Thursday, December 2, 2010

Focused on a Cure: 1st annual Survivior Christmas Portrait

On Saturday November 20th, Focused on Cure survivors gathered for our 1st annual Survivor Christmas Portrait.

Karen had the wonderful idea of gathering our survivors together for an annual Christmas portrait. This is a great way to reflect on the year gone by and celebrate another year as a breast cancer survivor.

The laughter at this session was contagious. It is amazing how all survivors can relate to one another and come together as friends due to a common cause.

13 survivors gathered in downtown Kannapolis behind the Gem theater for this fun location session. Linda Vaughn was gracious enough to bring her Pink Rambler and let us utilize the car for some very fun images.

Never a dull moment with Karen and her crew, we did have to drag out umbrellas and other objects to retrieve Misty’s phone that was dropped down a gutter, but with the fantastic efforts of Megan, it was retrieved.

All of our survivors wore Pink Santa hats and various shades of pink attire. They were photographed around the Pink Rambler as well as on the stairwell.
Below are some of our favorite images from the session:


Thelma and Louise!

We are so excited to make this an annual tradition. We look forward to our 2011 Christmas portrait with new survivors and old friends!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Focused on a Cure: Pumpkin Portraits Fundraiser

On Friday October 29th, we kicked off our 2011 fundraising with Pumpkin portraits. For a $20 donation, the participants received a 5x7 portrait.

Twenty three families came out to support our Pumpkin portrait fundraiser. We had a hula girl, Buzz Lightyear, a pirate, a lion and even a strawberry. We had a traditional pumpkin set with pumpkins and hay bells. Our second set was a darker set with a white door, a lamp and an old chair.

Everyone who gave a donation was entered in to win a $150 IP gift card. Amy Eury was our lucky winner. Amy supported Focused on a Cure with her two boxers Emma Grace and Bentley.


We raised a total of $800 for Focused on a Cure! We want to extend a huge Thank You to everyone who came out and supported our first fundraiser of 2011. We are very excited for 2011. Focused on a Cure is thrilled about our upcoming events and our fundraising efforts to find a cure in 2011. $800 is just the start. Stay tuned to and Facebook for our upcoming events.

For more information on Focused on a Cure please visit, or become our fan on Facebook at

Friday, November 5, 2010

Focused on a Cure: Hope Lodge

It’s the time of year when we reflect on all the things we are thankful for. At the American Cancer Society, we’re thankful for Relay For Life participants like you who help us save lives and fight back against cancer!

Did you know your Relay efforts help cancer patients get well? Hope Lodge is one of many free American Cancer Society programs. Located near treatment centers, they provide a home away from home for patients and families going through cancer treatment.

Air Force veteran Bill Gregory was diagnosed with cancer in 2006, and discovered he needed Hope Lodge. “Doctors told me I could stay at the Hope Lodge for free while I was being treated, which was just miraculous since I had no money to pay for a hotel room,” Bill said. “I was kind of waffling on my desire to live through it when I found out about Hope Lodge. It removed a big excuse I had for giving up.” Bill is cancer-free today, but he still makes regular visits to Hope Lodge to help and encourage guests.

Hope Lodges supported by your Relay For Life provided more than 34,000 free lodging nights to people like Bill last year.

Thank you for saving lives and keep fighting back!

SOURCE: American Cancer Society

Friday, October 29, 2010

Focused on a Cure: Breast Cancer Myths and Truths

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month:
Do you know the truth about breast cancer?

Myths and Truths about Breast Cancer and Mammograms

MYTH: No one in my family has ever had breast cancer, so I don’t really need to be concerned.

TRUTH: Your risk is greater if a close relative has had breast cancer – but as many as 80 percent of breast cancers are diagnosed in women who do not have a family history of the disease.

MYTH: If I’m going to get breast cancer, there’s nothing I can do about it.

TRUTH: Yes, there are things you can do. While we still don’t how to prevent breast cancer, we do know that early detection can improve a woman’s chances of beating this disease. A mammogram can find a tumor much earlier than you or your doctor can feel it. When breast cancer is found early, while it is small and before it has spread, the chance of successful treatment is highest. Early detection also means that a woman’s chances for saving her breast are better because doctors may be able to remove the tumor and only a small area of nearby tissue. You can also take steps to reduce your risk of the disease, including maintaining a healthy weight, eating well, getting plenty of exercise, and limiting alcohol intake.

MYTH: These tests cost a lot, and I can’t afford a mammogram.

TRUTH: Medicare, Medicaid, and almost all insurance companies cover mammograms. Some low-cost mammogram programs are also available. These are often promoted during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, every October. Some doctors, hospitals, or clinics may also lower their fees for women who cannot afford the usual charge. Also, the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program provides free or low-cost screening and follow-up treatment for low-income, uninsured, and underinsured women, with a high priority on reaching racial and ethnic minority women. Contact the American Cancer Society at 1-800-227-2345 to learn more about special low-cost programs in your community.

MYTH: Since mammograms are x-rays, the radiation could be dangerous.

TRUTH: In the past 20 years, both the equipment and how mammograms are done have greatly improved. Today, the level of radiation is very low and does not significantly raise a woman's risk of breast cancer.

MYTH: I heard mammograms hurt and can be embarrassing.

TRUTH: When you get a mammogram, you stand beside the machine and a specially trained technologist helps place your breast on a metal plate. A second plate made of plastic is placed on top, and for a few seconds, the top plate is pushed down and flattens the breast to get a good, clear picture. The technologist usually takes two pictures of each breast. Many women may feel some discomfort, but it is for a very short time. To reduce discomfort, try to avoid scheduling your mammogram during the week before or during your period, when your breasts are most tender. Tell the technologist if you have any pain.

