Money raised at Komen Race stays in Hawaii, provides crucial grants

By Paula Akana
Published On: Oct 18 2012 09:18:00 AM HST

Komen Race for the Cure helps hundreds with transportation, mammograms and more.

HONOLULU -

The Susan G. Komen race for the cure takes place this Sunday at Kapiolani Park. It's more than just a walk and run to honor and celebrate our loved ones, but also a chance to make a real difference in someone's life.

The Komen Race for the Cure raises money, and in Hawaii that money stays right here in Hawaii.

Last year the Susan G  Komen Foundation  was able to give out $360,000 in grants to 15 Hawaii organizations. Organizations like the Waikiki Health Center.


Komen has provided grants to the Health center for 10 years, helping the center with its mission of providing medical care to anyone who needs it

"These funds allow us to get women in to get mammograms for screening and for diagnosis," says Sheila Beckham, CEO of the Waikiki Health Center. "It's unbelievable."


Dr. Ahoora Payam of the Waikiki Health Center remembers one patient in particular. He met her on his second day as a practicing physician while working with the Health Centers Care Van, which travels around the island providing medical care to the homeless.

A 48-year-old woman came in after finding a lump in her breast.   At first, Dr. Payam was stumped.

" When I was in residency it was easy to make an order for a mammogram for whatever tests are needed to be done," said Dr. Payam. "It was kind of difficult at this point, she was in a very very different situation because I was trying to figure out 'well she doesn't have any insurance. She doesn't have any money. How are we going to be able to get the testing and provide the care that she needs?'"


But then he learned about the Susan G Komen funding that was available.

"They were able to catch that, " added Dr. Payam. "She got a resection, they took out the cancer. She recovered very well."

So as you take that first step at Sunday's race, remember the people who will be helped:

"We're looking at over 350 women that receive general help each year," said Beckharm. "Not only with getting the mammograms, but with the transportation to the appointments, with education about screening and being able to do breast self-exams."

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