Karen Edmondson, executive director of the Susan G. Komen Foundation’s Chattanooga Region, addressed the Kiwanis Club of Dalton this week. From left: Kiwanis President Scott Allen, cancer survivor Lynn Hutchison, Ms. Edmondson, cancer survivor Joan Teems, and Komen Mission Director Anita Stewart.
Research made possible by the Susan G. Komen Foundation helps to fight all types of cancer. Karen Edmondson, executive director of the group’s southeast Tennessee and northwest Georgia office, told members of the Kiwanis Club Monday that her organization is the largest contributor to cancer research outside of the government.
Komen’s largest emphasis over the years has been on breast cancer. The best known fundraiser for the group is the annual “Komen Race For The Cure.”
The race is the second largest event in Chattanooga behind the annual Riverbend Festival. It will be held this year on Sept. 29.
The Chattanooga office covers 10 counties in Tennessee and six in Georgia. Ms. Edmondson said there will be 5,000 new cases of breast cancer in Tennessee this year and 6,900 in Georgia.
The Kiwanians were told that Whitfield and Murray County have higher than average cases of stage three and stage four breast cancer with a survival rate of about 23 percent. She said survival rates for stage one and stage two breast cancer is 98 percent.
“Most women know to have a yearly mammogram,” Ms. Edmondson said. “A lot of people don’t know where to go or how to pay for it if they have no insurance or if they are under insured.”
“Seventy-five percent of money raised by Komen goes back into the community for treatment, screening, and education,” said Ms. Edmondson. “Twenty-five percent goes to research, including $3.9 million for the Chattanooga region since 2000.”