MYTH: If I get a mammogram, I’m going to find breast cancer.

TRUTH: Only two to four mammograms out of every 1,000 will lead to a cancer diagnosis. Only about 10 percent of women need more tests. If a suspicious area is found, your doctor will order more tests. Another mammogram may be done, focusing more pictures on the area of concern. The doctor may also use a thin needle to remove fluid or a small amount of tissue from the suspicious area. This test is called a biopsy and it is the only way to know for sure whether or not the changes are caused by cancer. A specialist called a pathologist looks at the sample under a microscope. But even if you are told you need a biopsy, remember that more than 80 percent of lumps or suspicious areas will not be cancer.

MYTH: I’ve lived this long without getting breast cancer. Why should I bother with a mammogram?

TRUTH: Your risk of developing breast cancer increases as you get older. More than two out of every three breast cancers diagnosed each year occur in women older than 55. Even if you've been through menopause, you still need a mammogram.

SOURCE: American Cancer Society  

For more information on how you can help create a world with less breast cancer and more birthdays, please call the American Cancer Society at 1-800-227-2345 or visit can also join your local Relay For Life at .

Focused on a Cure will be participating in the 2011 Cabarrus County Relay for Life.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Focused on a Cure: Logan's PINK OUT

Last night Karen and the girls from the studio had a girl’s night out at Logan’s Steakhouse in Kannapolis, celebrating Logan’s Steakhouse PINK OUT. Our friend and 2010 Focused on a Cure survivor Jen Powell hosted the event.

The Focused on a Cure exhibit was displayed on the Logan’s fireplace upon entrance to the restaurant. All of Logan’s wait staff was wearing pink t-shirts to support Breast Cancer awareness. 10% of all sales at Logan’s yesterday were donated to the American Cancer Society in honor of Breast Cancer awareness month.

Along with the 10% sales donation, Logan’s also had a car wash on Saturday October 23rd and a bake sale throughout the weekend. Volunteers gave out Breast Cancer information sheets and bracelets engraved with messages of strength and hope.

Eighteen Logan’s Steakhouses in North Carolina Participated in the PINK OUT program, as of last night Logan’s had raise $120,000 in support of Breast Cancer. Totals were still coming in from last night’s event as well as t-shirt and merchandise sales.

Congratulations to Jen Powell and the entire Logan’s Franchise for supporting such a wonderful cause.

Focused on a Cure: Northwest Cabarrus Middle School

Friday, October 22nd, we attended the Northwest Cabarrus Middle School Walk for Breast Cancer. Jane Jacobs, an 8th grade teacher at Northwest Cabarrus Middle School organized the event. Jane is also one of our 2008 Focused on a Cure Survivors.

Students paid $5 to get out of class for the afternoon and walk the track in honor of Breast Cancer. There were activities on the track, such as face painting and crafts. A Pink Cadillac was on the track for students to have their portraits taken around. Students had in memory of signs pinned to their shirts in honor of family members lost to Breast Cancer. Student wore all forms and fashions of pink. Pink sparkly sunglasses, pink soccer socks, one student had a homemade t-shirt from mom!

Mrs. Jacob’s class made their own t-shirt in support of the event. Our Focused on a Cure display was on the track for students to read and admire. Several students stopped to read the metals. One student stopped to tell us that her mom, aunt and grandmother all suffered with breast cancer. She had a pink cast with a pink ribbon to honor the event.

The Walk for Breast Cancer has already raised $4,000 with some sales still coming in.

Congratulations to Mrs. Jacobs and the students of Northwest Cabarrus Middle School for all of their efforts to raise Breast Cancer Awareness. Way to Go Guys!

To view more images from this event please visit

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Focused on a Cure: Pink Pearls

Last Night we attended the Pink Pearls event held at Concord Vintage Motor Company. The 2010 Focused on a Cure Exhibit was displayed right when everyone walked in the door. People were enjoying the exhibit when entering the event.

Special guest Molly Grantham from WBTV News was the guest MC for the event. Molly has personally been touched by breast cancer in her family. Her mother is a breast cancer survivor, her grandmother was a breast cancer survivor and her great grandmother passed away with breast cancer. Molly did a wonderful job hosting this event.

Models strutted on the runway in fashions by Brooks Brothers, Cache, Coldwater Creek, Doncaster, Kids CO-OP, and Neta’s.

This year’s event was the 30th anniversary of the Healing Threads Fashion show. Neta’s has been supplying clothes for all 30 years of the fashion show. This year was extra special because Neta herself modeled in the show. It was also the first time in Neta’s life that she had ever worn pants. Neta is a typical southern bell wearing dresses all her life!

There were two special models in the show to Focused on a Cure. Sabrena Thomas and Lou Hamilton were both models this year. Both ladies are both breast cancer survivors and part of Cabarrus Health Alliances Sisters in Partnership.

Over the thirty years of the Pink Pearls Fashion show Northeast Foundation has raised over 5.75 million dollars contributed to Breast Cancer awareness and research. This year’s event through sponsorship, donations and ticket sales raised $65,500.

We would like to thank Northeast Foundation for their support of Focused on a Cure as well as say thank you to them for all they do for Breast Cancer awareness.

Way to Go Guys!!

To learn more about Northeast Foundation please visit their website at

Friday, October 15, 2010

Focused on a Cure: Fox News Rising

We always love to announce news from our survivors. Jennifer Powell one of our 2010 Survivors was on the 8am morning show Fox News Rising today. Jennifer was showcased telling her story of survival as well as to announce her Breast Cancer Awareness Event at Logan’s Steakhouse in Kannapolis on Monday Oct. 25th. Her event is called PINK OUT day at Logan's. They are having a car wash, bake sale and 10% of all sales will go to the American Cancer Society.

