Grief-stricken Nancy Brinker made a promise over thirty years ago that has blossomed into a global movement.
In 1980, Brinker lost her sister, Susan Komen, to breast cancer. In the last moments of her sister’s life, Brinker pledged that she would fight tirelessly against eradicating breast cancer for good. This sparked a drive for changing the way the world sees breast cancer. The movement that ensued in the decades to follow fundamentally changed fundraising and not-for-profit organizations around the world. And it all started with a promise.
Grass Roots to Promote Real Change
Real change can often come from humble beginnings, as Nancy Brinker, with her work for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation has displayed. Beginning with only $200 in a shoebox, and a list of leads for donors, this association has grown to be the biggest not-for-profit source of breast cancer funding in the world; second only to the U.S. Government. Visit the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation website to read about their initiatives.
Some facts about Nancy Brinker and the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation:
- They’ve invested more than $2.2 billion in research, community, and advocate support, spread through 60 countries around the world.
- Their support and financial donations are responsible for reducing the death rate of breast cancer by 37 percent over the period of 1990-2013.
- The foundation’s contributions to cancer research have assisted in the increase for five-year survival rates for early stage cancers in the U.S. from 72 to 99 percent.
- In 2009, Brinker received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Barack Obama for her unparalleled efforts to eradicate the disease.
- She was named one of Time Magazine’s “Most Influential People” in 2008, the Ladies Home Journal's 100 Most Important Women of the 20th Century and Biography Magazine's 25 Most Powerful Women in America.
- She has won a host of awards, including the Forbes Trailblazer Award and the Anti-Defamation League Americanism Award. She has also been inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame.
Brinker has spearheaded initiatives that have raised awareness, education, and preventative practices that contribute directly to the reduction of incidence of the breast cancer, as well as providing support to those in need. The Foundation focuses on the role of education in the community and builds links between those who are most vulnerable, which is often those who are uninsured and/or low-income. Numerous fundraising opportunities go on every year that give the movement momentum, like the Komen Race for the Cure, the Susan G. Komen 3 Day, and even Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
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