Susan G. Komen for the Cure: Wikis


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Susan G. Komen for the Cure
Type Non-Profit
Founded 1982 in Dallas, Texas
Founder(s) Nancy Goodman Brinker
Headquarters 5005 LBJ Fwy., Ste. 250
Dallas, TX 75244
901 E Street NW
Washington, DC 20004
Key people Nancy Goodman Brinker (Founder & CEO)
Alexine Clement Jackson (Chairman)
Mike Williams (Interim President)
Dr. Eric P. Winer (Chief Scientific Adviser)

Susan G. Komen for the Cure, formerly known as The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, often referred to as simply Komen, is an organization supporting breast cancer research. Since its inception in 1982, Komen has raised over $1.5 billion[1] for research, education and health services,[2] making it the largest breast cancer charity in the world.[3][4] Today, the Komen organization is recognized as the leading catalyst in the fight against breast cancer, with more than 100,000 volunteers working in a network of 125 U.S. and international affiliates.[5] Susan G. Komen for the Cure received Charity Navigator's highest rating, four stars.[6] According to results of the Harris Interactive 2010 EquiTrend annual brand equity poll, Komen is one the most trusted nonprofit organizations in America.[7][8]



Susan Goodman Komen was born October 31, 1943 in Peoria, Illinois, and was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 33 and died three years later, in 1980.[9] Komen's younger sister, Nancy Goodman Brinker, who felt that Susan's outcome might have been better if patients knew more about cancer and its treatment, and remembering a promise to her sister that she would find a way to speed up breast cancer research,[9] founded the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation in Komen's memory in 1982.

In 2007, the 25th anniversary of the organization, it changed its name to Susan G. Komen for the Cure, created a new logo, and adopted the explicit mission "to end breast cancer forever".

On December 2, 2009 Brinker was appointed CEO of the organization.[10]

Grants and awards

Since 1982, Komen has provided funding for basic, clinical, and translational breast cancer research and for innovative projects in the areas of breast health education and breast cancer screening and treatment. In addition, Komen awards three-year postdoctoral fellowships to individuals working under the guidance of experienced cancer researchers in order to recruit and retain young scientists in the field of breast cancer research. In addition to funding research, Komen and its affiliates fund non-duplicative, community-based breast health education and breast cancer screening and treatment projects for the medically under-served.[11]

Since 1992, Komen has also annually awarded work in the field of cancer research with the Komen Brinker Award for Scientific Distinction.

Research grants

Komen has dedicated nearly $1 billion to creating awareness and finding a cure for breast cancer, making it the nation's largest private funding source for breast health and breast cancer.[12]

Since 1982, Komen has awarded more than 1,000 breast cancer research grants totaling more than $180 million.[11] Komen adheres to a peer-review process that is recognized by the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

As of 2007, research grants are available for basic, clinical, and translational research; postdoctoral fellowships; and breast cancer disparities research.[13]

Global activities

According to the United Nations World Health Organization, more than 500,000 people worldwide die from breast cancer every year, and breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths among women worldwide.[14] Komen for the Cure states that its aim is to "reduce the burden of breast cancer on a global level". Believing that no single approach to breast health will prove effective around the world, Komen works with local communities and organizations to develop programs for particular groups or cultures.[15]

In 2006, Susan G. Komen for the Cure announced their involvement[citation needed] with the US-Middle East Partnership for Breast Cancer Awareness and Research, a Middle East Partnership Initiative program that unites leading breast cancer advocates in the U.S. and the Middle East with the goal increasing early detection of breast cancer and reduce mortality through improved awareness, increased clinical resources, and research.[16]

Today, Susan G. Komen for the Cure is active in over 50 countries with its largest affiliates in Italy and Germany.[17]

Public policy

Komen has taken the stand that scientific progress needs to be complemented by sound public policy. Komen works to influence public policy-makers at the federal, state and local levels to increase public investment in quality breast health and breast cancer care. As part of their efforts, Komen has established Komen Champions for the Cure, a structured advocacy organization that, through community involvement, contacts Congress, federal officials, state legislators, and other policy makers about breast cancer.[18]