Congratulations to Jenn for promoting Breast Cancer Awareness as well as for being a Survivor.

Way to Go Jenn!!

Focused on a Cure: Northeast Foundation

Everyone loves to get a Thank You for what they are doing. Northeast Foundation has been very supportive of Focused on a Cure from the inception of our organization. They also have part of our Survivor story exhibit displayed in their waiting room.

Today we received a card from them:

Dear Karen and Renda,

The staff of Northeast Foundation and I want to take this opportunity to again say, "Thank You" for all you are doing to promote Breast Health Awareness and to support and assist those who have and are fighting this disease. The beautiful portraits along with the stories of hope that you are sharing, are such an inspiration! We appreciate all you contribute to our community!


Traci Haltom

Donor Coordinator

Thank you Traci for such a sweet note. We also appreciate the continued support from Northeast Foundation for Focused on a Cure.

Please also view our story in the Independent Tribune at:

Focused on a Cure: Are you at risk for breast cancer?

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Are you at risk for breast cancer?

Although we do not know how to prevent breast cancer, it is possible to reduce your risk of developing the disease to help you stay well. Some risk factors such as age, race, family history of the disease, and reproductive history cannot be changed. However, lifestyle factors such as reducing alcohol use, engaging in regular physical activity, eating well, and staying at a healthy weight are all associated with lower risk.

Being a woman is the greatest risk factor for breast cancer; but men can develop breast cancer, too.

The risk of developing breast cancer increases with age. Two out of three women with invasive breast cancer are 55 or older when they are diagnosed.

Breast cancer risk is higher among women with a family history of the disease. Having a first-degree relative (mother, sister, or daughter) with breast cancer increases a woman’s risk. However, most women with breast cancer do not have a first-degree relative with the disease.

Additional risk factors include:
Taking postmenopausal hormone therapy (especially combined estrogen and progestin therapy)
Being overweight or obese, especially if weight is gained after menopause
Use of alcohol, especially two or more drinks daily
Physical inactivity
Long menstrual history
Never having children or having your first child after age 30
Previous chest radiation to treat a different cancer
Previous history of breast cancer

You can help create a world with less breast cancer and more birthdays. To learn more about breast cancer and how to reduce your risk, call your American Cancer Society at 1-800-227-2345 or visit You can also join your local Relay For Life at .

Source: American Cancer Society

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Focused on a Cure: Sisters in Partnership Meeting

Today Karen and I attended the Sisters in Partnership meeting at Cabarrus Health Alliance! For those of you who are unaware of what Cabarrus Health Alliance does, they are an organization that provides health care to those who cannot afford the type of health care necessary for their particular illness.

Sisters in Partnership is an African American organization that promotes Breast Cancer awareness as well as provides a group for ladies to attend, talk about their illness and give support to one another.

As a personal testimony, I can say from the bottom of my heart that these ladies touched me today. They made me want to work harder for Focused on a Cure to beat this illness that they have over come. Each survivor went around and gave personal testimonies and I wanted to share a few of those testimonies with you.

 I am Bertha Williams. I am 96 years old, praise the Lord above. I am a multiple cancer survivor. I have had both breast and kidney cancer as well as I now live with a rare form of blood cancer. When I went in and was told that I had breast cancer, I told the doctors that I did not want to go any further, I was ready to go home to my Lord. However God was not done with me. Doctors gave me three months to live and here it is 8 years later!! I prayed for strength which he gave to me. Everyone else prayed for my healing so he answered their prayers as well.

I am Mrs. Pearl Asbury. My daughter went with me to my oncology appointment when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I told the doctor then that I had a great granddaughter due that week and that I was refusing to go along with his plan because I wanted to feel good when I was there with the great grand baby. The baby was born and it was a joyful occasion. I went back to the oncologist after getting back from my trip to start his treatment. They ran all of their traditional test and found that I no longer had cancer. That was 6 years ago, and I have been cancer free ever since. Praise the Lord!!

Another lady spreads awareness by purchasing Avon Breast Cancer bracelets and giving them to people that she meets. She meet a lady at the bank who had on wrap. She went over to talk with her and tell her how beautiful she was. The lady said " Thank you I forgot my wig in the car", girl you look beautiful without it and gave her a bracelet.

There were 10 survivors in attendance at this meeting and each story was more touching than the last. These two stories that I shared were the two that stuck out the most. The only common theme of all of their stories was that they were thankful to God for leading them through. They knew that this diagnoses was just a stepping stone in their life that God had handed them to lead them to another journey. All of these ladies were meant to do great things and they have.

Cabarrus Health Alliance received a large grant this year from Focused on a Cure 501(c)(3) and this is why. They provide services to people like Mrs. Pearl and Mrs. Bertha. These ladies are what provide us with  stories of healing and inspiration.

I hope each of you receive as much of a blessing from these stories as Karen and I did today!!!

For more information on Cabarrus Health Alliance and Sisters in Partnership please visit their website at:

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Focused on a Cure: Ride for Cancer 2010

We received a sincere thank you card today from Tina Cull. She, as one of the Ladies of Harley, helped to organize the "Ride for Cancer" event at Pat Rogers Speedway Harley Davidson in Concord last weekend. The Ladies of Harley raised a total of $3,000 in one day! Way to go ladies.


Just a quick note to thank you and IP for your support and generosity! You helped our event be successful and fight this horrible disease. Thanks for all you do!

