California org has goal of reducing breast cancer deaths by 50 percent in next decade

FRESNO, Calif. - The Race for the Cure. The premier fund-raising event for what's been know for years as Susan G. Komen Central Valley. A non-profit providing funds for research, education and screening-- to help women find breast cancer early so they can beat it.

Thousands of dollars have been raised to serve the Fresno County Area. And fund-raising expectations are even higher in the years to come now that Komen Central Valley is now Susan G. Komen Northern and Central California.

It's a change that merges the Central Valley affiliate with the Sacramento affiliate and adds several more counties into the reach. In fact, 29 of California's 58 counties.

"When we underwent the merger we adopted the counties that are in pink. So we talking Kings, Tulare, Inyo/Mono, Madera, Mariposa, Merced," said Sharon Johnson of Komen Northern & Central California.

Johnson, of Fresno, is now the Director of Mission and Grants for the expanded affiliate. She says it's an exciting change that will save more lives. Impacting more rural areas where women are often diagnosed with breast cancer at a very late stage

"They need to be educated, but the formula that we have and the reason why I am director of mission and grants is because we want to be able to do same day education and mammography screening events," Johnson said.

Komen Central Valley funded twice a year screening events for uninsured or medically under-served women. Johnson says the merger will allow the affiliate to hold more of these events in more areas in the valley.

Komen has a big bold goal in the next decade we want to reduce breast cancer deaths by 50 percent.

It's a bold goal that will take a lot of work and a lot of support. And now with Komen's reach including much more of the central valley and the state, more funds can be raised to make that goal a reality.

The Central Valley Race for the Cure event will continue as always in Fresno. It's set for Sunday, Oct. 1 at Chuckchansi Park.

Komen is hoping with more of the valley involved, turnout will be bigger and better than ever.

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