ATLANTA, March 19 Emily Custer has worked for four years in the Creative Department at the headquarters of DS Waters (brand owner of Crystal Springs) in Atlanta, Georgia. She remembers when a few of her college friends had mothers who went through the trial of breast cancer, she was concerned but not involved. All that changed two years ago when her own mother was diagnosed, and now Emily has found that DS Waters and their support of the Susan G. Komen Foundation has enabled her to pay-it-forward. She uses her talents for the cause in her everyday work life.
(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20100319/CL73415 )
This weekend, both Emily and her mother Gina Schroeder are at the 2010 Affiliate Leadership Conference for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure®, in Dallas, Texas, March 18-20. Emily is representing DS Waters, which sponsored transportation for the more than 1,000 participants as they move from the main conference location to off-site events on Thursday and Friday nights. Her mother, Gina will also be participating in a celebratory survivor breakfast on Saturday morning.
"I'm really looking forward to meeting Komen's founder," said Gina Schroeder. Ambassador Nancy G. Brinker, founder and CEO of Komen for the Cure, will be in attendance at the conference. Brinker founded Susan G. Komen for the Cure in memory of her sister Susan G. Komen, in 1982. Since then, the organization has changed how the world talks about and treats breast cancer. In 1982, people wouldn't even say the words "breast cancer" aloud.
Gina Schroeder's daughter Emily Custer knew about the story of the Komen organization, and when DS Waters embarked on a partnership in 2009 with Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Custer looked for ways to contribute her creativity.
"I was excited to be part of the creative team that designed vehicle graphics, advertisements and employee programs," Emily Custer said. There are 25 water delivery service trucks that are fully painted pink with Komen graphics and over 1,800 bright green delivery service trucks which display a "Proud Partner of Susan G. Komen for the Cure®" decal reflecting the creativity of Emily and her team.
At work, Emily participated with full campaign spirit. Her floor at the company headquarters chose a theme to tie into the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure® Series. "This floor decorating event might sound frivolous, but it really raised awareness within our company and highlighted important facts about breast cancer that people don't know. For example, nearly 2000 men were expected to be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009," Custer said. "All of the sudden, I became aware that I was surrounded by people who are affected by breast cancer in some way or another - mothers, daughters, husbands, sons, aunts, friends. It isn't just me and my Mom."
Gilbert Gibson, President of DS Waters of America, is pleased that the company can make a difference. "This cause is very important, and it is important to our employees. Those are two good reasons that we are happy to partner with Komen," Gibson said.
Emily Custer's awareness of the cause increased significantly when Gina Schroeder discovered her own tumor in May 2008. "My tumor did not show up on my mammogram, and I should have been more diligent in doing self examinations. After all, I am a nurse! But luckily the tumor was superficial enough that I could just barely see it and so I went to the doctor," Schroeder said.
"Even in the last 10 years, there have been huge advancements in breast cancer treatment developments," noted Schroeder. "As a nurse, the patients that I saw years ago had radical mastectomies. This is now changing."
"Regardless, as a survivor, you move from the fight for your life to trying to get back to normal. It is never normal," she said. "I share the goal of the Komen organization - I hope that in the future, other women will not have to experience breast cancer. Still, much remains to be done."
Gina Schroeder just finished her treatment, which involved reconstructive surgery, in November 2009. She says that it is "almost unbelievable what good support I had from family, neighbors, friends, my church group. "
Emily Custer is lavish in her praise for Komen and the support it provides both financially in terms of funding research and community programs, and on their website, komen.org, with information and resources to help breast cancer patients find support and information. She encouraged her mother every step of the way. "I felt privileged to shave my Mom's head during her chemo," Custer said. "Komen has made a huge difference in survival rates. And saving my Mom's life was like saving my life too."
The 2010 Affiliate Leadership Conference in Dallas provides a busy schedule of seminars on such topics as investment in research, new breast cancer therapies, the significance of corporate partnerships, a meeting specifically for the men of Komen to discuss issues faced by male survivors and co-survivors, a look at global successes, ways to make a difference in breast cancer disparities in communities and fundraising success stories.
About DS Waters
Created in 2003, DS Waters is the producer and distributor of home, office, and retail bottled water products across the United States under the brand names Alhambra®, Belmont Springs®, Crystal Springs®, Hinckley Springs®, Kentwood Springs®, Nursery® Water, Sierra Springs® and Sparkletts®, and Roast2Coast®, a coffee delivery service. The company, headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, is the U.S. leader in home and office water delivery, focusing on five gallon, one gallon, and single serve bottled water products. Water is bottled at 26 manufacturing facilities and then delivered to millions of homes and offices, as well as retail establishments across the country. DS Waters employs approximately 4,500 Associates in 40 states. Visit www.water.com or www.NurseryWater.com for more information.
About Crystal Springs
For over 80 years, Crystal Springs has delivered the finest quality water to homes and offices across the Southeast and mid-Atlantic. The source of Crystal Springs can be found in the Chattahoochee National Forest, within the quiet woodlands west of Ocala, Florida, or from deep in the earth near Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Because Crystal Springs offers the convenience of home or office delivery and its products can be found on store shelves, bottled water drinkers have made Crystal Springs a favored brand whether they're at home, at work or enjoying leisure activities. Known as a partner to a variety of events and organizations that are focused on family, youth, fitness and education, Crystal Springs has a tradition of giving back to the communities it serves. Crystal Springs and its associates also support local communities by providing water during emergencies such as hurricanes, fires, floods, droughts, and other natural disasters. Learn more about what makes Crystal Springs bottled water the best bottled water delivery and filtration service choice for your family, your business and your lifestyle at www.crystalwater.com.
About Susan G. Komen for the Cure®
Nancy G. Brinker promised her dying sister, Susan G. Komen, she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer forever. In 1982, that promise became Susan G. Komen for the Cure and launched the global breast cancer movement. Today, Komen for the Cure is the world's largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists fighting to save lives, empower people, ensure quality care for all and energize science to find the cures. Thanks to events like the Komen Race for the Cure, we have invested more than $1.3 billion to fulfill our promise, becoming the largest source of nonprofit funds dedicated to the fight against breast cancer in the world. For more information about Susan G. Komen for the Cure, breast health or breast cancer, visit www.komen.org or call 1-877 GO KOMEN.
SOURCE DS Waters