Susan G. Komen volunteer supports cause for 20+ years

Error message

  • Warning: array_merge(): Expected parameter 1 to be an array, bool given in _simpleads_render_ajax_template() (line 133 of /home/pdccourier/www/www/sites/all/modules/simpleads/includes/
  • Notice: Trying to get property 'settings' of non-object in _simpleads_adgroup_settings() (line 343 of /home/pdccourier/www/www/sites/all/modules/simpleads/includes/
  • Warning: array_merge(): Expected parameter 1 to be an array, bool given in _simpleads_render_ajax_template() (line 157 of /home/pdccourier/www/www/sites/all/modules/simpleads/includes/
  • Notice: Trying to access array offset on value of type null in include() (line 24 of /home/pdccourier/www/www/sites/all/modules/simpleads/templates/simpleads_ajax_call.tpl.php).

Susan G. Komen Race For the Cure volunteer and Umbrella Arts member Patty Schwarz of Guttenberg planted the limestone planters in the community's historic downtown district with annuals that will bloom pink, representing breast cancer awareness.(Photo submitted)

By Caroline Rosacker

Inspired by the loss of several loved ones, Patty Schwarz of Guttenberg has been raising funds and awareness for the past 20 years for the Susan G. Komen – Race for the Cure breast cancer awareness organization. 

Susan G. Komen

Susan G. Komen – Race for the Cure has helped fuel research, unlocking the biology of breast cancer and discovering insights that propel toward more effective risk reduction strategies, earlier detection methods and innovative treatments, which have helped reduce breast cancer mortality by more than 42 percent. 

To date, Susan G. Komen has invested nearly $3.6 billion in groundbreaking research, community health outreach, advocacy and programs in more than 60 countries. Due to investments in research, 19 new drugs for breast cancer were approved in the past decade.

Dedicated to the ones I loved

 A close neighborhood friend's mother, Connie Dodd, was first to spark Patty's ongoing dedication to breast cancer awareness. "I was a teen in college at the time, and devastated to learn of Connie's diagnosis, and eventual passing," shared Patty. 

A close female relative on her husband, Dave's side of the family was the next to battle the disease. "Marilyn Schultheis fought two different rounds, but was not able to survive," she noted. 

Patty's best friend, Robin Pladna also died of breast cancer. "I will be dedicating my race over my birthday weekend in Dallas, Texas to Robin," she said fighting back tears. "She has been gone for four years now and it is still very hard. We did everything together. She grew up a block away from many of the fishermen that attend our catfishing tournament each year."

This year Patty will be participating in three 60-mile Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure events, completed in increments of 20 miles per day. On Aug. 21, 22, and 23 she will be in Boston; Nov. 1, 2 and 3 in Dallas – in memory of Robin, and San Diego on Nov. 15, 16, and 17. 

Over the course of training 10 miles per day, and an accidental bump to the knee, Patty has had to break away from her intense training regimen. Prior to her unfortunate injury she was rated number one nationwide in mileage for three weeks straight out of 36,380 participants. "I have experienced a recent setback in my mobility, but thanks to the incredible team of health care providers in Guttenberg and Iowa City, I am told with rest, physical therapy and steroid injections I should be ready to run in Dallas, where I plan to dance across the finish line!" she said with a positive attitude.

Past and present volunteer efforts

While living in Clinton, Patty volunteered her time and enthusiasm with Lee National Denim Day, and Wacoal women's undergarments, which support Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. She and several of her girlfriends also guest bartended at a local tavern raising three thousand dollars in one night. "I was always excited to help out in any way I could," noted Patty. "Lee Denim would send me flyers, posters, and decorations to set up for their charitable event day, and Wacoal representatives set up their brassiere fitting events at Von Maur and Dillard's in the Quad Cities. I would greet customers decked out in pink and encourage them to have a personalized brassiere fitting, with proceeds going to Susan G. Komen."

Local efforts

In Guttenberg, Patty has organized fund raising events at Guttenberg Brewing Co. and Driftwood Dinner. Her next charitable event is scheduled for Wednesday, July 10, from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. at Derailed Coffee Shop located at 607 South Hwy. 52 unit 2, with Scratch Cupcakery. "We will be giving the excellent bakers at Derailed the day off, so they can enjoy a delicious Scratch cupcake along with community members," said Patty. Motivated to do more

The breast cancer awareness advocate was recently motivated to do even more for women facing a breast cancer diagnosis following her own questionable mammogram that led to further evaluation. "Although everything turned out for the best, facing my own vulnerability to the disease makes me even more determined to do whatever I can to support the cause," she told The Press. 

The 54-year-old businesswoman is confident she has raised over $25,000 dollars in the past 20 years for Susan G. Komen. She is a certified Nationwide Training Walk Leader, and will be conducting training walks open to anyone in Guttenberg, Clinton and Davenport from now to the end of year. 

"Going forward I would be honored to help anyone facing a breast cancer diagnosis," she said with conviction. "I am happy to sit down and meet them and get them a grant from Susan G. Komen that helps pay for medical and fuel expenses."

Rate this article: 
No votes yet