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Komen Austin funding down 46 percent

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TWC News: Komen Austin funding down 46 percent
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It's a story so many women share, and one that begins with what could be the scariest situation of their life.

For LaTaynya Tatum, she learned in November 2006--at 29 years old--that she had breast cancer.

"At that time it was almost a misdiagnosis because my doctor didn't think the lump that I was feeling was anything to be concerned about," Tatum said.

However, Tatum knew her body better than anybody else.

"If I had said okay, I might not be here today," she said.

Now, Tatum is the poster child for Susan G. Komen Austin's Race for the Cure. The local affiliate last year alone invested more than $1 million into local organizations that provide breast health services, but it has been a tough time since.

Komen Austin Executive Director Christy Casey-Moore says fundraising is down 46 percent from last year—a drop she knows is likely associated with a national decision by Komen to stop funding Planned Parenthood which was later reversed.

Casey-Moore wants local contributors to understand their money stays right here in Central Texas, and if dollars don’t start flowing in, more women could be at risk.

"Decisions were made earlier this year that the local organization had no discussion in, and what I can tell you is, us locally, we continue to fund all our organizations at the same level we have for the last 14 years, including Planned Parenthood," she said.

Casey-Moore says she is worried that women will be turned away from lifesaving breast health services, a problem she says can be prevented with community help.

"Just to put that in numbers, last year with the money raised for the Race for the Cure, Komen Austin was able to fund over 3,000 mammograms. I think of that as 3,000 lives saved,” Tatum said. “This year, because funding is down, that's over 1,000 mammograms that a woman may not be able to get."

October is breast cancer awareness month. Race for the Cure is coming up Nov. 4.

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