When You Race for the Cure…


When You Race for the Cure

Contributing Author: Donna Rounds, PhD
Sponsored by: Tohi Ventures, LLC

When you Race for the Cure, you race for your loved ones, your friends, yourself and your health. Staying healthy is how you win. Exercise, getting enough sleep, and eating nutrient-rich foods every day is an important part of staying healthy. Recommendations for a healthy diet emphasize eating five or more portions of fruits and vegetables per day, as plant-based foods are low in calories, high in fiber, and loaded with vitamins and minerals. As an added bonus, plant-based foods are the best source of naturally occurring antioxidants.

The Importance of Antioxidants

Antioxidants protect the cells of your body from oxidative stress created by “free radicals” which are unstable molecules produced during normal metabolism, aging, trauma, disease, pollution, or excessive exercise. Oxidative stress results from the unfavorable balance between the production of free radicals and the available antioxidant defenses aligned against them. Eating plant-based foods or beverages high in polyphenols and anthocyanins add powerful antioxidants to defend your body against oxidative stress.

Scientific research has identified “polyphenols” and “anthocyanins” as the plant made natural compounds that provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and immune health components. Although the extra mechanisms of action of polyphenols and anthocyanins have not been decisively proven, there is strong evidence demonstrating the health benefits of their antioxidant properties.

Aronia Berries-the Superist of SuperberriesAronia Berries

Research has demonstrated that berries are the most nutrient dense fruits with the highest level of polyphenols and anthocyanins. Blueberries, cranberries, and cherries can easily be found in your local stores, but other berries have higher levels of these powerful natural compounds. Aronia, the new “Superberry” in town, has the highest polyphenol level of all fruits and berries. The Aronia Berry has a total antioxidant measure more than three times that of blueberries and outscores blueberries more than four times in anthocyanins. Aronia contains 277 antioxidants known and used by humans, more than any berry, citrus, vegetable, grain, and spice.

The Aronia Berry is native to North America and was highly prized by indigenous people for its nutritional properties and as a herbal remedy. The re-discovery of Aronia and its health benefits is an exciting addition to our dietary choices. Although not yet commonly found in the aisles of your supermarket, this power-packed berry can now be found in Tohi, the hydrating and nutritious Aronia Berry beverage bursting with antioxidants.

Eat berries as part of a balanced diet so you can stay healthy and win the race of your life!

Sponsored by Tohi Aronia Berry Beverages, the deep purple berry beverage bursting with the juice of antioxidant-rich Aronia Berries, the hydrating benefits of water and the natural sweetness of monk fruit for a low calorie, clean label, 100% natural, whole body benefit. Good for you from head to Tohi!  

Tohi_12ct-Variety w Splash


Be sure to visit the Tohi booth at the Susan G. Komen Greater Kansas City Race for the Cure this Saturday between 200P and 600p at Black & Veatch (11401 Lamar) in Overland Park, KS for a free sample.

For more information, visit www.drinktohi.com.

Komen announces $26 Million in Grants including $650,000 awarded to Kansas Researchers


Kansas Researchers Receive $650,000 in Research Funding

DALLAS – Sept. 25, 2018 – Susan G. Komen®, the world’s leading breast cancer organization, today announced an additional investment of nearly $26 million to fund 62 new research projects that seek to answer some of the toughest questions facing breast cancer. This new funding is part of the organization’s efforts to reduce the number of breast cancer deaths in the U.S. by 50 percent by 2026 and brings its total research investment to $988 million to date – the largest nonprofit investment outside the U.S. government.

The grants include $650,000 in new funding for research at two institutions in Kansas, bringing Komen’s total research investment in Kansas to $10,942,251 since 1982.

“This year, Komen is investing in a number of areas that will help us achieve our bold goal and save lives. We are seeking answers to why our current drugs work for some patients, but not all, or why they work at first, but later become ineffective,” said Komen Chief Scientific Advisor, George Sledge, M.D., Chief of Oncology at Stanford University Department of Medicine. “We are also looking into aggressive forms of the disease like triple negative and inflammatory breast cancer, which tend to have poorer outcomes. By investigating novel techniques and therapies, we hope to bring new treatment options to patients.”