Tina Cull

Thanks for the sweet card, Tina! I enjoyed being a part of your event. I hope that next year I can be on a BIKE too! -Jessica

Tina's card was written on a stationary by Awareness Experts, Inc. 10% of the net proceeds are donated to breast cancer research! Every little thought counts!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Focused on a Cure: Carolina Breast Friends' October Events

As you know, Carolina Breast Friends received one of our grants last month. We're 100% behind their efforts and we hope to keep you posted on all their events and ideas!

CBF October Events and Announcements

Thanks to the generosity of many local businesses Carolina Breast Friends is pleased to announce the following breast cancer awareness month events. Mark your calendar now with these upcoming events:

All Month:

Brighton at South Park Mall will be selling beautiful silver ID bracelets with a pink ribbon charm. For every bracelet sold Brighton will donate $10 to CBF. CBF volunteers will be in the South Park store Saturday afternoons during October.

The Portable Pink House is still on the move. October locations will include Ballantyne Village, Charlotte Motor Speedway, Big Daddy's, and UNCC.

October 4-16:
Cottage Chic on East Boulevard will doante 5% of all sales to CBF and the Pink House for the first two weeks of October. The store is open Monday-Saturday from 9:30 to 5:30 and on Thursday's until 7:00. Call 704-375-1888 for more information.

October 5-10th:
Andrew Blair's restaurant is hosting CBF benefit week. Let your server or host know that you are there to support CBF and fill out a benefit week card and Andrew Blair's will donate a portion of your meal and beverage costs to CBF. Reservations are suggested and can be made by calling 704-525-8282. Gather up some friends for a fun night out for a good cause. More information at

October 14-16th:
CBF will be selling t-shirts, hats, koozies, magnets and more at Charlotte Motor Speedway during the NASCAR races. We need lots of volunteers for this event. If you are interested please email

October 23rd:
Apricot Lane Boutique in Birkdale will be hosing a Pink Party to benefit Carolina Breast Friends on October 23rd, 6:00 - 9:00 pm. For more details please visit

Pink House Update:

Pink House renovations officially began on September 28th. We will be posting pictures and updates on our web site soon.

October is filled with opportunities to be involved with CBF. Whether you choose to donate your time or join as at one of the events above we hope to see you in October!

Questions? Email

Join us on Facebook at!/group.php?gid=49080376026.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Focused on a Cure: National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Join the Fight to Save Lives and Create More Birthdays

A simple fact: When breast cancer is found early, the five-year survival rate is 98 percent. Isn’t this something that all women need to know?

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and a perfect time for you to join the movement to help fight breast cancer, save lives, and create a world with more birthdays.

Every day, the American Cancer Society saves lives by helping people stay well and get well, by finding cures, and by fighting back. Two-time breast cancer survivor Mary Martinez of Houston, Texas, is one of thousands of women who are champions of the Society’s efforts to help people stay well by taking steps to reduce their risk of breast cancer and getting appropriate screening tests to find it early, when it is most treatable.

“Early detection and prevention have been the lifesaving grace for me,” Mary says. “I recommend them to every single woman who crosses my path. There is no one who escapes my question: ‘When was your last mammogram?’”

Stay Well: This year, an estimated 192,370 women in the United States will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer. Excluding cancers of the skin, breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in women. The best way we have today to find it early is for women to get a mammogram every year starting at age 40 and continuing for as long as you are in good health. In addition, there are steps you can take to help you stay well and reduce your risk of breast cancer, such as maintaining a healthy weight, staying active, and limiting the amount of alcohol you drink to no more than one drink per day (no more than two drinks per day for men).

Get Well: If you or a loved one is facing breast cancer, the American Cancer Society is in your corner to help guide you through every step of the cancer experience, so you can focus on getting well. The Society offers access to free services to overcome daily challenges like transportation and lodging when treatment is far from home, and can provide one-on-one support from breast cancer survivors who have been there.

Find Cures: Breast cancer is one of the major research focus areas for the American Cancer Society. In fact, the Society spends more on breast cancer research than on any other type of cancer, and has been a part of nearly every major breast cancer research breakthrough in recent history.

Fight Back: It’s easy to fight back against breast cancer. Consider participating in one of the American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer® events nationwide, speaking out to increase funding for programs that allow all women to have access to mammograms and treatment, or simply reminding the women in your life to get regular mammograms.

October is a month to celebrate the strides we’ve made in the fight against breast cancer and to continue to work toward a world with less breast cancer and more birthdays. Countless Americans who have never had breast cancer and more than 2 million who are surviving the disease will celebrate a birthday this year, thanks to the American Cancer Society and its many supporters.

You can help create a world with less breast cancer and more birthdays. For more information, call your American Cancer Society at 1-800-227-2345 or visit You can also join your local Relay For Life at .

Source: American Cancer Society 1-800-227-2345

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Focused on a Cure: Exhibit Calendar

Sunday, October 3rd - Ride for Cancer (Pat Rogers Speedway Harley Davidson, 10049 Weddington Rd. Ext., Concord, NC 28027). The 2009 survivor exhibit will be displayed at this event.

Monday, October 4th through December - Cabarrus Family Medicine Concord office (270 Copperfield Blvd #102, Concord, NC 28025). The 2010 survivor exhibit will be hung in their office as they focus on breast cancer awareness!

Monday, October 18th and Tuesday, October 19th - Healing Threads Fashion Benefit (Vintage Motor Club, 325 McGill Ave NW, Concord, NC 28027) The 2010 survivor exhibit will be displayed at this event.

Monday, October 25th through Friday, October 29th - State Farm Insurance, Matt Woodford Agency. (3220-102 Prosperity Church Rd., Charlotte, NC 28269-8250) The 2009 survivor exhibit will be displayed at their office.

