Who is Susan G. Komen of the Susan G. Komen Foundation

Rory Wehrlie October 1, 2011

Founded in 1985 in honor of Susan G. Komen, Susan G. Komen For the Cure has become the world’s leading voice in breast cancer awareness and research over the last three decades. You may be more aware of it than you think — its ubiquitous pink ribbons pop up throughout our culture, from the lapels of public figures to the bumper sticker on your neighbor’s car. Who is Susan G. Komen?


Who is Susan G. Komen?

The organization was founded by Susan Komen’s sister, Nancy G. Brinker, after she witnessed her sister’s struggle with the disease. Susan G. Komen was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1976 at the age of 33. She survived only three years after diagnosis; Brinker felt that Komen’s early death was due, in large part, to a lack of breast cancer awareness amongst women and patients. Up until her death, Susan G. Komen had continued to fight for ways to improve the lives of other women struggling with breast cancer. Inspired by this compassion for others and bound by a promise made to her sister, Nancy Brinker has gone on to build Susan G. Komen For the Cure into an international philanthropic institution.

The organization pursues initiatives across myriad disciplines, including scientific research, grants & scholarships, and community activism. Each year thousands of supporters take part in fundraising events in the United States like Race for the Cure and Grooving for the Cure. Since its inception, the organization has raised over 1 billion dollars for breast cancer awareness and research. Major corporate sponsors have included Ford, Microsoft and Bank of America.


Susan G. Komen For The Cure

Since its foundation in the 80s, the organization has sourced and provided funding for a wide range of dynamic and original projects in the areas of breast health education and screening and treatment. Its devotion to breast cancer research, in particular, is unparalleled: the foundation has awarded over a thousand grants to researchers in the field of breast cancer for a total of over $180 million.

The organization also awards postdoctoral fellowships for a term of three years to those working under the tutelage or guidance of experienced researchers with the hopes of recruiting and retaining the next generation of scientists and researchers in the field. In addition to its research endeavors, Komen has funneled extensive funds and effort into community-based breast health education and breast cancer screening and treatment projects for communities that are under-served by mainstream medicine.


Pink Breast Cancer Awareness

In honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Susan G. Komen Foundation has scheduled a series of national and local events or, as the organizers call it, 31 Days of Pink Action. Planned activities include the Promise Action Campaign, designed to ask employers to encourage their employees screened for breast cancer. eBay is also taking part by asking customers throughout the month to donate $1 to the charity. Prominent celebrities like Jennifer Aniston, Demi Moore and Alicia Keys will also be involved via directorial projects that will air on the Lifetime Network.

Formerly known as the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, the organization was rebranded as Susan G. Komen for the Cure to emphasize the need to eradicate the disease. Of course, the foundation still pursues one of its primary goals; that is, to encourage early diagnosis through patient awareness, mammograms and breast self-exams. The foundation’s premier event, the Race for the Cure, is currently the largest fundraiser in the world for breast cancer research and treatment.


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