Susn G Komen is the nation’s leading breast cancer charity, funding research, education and screening to give women access to better healthcare.
Komen strives for a world where no women are diagnosed with breast cancer or die from it. While this goal has yet to be reached, they are actively working toward it through their programs.
Founded in Dallas in 1982
Susn G Komen, founded in 1982 in Dallas, is a non-profit organization dedicated to finding an end to breast cancer. They fund research, community outreach and public policy initiatives while offering local programs like mammograms and transportation to medical facilities for those affected by the disease.
Nancy Brinker made a promise: she would raise funds for breast cancer research, break the silence surrounding this devastating disease, and one day find a cure. With the support of some friends and a few hundred dollars, she launched her nonprofit organization with ease.
In 1983, the foundation hosted its inaugural Race for the Cure event in Dallas. This was quickly followed by numerous races across America, quickly becoming a cornerstone of breast cancer awareness efforts.
These races began as simple fundraisers but quickly developed into more elaborate events. They included fitness walks and 5K runs, encouraging people to wear pink shirts in remembrance of those affected by cancer.
As the foundation’s popularity grew, it attracted a number of influential corporate partners and sponsors. Companies like Quilted Northern, New Balance, and Pier 1 all helped make this cause an iconic name while supporting its fundraising initiatives.
Many of these products featured pink ribbons attached to their packaging. Others featured special incentives for donors, like mail-in coupons for General Mills’ Country Hearth bread.
These efforts enabled the foundation to expand rapidly and build an expansive network of supporters, particularly during the 1990s when breast cancer awareness was at its highest. As a result, they received over $400 million in donations and became one of the largest non-profits in America.
By the late 2000s, The Komen Foundation had raised an impressive $750 million to support research, education, screening and treatment initiatives. Headquartered in Dallas, it now has chapters across 80 cities nationwide.
In October 2018, the organization launched a $21.7 million funding round to address the most complex challenges associated with breast cancer research. It will support 48 research projects at 26 U.S. medical institutions, with 79% of funds going toward studies that seek to understand why cancer returns.
The Komen Race for the Cure
The Komen Race for the Cure is a series of 5K runs and fitness walks that raise funds and awareness about breast cancer. Additionally, this event honors those who have survived this disease as well as remembers those who have lost their battle with it.
The race takes place in 40 cities nationwide and the United Kingdom, having been founded in 1982 in Dallas. It serves as one of the major sources of funding for Komen’s research, care and community programs.
Since its founding, Komen has become a global leader in the fight against breast cancer by funding groundbreaking research and community-based outreach programs. It does this through an international network of affiliates – such as Komen Northwest Ohio – located around the U.S.
Every year, thousands of people take part in the race to raise money and awareness for Komen’s mission. For many participants, it is an emotional experience and a powerful way to support the organization.
At Komen Race for the Cure, every dollar donated goes directly towards breast cancer research and community outreach. You’ll receive a branded t-shirt as part of their supportive network that strives for a world without breast cancer.
Support the Komen Race for the Cure by volunteering or fundraising independently. Organize a fundraiser at work or among friends and family members; even turn an everyday activity into a fundraising opportunity such as hosting a movie night or golf tournament.
For those unable to join an in-person race or walk, Komen is hosting a virtual Walk Where You Are on Saturday, October 29. This event will include a We Remember tent, VIP Top Fundraiser tent and fun activities.
The upcoming Race for the Cure is a life-altering philanthropic experience that has transformed how people view and discuss breast cancer. Every participant who takes part in this remarkable race experiences incredible transformation in themselves and their community.
Every year in downtown Knoxville, The Komen Race for the Cure holds a 5K run and fitness walk to raise funds and awareness in support of breast cancer research. This event has become an unforgettable life-altering experience that will be remembered for years to come.
Funding for Research
Komen is a renowned philanthropy that invests over $1 billion annually into breast cancer research and treatment. It ranks as the second-largest collective investment of any nonprofit in America, behind only the government.
Over its four-decade history, Komen has awarded more than $1.1 billion in research grants and supported over 152 active projects to improve patient outcomes. Furthermore, the organization invests in community programs which offer education and screening services to those at risk or living with breast cancer.
A Reuters analysis of Komen’s financial statements revealed that it devotes significantly less of its revenue to research than many other charities. For instance, the American Cancer Society spent 16 percent of their donations on research in 2011, compared with one-third for Komen.
Contrast this with the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, which devotes 90 percent of its donations to research, and Metavivor, which dedicates 100% of its funds towards breast cancer research. Furthermore, Planned Parenthood reported spending $224 million on research in 2010.
Goldstein reports that Komen has been successful at persuading donors to support various cancer-related initiatives, but the organization struggles to articulate the significance of its research investments. At times, its messaging may diverge from mainstream science.
Komen has long stressed the importance of mammograms as a key tool in the fight against breast cancer, but new studies indicate they may no longer be accurate diagnostic tests. While Komen is working hard to spread awareness about this new information, Goldstein believes donors need more help understanding the broader effects of their funding for research.
The charity’s research efforts are often directed towards improving outcomes for patients with the most advanced forms of breast cancer. Recently, it awarded $1.5 million to three projects led by researchers at Duke Cancer Institute and UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center that will increase knowledge about metastatic breast cancer (MBC) and help develop treatments to treat it.
This research initiative is part of the Metastatic Breast Cancer Collaborative Research Initiative, a larger collaboration between Komen and two academic centers. Through this funding mechanism, researchers from Komen, other organizations, as well as physicians and scientists from these academic centers can collaborate on research. This effort will examine three specific areas: biology and societal drivers of MBC; effectiveness of standard and targeted therapies combined; and use of biomarkers to identify patients most likely to benefit from treatment.
Support for Survivors
Susn G Komen understands how challenging fighting breast cancer can be and offers a range of services to aid you in this journey.
Our online resources offer helpful advice for surviving breast cancer and living life with a diagnosis. Plus, we have access to local and online support groups where you can connect with others who understand what you’re going through.
Survivors face a variety of issues and concerns, so having someone to talk to who will not judge or minimize your experiences is invaluable. Additionally, you can connect with other survivors on our social media platforms like the Komen Breast Cancer Facebook group and Komen Metastatic Breast Cancer Facebook group for support and understanding.
Supporting someone who has survived breast cancer can take many forms, from donations and fundraising events to volunteer opportunities. These are all excellent ways for you to give back and enable us to continue our work.
Komen-sponsored events and fundraisers can be found near you, such as walks or runs. These fundraising efforts raise money to further the Komen mission of saving lives from breast cancer by meeting urgent needs and investing in groundbreaking research.
In the United States, a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer every two minutes. Thus, it’s essential that those affected by breast cancer receive support from family, friends and co-survivors.
When a loved one is diagnosed with breast cancer, the entire family is affected. The pain and fear can be overwhelming, particularly if the news comes as a shock. But it’s essential to remember that these emotions will pass and are normal reactions; in fact, they help you cope with the challenges that come along with a breast cancer diagnosis.
It can be heartbreaking to watch someone you care about struggle with a disease that has taken their life. When someone you love is facing such hardship, it can be challenging to know what to say or do; having someone there for support can make all the difference. Having someone to talk to when feeling helpless or overwhelmed is invaluable.