There will be more... Stay tuned.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Focused on a Cure: Thank You

We received this letter from the Cabarrus Health Alliance recently.

Dear Karen and Renda,

On behalf of the Cabarrrus Health Alliance, I would like to thank both of you and the Focused on a Cure Foundation, for awarding this grant to our cancer screening and outreach programs, from the Piggin' Out for Pink and other fundraiser held in 2010.

Sisters in Partnership has proven to be a powerful tool in the fight against breast cancer, because the basis of this program is networking for information, advice and support. This program received $X, which will be utilized for breast models, printed educational and promotional materials for outreach projects, and to promote outreach events and BCCCP clinics, all for the purpose of community education and support about breast cancer.

Mammograms received $X, which will be utilitzed for diagnostic procedures including screenings and mammograms for low-income, uninsured and underserved women, ages 40-64, which will result in early breast cancer detection and a more positive prognosis.

Under the direction of Program Coordinator, Virginia Hunter, both of these cancer outreach programs have seen great successes and tremendous growth in recent years. With the generous support of Focused on a Cure, Cabarrus Health Alliance will be able to reach out to the community and serve an even greater number of women in the coming year, with the hopes that this early detection, education, and follow-up care will save precious lives.

Cabarrus Health Alliance and the Cabarrus Health Alliance Board sincerely appreciate the wonderful work your foundation is doing to spread awarenss and to provide hope for so many. Your generosity is a tremendous encouragement to us.

Best regards,
Charles C. Phillips, Chairman
Cabarrus Health Alliance Board

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Focused on a Cure: Thank You

We received a letter from the CEO and President of Women of Hope today.

Dear Friends,

Words are just not quite adequate to express our sincere appreciaation of the grant that you shared with Women of Hope. We humbly accept this gift and promise that it will be used for the purpose for which it was approved.

Again, we thank you and look forward to sharing this time next year all wonderful opportunities that these funds made possible. If we can apply again next year, please let us know and if we can assist with the Piggin' Out for Pink event, we will be glad to do so.

Elizabeth and Kenny Barnes
Women of Hope
CEO and President

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Focused on a Cure: Thank You

Dear Renda,

I would like to thank you and all those involved for the very generous donation to Stanly Regional Medical Center. The money will definitely make a differenence for our patients. It is so scary to receive news of an abnormal mammogram and even worse when you do not have the money or insurance to go through the next step. I enjoyed meeting each of you and loved the pictures of all the survivors. Focused on a Cure is making a difference!

Thank you!
Chris Vaughn
Stanly Regional Medical Center

Monday, September 13, 2010

Focused on a Cure: 2010 Grants

Finally, we can tell you!! It's no longer a secret! Do you know how hard it has been to keep this a secret?!

We set our goal for 2010 at $15,000. That was a jump from 2009's $10,000 donation to CMC-NE's Breast Health Program. Needless to say, we were terrified we were shooting for an unreachable goal. But as the year progresses, we held fundraisers and the money began to pile up. By April, we had over $10,000 from the Pink at the Rink (hosted by Skateland USA) and IP's Cutest Kid Contest (which was a HUGE success by Irresistible Portraits and all the participants).

Then in July, we started to sell tickets for our 2nd annual Piggin' Out for Pink on August 6th. In the last few days before the event, the tickets sold like crazy! With over 200 people in attendance, we had a wonderful evening of awareness! Through a silent auction, live auction, basket raffles, ticket sales, t-shirt sales, and vendor donations, we accumulated enough money to surpass our goal to donate to the chosen organizations!!

We decided early in the year that we wanted to spread the money to numerous deserving organizations instead of giving a large sum to one, as we did in 2009. With the help of Kathy Waters and Sherry Carawan, both experienced with non-profits through Phillip-Morris, we established a grant committee. Requests for grant applications were sent to five different organizations and we received four in return requesting up to $20,000. The grant committee included Renda Welch, a survivor and sponsor; Terry Edwards, husband of one of our survivors, Diane Edwards; Karen Goforth, photographer/owner of Irresistible Portraits; Rhonda Lester, professional photographer from Archdale, NC; and Robbin Barringer, Clinical Coordinator at Cabarrus Family Medicine - Kannapolis. This was a variety of people that gave an unbiased decision to who deserved the money that we worked very hard to raise.

Each grant application was reveiwed by three different grant committee members anonymously. At a later date, the committee met to review each person's score for a particular application. The scores were very similar, which is a great sign! After looking at the numbers, then a general discussion took place between the committee members to decide whether they would give full funding requested or partial funding.

Everyone was confident in their opinion and the scores they had given. The committee agreed to donate a total of approximately $20,000 to the following well-deserved organizations:

Thank you to everyone who participated in any of our fundraisers, sponsored our Piggin' Out for Pink, donated raffle items for different events, bought t-shirts, etc. Every little bit counts and you're the reason we were able to surpass our goal of $15,000 and donate $20,000 for 2010! We appreciate your support and we hope to keep up the good work for next year!

To see more candids from our Grant Celebration on September 9th, visit our facebook fan page at

Focused on a Cure: Events in Our Community

There are 6 days left to purchase your tickets to the Pink Boots Ball.


Here's a sneak peek:

Gift Bags - Each guest will receive a gift bag stuffed with goodies including a coupon for $200 off of a botox package from Charlotte Plastic Surgery. CBF will receive a $200 donation for each coupon used.

Silent Auction Donors - Andrew Blair's, Bedside Manor, Cajun Canvas, Charles Grayson Day Spa, J Jones Jewelers, Johnson & Wales, Lions Jewelers, Massage Envy, Neiman Marcus, Olde Sycamore Golf Plantation, The Gifted Box, Tiffany, and many, many more.

