Feature of Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Q&A with Komen’s Ciarra McEachin

The following is an interview with Ciarra McEachin, State Executive Director for Susan G. Komen in Georgia,

Q: What is your role at the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation?

A: I serve as the Executive Director of State for Susan G. Komen in Georgia and have been with the organization for just over 2 years. I am originally from Maryland and moved to Georgia 5 years ago. In my current role, I am responsible for community development and leadership throughout the state to support and develop the Komen community.

The foundation was founded in 1982 with the mission of eradicating breast cancer as a deadly disease by advancing research, education, screening and treatment. How could the foundation’s sense of urgency to fulfill its mission have remained unwavering for decades?

After nearly four decades of working to increase early detection and improve treatments, breast cancer death rates have fallen by 41% since 1989. Yet despite all of our progress, more than 44,000 people in the United States are expected. die from this disease in 2021. This means that about every 12 minutes, a person in the United States is expected to die from this terrible disease. At Susan G. Komen, we remain committed to discovering breakthroughs for the most aggressive and deadly breast cancers, while ensuring that everyone living with breast cancer today can get the care they need. need.

Q: How do issues like COVID-19 impact the mission, if any, and what has the foundation’s response been?

A: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, breast cancer screenings and treatments have been significantly disrupted in the United States over the past year, creating additional challenges and barriers for the health of women who are emerging. will be felt in the years to come.

The progress we have made in saving lives is threatened without the support of all to stay focused on early detection and support those who face the disease today.

Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, we help people find resources and overcome financial barriers to care. The demand for our breast care helpline has increased by 35% and the demand for our financial assistance has more than doubled.

Q: What is the Komen Georgia MORE THAN PINK 2021 walk and why is it important?

A: The Susan G. Komen MORE THAN PINK Georgia Walk is the organization’s signature fundraising event. It will be held in person again after taking place virtually last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The annual fundraising event will take place in Atlanta at Lenox Square on Saturday, October 9.

The local event brings together a community of hope and compassion to raise funds to save lives from breast cancer. Funds raised support Komen’s advocacy, investment in research and support for people facing breast cancer today, ensuring that everyone can get the care they need to live.

The MORE THAN PINK Walk is an outdoor event with a short opening ceremony and spacing options as needed.

Expect some changes to ensure we are able to protect the health and safety of our participants, including those who are currently or have recently undergone breast cancer treatment. While masks or proof of vaccination are not required, we recommend that, out of respect for the most vulnerable members of our community, those who are not vaccinated wear masks and social distancing as much as possible.

While only 20 of the 50 Komen Race and Walk fundraising events will be in person in 2021 – selected based on local conditions and to offer in-person options in every region of the country – everyone has the opportunity to participate and participate. ‘make an impact through one of our many virtual events this year.

While waiting for the health conditions, Komen intends to host all of its Race and Walk series events in person in 2022, although the means to participate in the program and connect with the community from your own home or neighborhood. will remain for those who prefer this option.

Q: How can people register to participate in the Pink Thank You Walk?

A: Those interested in joining can visit www. komen.org/georgiawalk to learn more, register, and start fundraising.

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