Honoree: Jacque Balbas-Ruddy
Honored by: Susan G. Komen Orange County
Cause Area: Healthcare
Jacque Ruddy is a single mother of four and a breast cancer survivor. Since her diagnosis in 2011, Jacque has volunteered with our Affiliate and has been an outspoken advocate for breast health, education, and early detection of breast cancer. Soon after her diagnosis she formed the “Big and Small, Save them All” Race team. Then she joined the Race Survivor Tribute Committee in 2012. In that year her team raised over $5,000. Also in 2012 and again in 2013 she helped lead the Change for the Cure Ambassadors and asked for support from the podium during the Race Survivor Tribute. She has been serving on our Survivor Advisory Committee since January 2012 and has helped with the planning of our annual Survivor Luncheon. Since joining us she has served on our Speakers Bureau and has represented Komen at man
y speaking engagements and events inspiring people to action and spreading hope amongst the breast cancer impacted community. She was a key note speaker at our Race for the C
ure Survivor Tribute in 2014 and was our key note speaker at the Pink Tie Ball last year. Other speaking engagements include Mercury Insurance’s All Industry Day and CalOptima’s 20th Anniversary event during Breast Cancer Awareness month. Every semester she is a guest speaker at Orange Coast College. Jacque offered her personal story for us to use in our annual giving campaign and was a keynote inspirational speaker at our 2015 annual Grants Breakfast. She did this while undergoing chemotherapy treatment for breast cancer recurrence that she was diagnosed with last September. Jacque has also been very hands on helping with community outreach activities to connect with the public and spread our health message. Recently she participated in the Huntington Beach 4th of July Parade, assisted with the Wacoal Fit for the Cure event last May, arranged for Komen OC to have a booth at the 2015 AYSO Soccerfest event and helped staff the booth with her boys. Jacque has become a well known and loved member of our community. She blogs about her treatment on social media to dispel myths and encourage others to be brave and to fight this disease with every bit of love, grit and humor you can muster. When asked why she gives her time to Komen, she responded “at Komen, I am a part of something so much bigger than myself. I did not know how strong I was until strong was my only choice. In my weakest moments I am resilient – for myself and for my children.” Jacque was awarded the Komen National Promise of One Award in 2016.