Music - The Super Grit Cowboy Band featuring western swing, rock & roll, country and bluegrass. The band has released 5 albums and has seen 5 singles charted in Billboard Magazine's Top 100.

For more information & to purchase tickets online visit

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Focused on a Cure: Upcoming Events in Our Community

Here are a couple fundraising events we know you'll be interested in attending...

Pat Rogers Speedway Harley Davidson and Ladies of Harley present...
Ride for Cancer
When: Sunday, October 3rd
Registration begins at 10:30. Ride leaves at 12:00.
*The ride starts and ends at the dealership.*
Cost: $20/rider $10/passenger
Entertainment: DJ Todd & County Line
Proceeds to benefit: Hospice & Palliative Care of Cabarrus County (A subsidiary of Carolinas Medical Center-Northeast) and Relay for Life (American Cancer Society).
Celebrate! Remember! FIGHT BACK!!
For more info, call 704-699-1835 or
The Ladies of Harley are raffling a queen size Harley quilt. A raffle ticket is a $5 donation. We will have a few tickets for sale at IP (1418 South Main Street, Kannapolis, NC 28081) or you can contact Tina at to purchase a raffle ticket.

Landis Fire Department hosting...
2nd Survivors Run/Walk Race
(Rain or Shine!)
Help your local firefighters fight breast cancer and focus on the cure!
When: Saturday, October 9th
Location: Landis Pool
Registration begins: 7:30am
Runners & Walkers Race: 9am
Cost per runner/walker: $20 for adults/children under 12: $10
The day of the event: $30 for adults/children under 12: $20
The first 200 participants will receive a free visor. All participants will receive a t-shirt. Trophies will be given to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place over all. (Male and female) Cancer survivor participants will receive a special t-shirt. All participants under 12 will receive a medal.
There will also be a 50/50 drawing the day of the race. ($1 - 1 ticket; $3 - 5 tickets; $5 - 10 tickets)
For more information you can contact the Town of Landis at 704-857-2411 or email Jen at or Katie at

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Focused on a Cure: Goodsearch


92,000 Nonprofits and Schools On-Board

Los Angeles, August, 2010 - What if even a fraction of the billions of dollars generated by search engine advertisers was directed towards good causes? That is the concept behind, a Yahoo-powered Internet search engine that donates 50% of its revenue, approximately a penny per search, to the charities designated by its users.

GoodSearch, LLC, today announced that the United States Patent and Trademark Office issued the company US Patent 7,769,738. The patent protects proprietary technology pioneered by GoodSearch that enables users of an Internet search engine to designate a third party, such as a charity or school, to share in the revenue generated by search-related advertising.

You use GoodSearch exactly as you would any other search engine and the pennies add up quickly - just 500 people searching four times a day will earn around $7,300 in a year. It doesn't cost the users a thing!

More than 92,000 nonprofits and schools are now registered with GoodSearch and the site has quickly spread via word-of-mouth and the blogger community. Examples of organizations listed on the site include: The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation which has earned more than $14,000; the ASPCA which has raised more than $34,000; and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital which has earned more than $12,000.

"We know there are a lot of people who want to do good but may not have the time or the money to help out." said Ken Ramberg, Co-Founder of GoodSearch and former President of JOBTRAK, the largest online career site for college students (now a division of "GoodSearch's patented technology makes it as easy as possible. We've taken something people do every day -- search the Internet -- and have turned it into doing good."

"With so many companies entering the Internet technology space, those with robust intellectual property portfolios will likely be the ones most trusted by their partners and customers. The issuance of patent 7,769,738 will provide our 92,000 non-profit and school partners, and millions of users, a high level of confidence when utilizing GoodSearch's proprietary search engine to help support their favorite cause."
Focused on a Cure is a charity of Goodsearch! Click on the Goodsearch box to the right of the the blog post to get the Focused on a Cure toolbar. This way Goodsearch will notify you as you go to website of what percentage will be donated!
Your toolbar should look like this....

Focused on a Cure has raised $85.19 so far with Goodsearch!!! Imagine if we had more people searching with FOC's Goodsearch toolbar. The possibilities are endless!

Focused on a Cure: Relay for Life Wrap Up Celebration

Last Thursday, Renda attended Cabarrus County's Relay for Life Wrap Up Celebration. Any teams that received an award at the closing ceremony were given their certificates and we're proud to share our two with you!

We won Best Decorated Campsite.... thanks to the creative talent of Renda! Remember she doesn't do anything without doing it 110% and it was fabulous!

And... we won Best Decorated Luminaria... thanks to Lauren Parsons! Remember Jackson, IP's Cutest Kid; this is his mommy. The luminaria was in honor of Jack's grandmother - Brenda Parsons! Thanks for being a part of our team, Lauren and Jack!

We're looking forward to next year's Relay already!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Focused on a Cure: Piggin' Out for Pink [08.06.10]

WOW! We plan and stress for so long and then Piggin' Out for Pink flies by before we know it! This year's event was yet another success. The event was held at the Old Cannon Towel Store in Cannon Village (Kannapolis, NC). The building is property of the North Carolina Research Campus and was donated to our local non-profit. (THANK YOU TO NCRC for your generosity!!)

Chelish Moore worked her magic on this building! It went from being an empty retail space with blank walls to a beautiful venue dazzled with pinks. The tables were adorned with black accents, white flowers, pink candles, etc. Two bright white billowing drapes hung in the center of the venue dividing the tables, gathered with pink bows. Job well done, Chelish! We received so many compliments as people entered the doors.

