2nd, 2012

Lisa Dawson

Anyone who’s followed the Komen and Planned Parenthood-related SLOG posts knows The Stranger hasn’t been a big fan of the organization, at one point calling for readers to picket the Komen Puget Sound Affiliate‘s gala auction on March 3.

So when a link to today’s post “Occupy Seattle to Protest Breast Cancer Fundraiser Tomorrow” appeared in my inbox I was prepared for a revived call for protesters. Instead, I found a counterpoint to the Women of Occupy Seattle’s objective:

Here’s the problem: Protesting the event won’t take money away from the GOP-humping slimeballs at Komen national; what it does is hurt low-income women in the Puget Sound area—the very women these protesters are hoping to support.


Many people don’t realize our state’s Breast Cervical & Colon Health Program (BCCHP) is heavily funded by Komen Puget Sound. The money raised at last year’s auction helped fund $2 million in local grants, including more than $1 million to the BCCHP so they can provide breast cancer screening to more uninsured women in our state. The Affiliate also directly funds screening grants for other organizations like the South Puget Intertribal Planning Agency and the YWCA. The Puget Sound Affiliate of Komen isn’t perfect, but they do have a long track record of stretching every penny raised to fund successful breast health programs in our state.

To Ms. Madrid’s point, Komen dropped the ball on communications when news of Planned Parenthood’s grant eligibility broke. I’m glad she finally had the opportunity to get the local affiliate’s perspective. I wonder if the Women of OS tried to do the same?

Pink Ink at the San Diego 3-Day

February 19th, 2012

Lisa Dawson

pink ribbon angel tattoo

The 3-Day walk is great for spotting pink ink, and participants are always willing to sharing the story behind their tattoos. San Diego 2010 was wet, very wet, but there were some sunny periods where the rain gear came off and the shorts and tank tops provided a peek at some lovely pink ribbon tattoos.

I know I’m a little late… I was sorting through some photos and realized I never uploaded them. Let me know if you spot yours!

pink ribbon angel tattoo

In memory of her mom


Classic pink ribbon


Tattoo shop fundraiser!


Running ribbon with a flower for each friend.


Classic pink ribbon for mom.


Pink sneakers. Pink ribbon.

pink ribbon believe arm

She got this at a tattoo shop fundraiser

pink ribbon angel tattoopink ribbon believe arm


Planned Parenthood Urges Komen Support – What Are You Going to Do?

February 5th, 2012

Lisa Dawson

Seattle Times, February 5, 2012

“Women need all of us working together”

Planned Parenthood of the Greater Northwest ran a full-page ad in the Seattle Times today, urging its supporters to support their continued partnership with the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

I’ve talked to a lot people over the past few days, many of them long-time Komen supporters. We’re grappling with the same questions: How do I feel about the Komen/Planned Parenthood/political debacle? Should I continue supporting them? How will my decision affect the women served by Komen-funded programs in my community?

Komen isn’t the only organization I give time or money to. Over the years I’ve supported a number of local causes, almost always because I have a personal connection to their mission: SAMA Foundation because I’ve seen how teen drug addiction rips apart a family, March of Dimes because both my children were born prematurely, National MS Society, Powerful Schools, the list goes on.

But few have resonated with me in the way the Puget Sound Affiliate of Komen has. I believe in their mission. I’ve seen the results of the work they do, the support they’ve provided my family, friends and colleagues. And contrary to some opinions, they are one of the financially leanest organizations I know.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m very frustrated at the way grant policy changes were decided, implemented and communicated. But I’ve spent the past 15 years working with the Affiliate and I don’t see myself walking away because of this. I am, however, thinking of ways I can support them locally without supporting Komen national.

To all you past Komen supporters, how are you feeling?