Thank You to Our Volunteers!

By: Suzanne Stone, executive director

On a rainy, muggy Sunday in September you all did something incredible.

You handed out t-shirts, waters, bananas. Cheered on survivors, hung banners and helped people take pictures of their groups. You blew up balloons, petted baby animals, took out trash – all because you believe in the same cause. Because you know that sometimes, PINK isn’t always as pretty as it sounds. Sometimes it takes getting your hands dirty, rolling up your sleeves and hugging a total stranger.

On Sunday you saved lives.  There’s really no doubt about it. However small or big your responsibility may have been, you were a VERY important part of raising $235,896. And we are just getting started! Fundraising is just beginning and we have until November 15th to raise another $360,000 to make sure each and every woman in our 5 county area has access to the breast health services she needs.

Thank you for all you have done.

For all you continue to do and your commitment to Komen Austin.

 With you, we are MORE THAN PINK!

Continue the fundraising. You have until November 15th.

Suzanne Stone

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Do Men Get Breast Cancer? One Man’s Story…

By: Jamie Reaser

The morning of November 5, 2014, my surgeon gave me the news that I had breast cancer. BREAST CANCER! How could I have breast cancer? I’m a 65 year old male. I can’t have breast cancer. I’m a man with breast cancer? This just can’t be.

Back in early May of 2014, I found a lump underneath my left nipple. After a mammogram, the diagnosis was a non-cancerous mass. It was just pea-sized. Probably just a cyst.

In October, I started to notice that my nipple had flattened and the lump had gotten larger so I went back to the doctor. The visit progressed from a mammography to a biopsy. The results didn’t come back for a week.

I didn’t hear hardly anything after the surgeon said those terrifying four words: “You have breast cancer.”

Once I was outside of the clinic and in my car, the tears started flowing. I called Glenn (my partner) and told him the bad news. Just hearing him say “we will get through this” helped to calm me. Glenn was truly my rock. My wonderful coworkers greeted me with lots of hugs when I went into work that day.

At my first appointment with my oncologist, I was given the choice between two methods of treatment. I could have surgery first and then chemo, or the chemo first to shrink the tumor. I decided to go with the chemo first. But before that, I had surgery to implant a port to make it easier to administer the chemo and the many, many blood draws.

I was very lucky to have minimal adverse reactions to the first round of chemo. The 1st round consisted of 4 treatments 3 weeks apart. Once that was done I was to have 12 more treatments a week apart. I only lasted through 2 treatments in the 2nd part. I already suffered from neuropathy in my feet due to 25 years as a diabetic and the new rounds of chemo exasperated it so I decided to stop it.

I wouldn’t have made it through all of this if it were not for my partner of 40 years, Glenn, and all of my coworkers in the accounting department at Riata Ford.

The surgery on May 29, 2015 went smoothly and Dr. Brown was able to remove all of the cancer and I am “cancer free”.

Breast Cancer Among Men

About one percent of all breast cancer cases in the U.S. occur in men. Since men have breast tissue, they can get breast cancer. The warning signs for breast cancer in men are the same that women get. Change in the size or shape of the breast, lump thickening in the breast, chest or underarm area, or dimpling, puckering or redness of the skin of the breast. Treatment for breast cancer in men is similar to treatment for women: surgery, chemotherapy or radiation. Survival is highest when breast cancer is found early. If you notice any of the warning signs or other changes in your breast, chest or nipple, see a doctor right away.

The Importance of Men’s Health

By: Paul Carrozza

Men’s Health. What does it mean anyway?  I have been an athlete and runner my entire life.  Does that make me healthy? Well, that’s not the only measurement of good health. I have been working on my health my entire life. I take vitamins, eat organic foods, stay away from processed foods, and avoid fried foods.  As I have aged, my food choices have continued to change.  I eat less sugar, less dairy, less red meat, less white meat. With these changes, I feel better and better. So, I do more than just run for fun and exercise.

Being healthy is being without disease… Disease is just that…Dis… Ease…  Annual Check-ups can eliminate or identify the “diseases” that need to be addressed. If you are clear of no disease, and little else is bothering you, are you still healthy?

On the surface, I say if you are at your ideal body weight, have normal bone density, normal blood pressure, no depression, good cholesterol levels, good muscle mass, no tightness, and are in good enough condition to to out and enjoy the recreational activities you love, then you are probably pretty healthy.

What keeps us from being healthy or in optimum health? It’s the modern lifestyle we live!  No physical activity, minimal time in the sun, minimal time in nature, minimal sweating, passive transportation, too many processed foods, weak and tight muscles, we’re overweight, deconditioned from heat, sun and strenuous activity.  So what’s the outcome of this modern, unhealthy lifestyle?  Disease.  Or, Dis…Ease.

Other things that contribute to your Dis…Ease are low testosterone levels, low self-esteem or just not feeling great about yourself. Being stuck in a rut – the same old thing every day, and you aren’t sure how to get out of it.  Believe it or not, exercise isn’t the answer for everyone.

The answer to good health is finding things that you are passionate doing and preparing for them. The annual climb to a fourteener in Colorado, hiking the Grand Canyon, running a marathon, doing a triathlon, playing in a recreation sports league, or finding a professional coach or trainer to assist you with your passion.  Or, maybe join a team of others who share your passion, and head out on the journey of a lifetime to optimum health.

So, discover the one thing that you would love to do. The one thing you can be passionate about and get yourself out and DO IT! One way to discover what you like to do is to remember what you did with your free time when you were five, seven or ten years old. Maybe those years bring back activities you enjoyed.

My advice for good men’s health is to live life through motion and in the great outdoors. When you find your weekend passion, your days and weeks will have purpose and you will find a path to good health that fits your own passion and lifestyle.

The most common sign of breast cancer in men is a painless lump or thickening in the breast or chest area.  This Father’s Day, talk to the men in your lives about the importance of taking care of their health.

paul carrozza

Paul Carrozza

Paul Carrozza, an Austin running specialist, has coached thousands of runners, non-profit organizations and entrepreneurs over the years. He is most proud of RunTex, being a place where people could come together to achieve their goals.

Paul is committed to developing superior programs and events that contribute to the economic growth in the community and help increase the quality of life in the greater Austin area. The Austin Running Community is a testament to Paul’s passion for providing access for healthy living to the entire community.

Paul is co-founder of the Marathon Kids Program, which successfully helps over 500,000 children per year learn the joy of running. He served two terms on the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports during the George W. Bush Administration, is the Co-Chair for the Governor’s Advisory Council on Physical Activity, the Co-Founder and former Chair of the Austin Mayor’s Fitness Council, served on the EMS Board, Texas Medical Board District Review Committee, and he is the founder of Shoes For Austin.

Paul is the Cross Country and Track Coach at St. Stephen’s School and the Interim Executive Director of Boneshaker Project.  He coaches small groups from middle school to mature adults who want to have their mind, body and spirit prepared for a full active, purposeful life.