The newly announced grants will investigate critical areas in breast cancer research, including (but not limited to) projects focused on one or more of the following:

  • Drug Resistance and Metastasis (40 grants, representing 70 percent of the grants awarded)
  • Triple Negative Breast Cancer (23 grants)
  • New Treatments (38 grants) such as Immunotherapies (9 grants)
  • Health Disparities (8 grants)

This year, Komen’s competitive grant program for young investigators was entirely focused on drug resistance and metastatic disease. “Komen continues its long-standing investment in the next generation of scientists, to ensure that brilliant researchers whose careers are just beginning have funding to pursue their novel ideas,” said Komen Chief Scientific Advisor, Jennifer Pietenpol, Ph.D., Executive Vice President for Research and Director of the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. “We are proud that this investment includes opportunities for 23 innovative and inspired researchers to lead the way in making breast cancer discoveries that will improve care for all and help save lives.”

“More than 41,000 women and men will lose their lives to breast cancer this year alone. I lost my mother to the disease a few years back, and I myself have been treated for aggressive triple negative breast cancer. The idea that it could impact my daughters is unacceptable,” said Komen President and CEO Paula Schneider. “We all have a personal reason or passion that we support the fight against breast cancer, and we’re proud to invite people to support the work that means the most to them. It will take all of us working together to save lives and ultimately end this disease.”

Komen’s Investments in Kansas

Komen’s research program is funded in part by contributions from Komen’s nationwide Network of Affiliates, which directs a portion of funds raised locally to Komen’s national research program, while also investing in vital community programs that serve local women and men facing breast cancer.

Since 1994, Komen Kansas City has funded $11,518,395 to community programs serving local women and men, while contributing $4,155,625 to Komen research (This is in addition to another nearly $5 million in programmatic support provided by the affiliate directly).

“We are extremely thankful for the friends, family, and communities that fight alongside us, helping to reduce the number of breast cancer deaths in Kansas and Missouri, both on the ground and through research, and especially research into the most lethal breast cancers,” said Michael A. Levine, Interim Executive Director. “As we gather thousands next week for our 25th Annual Race for the Cure we know that funds raised that day will be working to save the lives of the most vulnerable in our communities.”

In Kansas, Komen is granting to the following researchers:

Komen Scholar Danny Welch, Ph.D., from the University of Kansas Medical Center, will receive $200,000 to continue to study the role of genes that suppress the ability of breast cancer cells to spread to other parts of the body (metastasis). By understanding why and how metastasis happens, new targets can be identified for therapy and guide treatment decisions.

Xiaoqing Wu, Ph.D., from The University of Kansas Center for Research, will receive $450,000 to study a protein, HuR, which may contribute to chemotherapy resistance in triple negative breast cancer (TNBC). HuR is found at high levels in TNBC and is believed to help it grow and spread. Dr. Wu will determine if targeting HuR could overcome TNBC resistance to chemotherapy, and thus become a new treatment target for this aggressive cancer type.

Research has been a cornerstone of Komen’s work since opening its doors in 1982. Komen also works to inspire action through advocacy and public policy, to mobilize communities through support services and opportunities to make a local impact, and provide the care that patients need (including screening, diagnostics, treatment, and navigation).

About Susan G. Komen®

Susan G. Komen is the world’s largest breast cancer organization, funding more breast cancer research than any other nonprofit outside of the federal government while providing real-time help to those facing the disease. Komen has set a Bold Goal to reduce the current number of breast cancer deaths by 50 percent in the U.S. by 2026. Since its founding in 1982, Komen has funded more than $988 million in research and provided more than $2.2 billion in funding to screening, education, treatment and psychosocial support programs serving millions of people in more than 60 countries worldwide. Komen was founded by Nancy G. Brinker, who promised her sister, Susan G. Komen, that she would end the disease that claimed Suzy’s life. That promise has become Komen’s promise to all people facing breast cancer. Visit komen.org or call 1-877 GO KOMEN. Connect with us on social at ww5.komen.org/social.

Grants are contingent upon signed and executed contracts with Komen.

About Susan G. Komen® Greater Kansas City

Komen Kansas City is working to better the lives of those facing breast cancer in the local community. Through events like the Komen Kansas City Race for the Cure® and Rock the Ribbon, Komen Kansas City has invested more than $21 million in breast health programs in their 17-county Kansas and Missouri service area and has helped contribute to the more than $988 million invested globally in researchFor more information, call 816.842.0410, visit komenkansascity.org or behindtheribbon.org. Connect with them on social media: Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

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