The Susan G. Komen Foundation aims to save lives and end breast cancer forever by empowering people, ensuring quality care for all and energizing science to find the cures.
Melanie Brzozowski, an Event Design Consultant here at Chef’s Expressions, was recently highlighted in The Baltimore Business Journal and The Daily Record for her involvement with the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Melanie is the prime example of how our team takes pride in their commitment to continually supporting their community.
We recently had the opportunity to sit down with Melanie to discuss how her involvement with the foundation came about.
What compelled you to get involved with the Susan G. Komen Foundation Board?
I joined the Board to have a bigger voice in the fight to find the cures for Breast Cancer. There is not one type of Breast Cancer so therefore, their will not be one cure, that is why at Komen we say we are trying to find the cures. On the Komen Board, I can have input as to where funds go for research, testing and treatment.
Why is your involvement on the Susan G. Komen Board important to you?
This is a very personal story but I don’t mind sharing. Breast Cancer and Cancer in general need to be discussed more *before* things happen. No one deserves to get cancer and prevention is a key piece of the puzzle. I lost my mom suddenly six years ago to a rare thyroid cancer. She was only 58 and my rock. Her thyroid cancer is linked to a genetic condition called Cowden’s Syndrome that also causes breast cancer. Most likely she had this as well as my grandmother and great grandmother. I was diagnosed with Cowden’s Syndrome in October of 2011. I was already dealing with hypothyroidism but when I was told that I would need to have mammograms twice a year or a preventative double mastectomy my heart sank. I was 34. I didn’t accept this for almost a year and my hypothyroidism really got out of control. I finally went and had my first mammogram this past fall. While I was there I was surrounded by people of all walks of life, of all ages – some fighting this horrible disease already and I realized I am not alone. At that point, I took control of my health and have a great team of Doctors that keep me on track. My geneticist, endocrinologist, gynecologist and personal physician are all Mercy doctors and are amazing! Right now I am feeling better than ever. Not only does this affect me right now but what worries me more is that this could one day affect my sister, my daughter or my nieces…..we need to find these cures sooner than later!
What was your involvement with fundraising before joining the Susan G. Komen board?
Prior to Komen I volunteered with the Tyanna O’Brien Foundation chairing the Food & Beverage Committee for Baltimore Breast Fest for 4 years. I loved working with that group as well.
How can people get involved and help support breast cancer research?
One of the biggest ways to get involved is to join the Race for the Cure. Not just running the race but becoming a fundraiser and raising money along the way. There are two races in Maryland each year. The Ocean City race is in its second year and just happened. The Hunt Valley race is on October 20th, 2013. I will be putting together a team so if anyone is interested please feel free to contact me.
To learn more about how you can get involved with The Susan G. Komen Foundation and ways to help support breast cancer awareness visit: www.komenmd.org