A Mother and her Two Daughters

24 April 2010

A Promise for A Cure

Two sisters – Susan Komen and Nancy Brinker.  Both were raised in Illinois, and in the late 1970s, Susan was still living in Peoria with Nancy living and working in Dallas, TX.  During one of their almost daily telephone conversations, Susan told Nancy she had found a lump in her breast.  Throughout the next three years, Nancy would spend much time in Peoria to be with her sister as she began seeking treatment, which included chemotherapy, radiation and nine operations, only to die three years after her diagnosis.  In 1980, as Susan Komen lay on her deathbed, she asked her sister to do something so other women would not suffer her fate.  

In 1982, Nancy Brinker, armed with $200, a typewriter and a list of names, gathered almost 20 friends in her Dallas living room to establish the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.  In 1983 they would launch the first Race for the Cure in Dallas. 

Since that time, the nonprofit has raised over $1.5 billion for research, education and health services, making it the largest breast cancer charity in the world.  Today, the Susan G. Komen for the Cure has more than 75,000 volunteers nationwide, 122 affiliates in the United States, and 3 affiliates in other countries. The organization has resulted in the development of many new treatment options and a higher quality of life overall for breast cancer patients and long-term survivors.  Today the Komen mission is simply stated as this:  “To end breast cancer forever” – s tough mission as breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths among women worldwide.  Someone dies of breast cancer every 75 seconds. 

While the Susan G. Komen Foundation began as a story of loss, today it is a story of hope and survival for millions of women across the globe.  With more than 500,000 women dying from breast cancer each year, we all share personal and passionate stories of how this ugly disease has ravaged lives – either our own, a sister or mother, a daughter or friend. 

Tomorrow in Northwest Arkansas, more than 16,000 women will help fulfill the promise made by Nancy Brinker to her sister Susan G. Komen.  And tonight, my longtime college buddy Dian sends me this photograph, preparing for her participation in the 12th Annual Ozark Affiliate Race for the Cure.  Love you Dian, and thank you for running in my honor.  And many thanks to all the women in Northwest Arkansas who tomorrow will honor a promise, race for hope, and make their own contribution to ending breast cancer forever.  You go sisters!! 

1 comment:

  1. Hi Stacy,
    I just found you via Google Alerts, and wonder if you know there is a very large community on the internet...www.ibcsupport.org, where long term and short term IBC fighters/care givers and friends share and learn from each other.

    As a writer myself, I find your blog very good information and hope you share with other IBC patients and patient advocates.

    Cyber hugs on your journey,

    Patti Bradfield, President
    The Inflammatory Breast Cancer Foundation


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