We had a gorgeous old PINK car out front of the venue! Great photo op for our survivors! (Thank you to Linda for letting us show off your fabulous pink car!)

After our delicious dinner by Punchy's Diner, we asked two of our survivors to share their stories with everyone. The first to share was Donna Rowland. She attended last year's Piggin' Our for Pink just days after her mastectomy. She was inspired and this year, she is a part of our exhibit as a proud survivor.

The key to Donna's story is getting mammograms! She mentioned that she almost skipped last year's mammogram, which ended up being the one that they discovered the cancer through. And you're never too old for a mammogram! Since her diagnosis, her mother and aunt (both in their seventies) were diagnosed with breast cancer!

Emily Riera was the other survivor we asked to speak. To hear her story, you realize her mother is a HUGE part of her battle against breast cancer. Therefore, her mother (Mary Anne Freeman) joined her in sharing with us. Mary Anne is a survivor herself and is very active with the American Cancer Society, so to her that her daughter had breast cancer was devastating.

Mary Anne, Emily, and her twin sister used genetic testing to find that they all carry the BRCA-1 gene. They're doing all they can to fight for a cure so that their daughters and granddaughters don't have to go through this.

Read this essay by Mary Anne.

KA Studios volunteered their time and talent again this year to present a documentary film. We featured two different survivors and shared the film with all who attended.

It's one thing to read a survivor's story, but to hear it in their emotional voice, it is another.


This year, in addition to the silent auction, we had a live auction led by Alan Fisher (a relative of one of our survivors, Renda Welch). We had some great items to auction including:

  • "Reel Architecture," a painting donated by John Williams Jr, valued at $500

  • Opalescence Take Home Whitening System, donated by Renda Welch, DDS, valued at $400

  • Wines for Humanity In-Home Wine Tasting for 14 ppl, donated by Renee Habrack, valued at $400

  • Half Day Fishing Trip on Lake Norman, donated by Holbrooks, Valued at $250

  • $500 gift card to Irresistible Portraits, donated by Karen and Buddy Goforth, valued at $500

  • White and Pink Gold "Ribbon" pendant necklace, donated by Falls Jewelers, valued at $300

  • One Round of Golf for Four at Irish Creek, Donated by the Club at Irish Creek, valued at $300

  • Electric Guitar signed by all members of Rolling Stones, donated by Sports & More Auctions, valued at $1500

  • "Old Savannah" oil portrait by Melvin Clark, donated by Melvin Clark, valued at $350

  • 3 Day Carnival Cruise to Nassau, donated by Sports & More Auctions, valued at $350

  • 2 Night Trip to your choice of Vegas, LA, or FL, donated by Sports & More Auctions, valued at $250


We also raised money through raffle baskets that were donated! Check out all the fabulous baskets we had!

  • Anti-Stress Basket including $100 gift certificate, Biofreeze, Hydrate Body Lotion, Soft Scrub, and Anti-Stress Candle; donated by Kendall Kyanko, valued at $150

  • Vera Basket including a Vera Bradley diaper bag, three Vera print silk scarves, Vera Bradley t-shirt; donated by Robbin Barringer, valued at $100

  • Dinner Basket inclucing gift certificate to Townhouse II for 2 dinners, $25 gift card to Branchview Tavern, and two $10 gift certificates to DePompa's; donated by these restaurants, valued at $65

  • Solace Spa gift certificate for $75; donated by Solace Spa, valued at $75

  • Beauty Basket including 5 Tanning sessions and one haircut; donated by Mystic Sun, valued at $38

  • Party Basket including a gift certificate for a Sugar &Spice cake, party decorations; donated by Sugar & Spice, valued at $50

  •  Bridal Basket including a $100 gift certificate to Hope's Bridal Boutique, a bridal garter, "Grandmother" embroidered handkerchief, jewelry set; donated by Hope's Bridal, valued at $150

  • Frame Set including 3 5x5 custom hand painted frames; donated by Irresistible Portraits, valued at $150

  • Bow Wow Basket including a $60 gift certificate to South Ridge Veterinary Hospital, MilkBone Dog Toy, Dog Treats, Dog Napkins, and Dog Dish; donated by South Ridge Veterinary Hospital, valued at $70

  • Focused on a Cure Basket including t-shirt and beaded bracelets; donated by Focused on a Cure, valued at $25

  • Hair Care Basket including Kenra Gift Bag, Kenra Volume Spray, Kenra Root Lifting Spray, Gift Certificate for Shampoo, Cut, and Style by select stylists; donated by C.C. & Company Salon and Spa, valued at $65

  • Baby Boy Blue Basket including a bear security basket, wipey case, Fold n Go Diaper Kit, 4x6 Blue Frame, Travel Health Care Kit, 3 Bears Children's Book; donated by Ashley Pethel, valued at $50

  • Brighton items including a Brighton necklace, bracelet, and earrings; donated by Anne's Dress Shop, valued at $120

  • Mary Kay Forever Orchid Gift Set including perfume, lotion, sugar scrub; donated by Treva Motley, valued at $65

  • Pampering with Pink including Lancome Sample gift set, lip gloss, Renergie Anti-Wrinkle Cream, Microlift Intense Lifter Cream, Anti-Wrinkle Eye Cream, Juicy Tubes Smoothie lip gloss, Mascara, Live Laugh Love 4x6 photo frame, vanilla cream candle; donated by Karen Goforth and
    Renda Ayscue, valued at $50

  • Bath & Body Twilight Woods set including body cream and body spray, chapped hand cream, nail file, pink ribbon scarf, black tote; donated by Renda Ayscue, valued at $75