Susan G. Komen for the Cure helped pass countless amendments including to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, authored by Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), that would ensure that breast cancer screening is available for women ages 40 through 49.[19]


Cause marketing

The Foundation raises over $35 million a year from over 60 cause marketing partnerships from Yoplait, which runs the Save Lids to Save Lives program, to a partnership with American Airlines.[20]


A group participating in a Komen Race for the Cure event
  • Komen Race for the Cure — a series of 5-kilometer run/fitness-walk foot races to raise money and awareness for the fight against breast cancer, celebrate breast cancer survivorship, and memorialize those who lost their battles with the disease
  • The 3-Day for the Cure — a 60-mile walk for women and men: participants walk 60 miles (96.6 km) in three days to help raise millions of dollars for breast cancer research and patient support programs
  • Passionately Pink for the Cure — a fundraising and education program in conjunction with National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

On March 10, 2009, the organization announced the first Susan G. Komen Global Race for the Cure, to be held annually in Washington, D.C.[21]

Mobile fundraising

In October 2008, Susan G. Komen for the Cure launched a mobile donating campaign, enabling supporters to donate money by texting.[22]

Controversy and criticism

Several Komen Affiliates have given Planned Parenthood grants for breast cancer treatment as part of its efforts to support community outreach programs.[citation needed] This has garnered criticism from some pro-life advocates because of Planned Parenthood's role as an abortion provider.[23] However, Komen Affiliates do provide funds to pay for screening, education and treatment programs in dozens of communities, which means that in some areas, the only place that poor, uninsured or under-insured women can receive these services are through special programs run by Planned Parenthood.[citation needed] When Komen refused to stop providing grants to Planned Parenthood, Curves, a privately held fitness franchise firm owned by pro-life advocate Gary Heavin, ceased supporting Komen events.[citation needed]

Komen has also been caught up in the controversy over "pinkwashing" — the use of breast cancer by corporate marketers, in which companies promote their products with claims to donate a percentage of proceeds to the cause. Komen benefits greatly from these corporate partnerships, receiving over $30 million a year and expanding overall breast cancer awareness. But critics claim many of these promotions are deceptive to consumers and benefit the companies more than the charity.[24]

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ [1], Dallas Morning News, accessed May 4, 2008
  3. ^ U.S. Department of State (2007-03-27). "Ambassador Nancy G. Brinker, Founder of the World’s Largest Breast Cancer Awareness Organization to Speak to Palestinian Audience". Press release. Retrieved 2009-02-03. 
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Charity Navigator, accessed March 15, 2008.
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ a b "Susan G. Komen's story", Susan G. Komen for the Cure official website. Accessed March 2, 2008.
  10. ^
  11. ^ a b "Komen Grants & Awards". Susan G. Komen for the Cure official page. Retrieved 2007-03-30. 
  12. ^ [2] San Francisco Chronicle, 14 May 2007
  13. ^ "Research Grants". Susan G. Komen for the Cure official page. Retrieved 2007-02-18.
  14. ^ "Cancer Fact Sheet". World Health Organization. Retrieved 2007-04-11. 
  15. ^ "Susan G. Komen for the Cure: Our Global Reach". Retrieved 2007-04-11. 
  16. ^ "About Us". Fairfax, Virginia: US-Middle East Partnership for Breast Cancer Awareness and Research. Retrieved 2009-05-09. 
  17. ^
  18. ^ "Public Policy". Susan G. Komen for the Cure official page. Retrieved 2007-02-18.
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^ Komen Launches Text Message Based Breast Cancer Donation System
  23. ^ "St. Louis Archdiocese Position Statement on Susan G. Komen for the Cure". Respect Life Apostolate (Archdiocese of St. Louis). 2006-06-07. Retrieved 2009-10-16. 
  24. ^ Stacie, Stukin (2006-10-08). "Pink Ribbon Promises". TIME.,9171,1543947-1,00.html. Retrieved 2007-04-23. 

External links

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