Serving the 11-County Upstate Community for 13 years
Thanks to the advocacy efforts of the Upstate South Carolina Affiliate, over 1,000 low-income, uninsured women have received free treatment for breast and cervical cancer since July 1, 2005 through a new state program. After releasing to the news media the shocking breast cancer disparities detailed in its Upstate Community Needs Assessment, the Affiliate launched a comprehensive lobbying effort to secure breast and cervical cancer treatment for all uninsured, low-income women ages 18-64 in South Carolina.
By partnering with the South Carolina Cancer Alliance, they mobilized South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford and the South Carolina legislators to allocate $1 million for treatment in the last three state budgets, which was matched annually with $3.76 million in federal funds through the federal Breast and Cervical Cancer Prevention and Treatment Act of 2000 to fully fund this program. South Carolina is one of only 12 states to adopt this expanded breast and cervical cancer treatment coverage.
Komen Community Challenge
Expanding their advocacy efforts in 2007, the Upstate and Lowcountry Affiliates hosted the South Carolina Komen Community Challenge on June 11, 2007. More than 150 breast cancer survivors and activists convened for a summit luncheon on the grounds of the governor's mansion. During that luncheon, they called on the state legislature to make the first state appropriation for South Carolina's Best Chance Network, which provides critical early detection services to women who would not otherwise be able to afford them. In addition to advocating for increased funding, they lobbied to expand the income requirements and ages of women who qualify from 47-64 to 40-64, thereby expanding eligibility to over 4,000 more South Carolina women.
Guest speakers included the former South Carolina Superintendent of Education Inez Tenenbaum, the Director of the Best Chance Network, the Former Head of the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, many state representatives, members of the medical community and survivors, ensuring significant media coverage.
Beginning its fourth year, Pink Sunday has played a critical role in raising awareness of breast cancer, of the availability of free mammograms and of the new treatment program for women in the Upstate community. In the past three years, the popular outreach program has reached 110,000 women with 70 percent of the 250 participating churches having participated in each of the last three years.
The impact of Pink Sunday comes from the way it empowers survivors and those who have lost loved ones to this disease to create unique Pink Sunday services. Participating churches host ceremonies to honor survivors and those lost to the disease, create walls of hope listing those touched by breast cancer, present survivor stories, give survivors pink flowers, host health fairs and celebrate by wearing pink. Komen Headquarters selected the Pink Sunday Program for the 2006 Education Outreach Honor Roll for best outreach program.
Upstate Affiliate Awards
The Upstate Affiliate has received numerous awards over the years. In 2005, Komen recognized the Affiliate as "Affiliate of the Year" at its national Affiliates Conference. That same year, they received a statewide award from the South Carolina Cancer Alliance for funding innovative breast cancer outreach and screening programs.
In 2007, the YWCA of Greenville recognized the work of Mary Lynn Faunda Donovan, Executive Director, Upstate Affiliate, by awarding her the prestigious Amy K. Stubbs Women of Achievement Award for her significant impact on the Upstate community in her community service. In 2006, Mary Lynn was selected as a National Yoplait Champion and was awarded the South Carolina Cancer Alliance Excellence Award in Advocacy and Policy for her leadership in securing the state funding for expanded breast and cervical cancer treatment for all uninsured, low-income women in South Carolina.