SAN DIEGO, July 17 Susan G. Komen for the Cure(R), theworld's largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activistscommitted to ending breast cancer forever, has named Deena Deardurff Schmidtas San Diego's 2008 Honorary Breast Cancer Survivor. Schmidt, former headswimming coach at San Diego State University, 1972 Olympic gold medalist, andswimming world record holder, will serve as an inspirational spokesperson tohelp raise awareness of breast cancer screening and education in San DiegoCounty and support Komen San Diego in its mission to eradicate breast cancerforever.
Schmidt, who dedicated most of her adult life to swimming, both as acompetitive athlete and a women's collegiate swimming coach, has alwaysmaintained a healthy lifestyle and stayed in top physical shape. Finding alump in her breast during a routine self breast exam in the shower was a hugesurprise to her. When Schmidt was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 47, herlife changed forever.
"I quickly learned that breast cancer doesn't discriminate. It is adisease that can affect anyone regardless of age, race and physical stature,"said Schmidt.
Schmidt underwent two lumpectomies, a mastectomy and chemotherapy for herbreast cancer. Her undying determination, the support of her friends andfamily and the breast cancer resources and information available to her weredriving forces in her fight against breast cancer. Schmidt is now a breastcancer survivor, and she has made it her mission to speak out and help otherslearn more about the disease.
"In the beginning I had thought, foolishly, that no one needed to knowwhat I was up against, but when I learned that one in eight women would bediagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime, I felt it was my duty to open upand share my story," added Schmidt. "I encourage women to use the resourcesand advice provided by medical professionals and organizations like Komen toeducate themselves about early detection methods and available breast cancerscreening and treatment options. These resources helped me in my battleagainst the disease, and to me, the victory of survivorship is a greatervictory than winning Olympic gold."
On Sunday, November 2, 2008, Deena Deardurff Schmidt, along with more than13,000 San Diegans are expected to unite in Balboa Park for the Twelfth AnnualSusan G. Komen San Diego Race for the Cure(R). A survivor ceremony will beheld prior to the race to recognize Schmidt as well as other San Diego breastcancer survivors.
For additional information about the San Diego Race for the Cure or SusanG. Komen for the Cure, please visit the national Web site athttp://www.komen.org, or the San Diego Affiliate web site athttp://www.sdkomen.org. San Diegans can sign up for the November 2, 2008 SanDiego Race for the Cure on the San Diego Affiliate web site, or by calling InMotion at (760) 692-2900.
About Susan G. Komen for the Cure, San Diego
Since its inception in 1995, more than $6 million has been given to localorganizations that provide breast cancer education, screening, diagnostics,treatment and patient support for the uninsured or underinsured in San DiegoCounty. Through a combination of fundraising events, grant-writing workshops,educational seminars and advocating for state legislation, the volunteers ofSusan G. Komen for the Cure, San Diego are dedicated to addressing theimmediate breast health needs of the communities they serve. Seventy-fivepercent of proceeds are awarded each year through a grant process to localorganizations. Each grantee conducts a program that offers breast cancereducation, screening or treatment to residents in the San Diego area. Theremaining 25 percent is directed to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure NationalGrant Program to fund research on a national and international level.http