  • Baby Basket including Lamb baby security blanket, Proverbs 31:28 silver mother's bracelet; donated by Payton's Closet, valued at $100

  • Pink Fru Fru Basket including a pink ribbon water bottle, pink ribbon latte wrap, pin, watch, chapstick, andle, bottle koozie, coasters, wine glass, silly bandz, tissues, "Our Mom has Cancer" book, key chains; donated by Audrey's Fru Fru and Sassy Boutique, valued at $325

  • Beach Basket including Avon Breast Cancer Tote, Spa Wrap, flip flops, pink ribbon purse hanger; donated by Jessica Barringer, valued at $45

  • Miche Bag with Shell; donated by Kathy Waters and Sherry Carawan, valued at $50

  • Survivor Basket including pink fleece blanket, set of towels, foot massager, scrapbook photo album, chicken soup for the soul book, Cucumber lotions, bath oil, and body wash, set of candles, cancer bandana, 3 wooden plaques - Love, Hope, and Believe, stationary, eye mask, Quote rub on for wall, flip flop coasters, mirror; donated by Cathy Ervin (survivor), valued at $175

  • Coffee/Tea Baskets including coffees, teas, breast cancer insulated cup, coffee mug, creamers, sweeteners, candy, gum, pen, pads, candle and much more; donated by Allison Creswell (survivor), valued at $75

The remainder of the night we danced and sang along with the Band of Oz! They know how to put on a show and we enjoyed every second of it. Most of the candids have Tara, Renda, or Melonie on a nearby mic singing their hearts out!

We also unveiled the 2010 Focused on a Cure survivor exhibit. We had 15 survivor stories to showcase. The metals are designed to feature one of the survivor's portraits by Irresistible Portraits as well as excerpts from their stories. We wish we had room to share every word of their stories!

The exhibit will travel to different locations, businesses, offices, and hospitals in the area. Stay tuned to the blog to see the upcoming dates and locations.

The exhibit is printed on metal, a product provided by H&H Color Lab. Irresistible Portraits has been a client of theirs for many years. The owners, Shirley and Wayne Haub, are passionate people who believing help causes such as ours. Although the Haubs were unable to attend, they flew Dan and his wife, Toni, all the way from Kansas City to join us! We appreciate your support year after year!

We did it! We pulled it off again! We raised $15,000, our goal for 2010! Does that mean we have to raise $20,000 next year? Guess so!

Now for the fun part - to see all the money raised put to work... to fight the disease! We have received grant applications from some organizations across NC that benefit breast cancer - detection, research, rehabilitation, etc. The grants will be judged by a panel of judges next Monday evening. After then final decisions are made, we'll be happy to announce the outcome! Stay tuned.....

Thank you to all our sponsors....

Band of Oz
Bella Bella Creations
Brother’s Tires
C.C. & Company Salon & Spa
Cabarrus Dance Academy
Chelish Moore Flowers
Clearly Carolina
Clifford Compton III, D.D.S.
Coca-Cola Bottling Company
Concord Printing
Dream Dinners - Kannapolis
Falls Jewelers
H&H Color Lab
Hurt & Associates
Irresistible Portraits
KA Studios
Lake Norman Plastic Surgery
NC Research Campus
Progressive Builders
Punchy’s Diner
Renda Welch, D.D.S.
State Farm Insurance -Matt Woodford, Agent
Sugar & Spice
The Breast Center at Stanly Regional Medical Center

Monday, August 2, 2010

Focused on a Cure: This Friday - Piggin' Out for Pink

This Friday is our 2nd annual Piggin' Out for Pink! As you recall, our first annual event in August 2009 was a huge success and we raised a total of $10,000. This year we've raised our goal to $15,000. We have various recipients in mind for the donations, such as the Cabarrus Health Alliance, The Pink House, Carolina Breast Friends, and others that promote mammograms and cancer awareness. These organizations are currently applying for our grants and will be judged by a panel to determine who will receive what grants.

This year’s Piggin’ Out for Pink will be in Cannon Village on Friday, August 6th at 6pm. Emily Riera and her mother, both breast cancer survivors, will share with us their experience of genetic testing. Donna Rowland will share with us that it's never too late for a mammogram. Her mother and aunt are living proof! Along with spoken memoirs by survivors, BBQ dinner by Punchy's Diner, and a documentary film by KA Studios, you’ll be entertained by The Band of Oz.” You'll be the first to see our 2010 Focused on a Cure survivor exhibit. We have 15 new survivor stories to share with you that will travel through community in the next year. This private event offers you a chance to meet many cancer survivors, share their stories, and mingle with others who are as passionate about this cause as you are.

We will have raffle tickets for sale. We'll be raffling off some incredible baskets of gifts and specialty items that have been donated by local businesses. In addition to the raffles, we will have a silent auction for you to bid for sports memorabilia, jewelry, etc. And last, but not least, we're having a live auction this year. You could win a trip, a $500 gift card to Irresistible Portraits, a gorgeous painting by John Williams, and a few other valuable items.

Individual tickets to the Piggin’ Out for Pink event are $50 once again. We also have sponsorships available through businesses, which include multiple tickets to the event at certain sponsorship levels. For more info on these sponsorships, contact Renda at 704.933.5600 or

Take the time to look through some images from last year's event on our facebook fan page by clicking here or view the video on our youTube page.

To purchase tickets to the event, stop by Irresistible Portraits at 1418 South Main Street, Kannapolis, NC 28081. We can accept cash, checks to Focused on a Cure, and credit cards through PayPal. For more info, please call us at 704.933.5600.

We hope to see each and every one of you there! Thank you for your continued support!