Susan G. Komen

by Madi from Flower Mound

Susan and Nancy
Susan and Nancy

To me a hero is someone who changes lives; it can be one life or a million lives. Everyone has heard of Susan G. Komen. She is the face of breast cancer. Growing up I have known a handful of people affected by cancer, but I have also known that they will have a chance because cancer awareness is much higher now than it was 30 or even five years ago. This would not be the case if it weren’t for Susan G. Komen. She is my hero because she inspired her sister to start a foundation in her honor and proved that one person can make a difference.

Susan (Goodman) Komen was born October 31, 1943 in Peoria, Illinois. She was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 33 and passed away four years later in 1980. Before her death, her younger sister made a promise that she would end breast cancer forever. Soon after, in 1982 The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer foundation was founded by Nancy Goodman Brinker. It is a nonprofit organization that focuses on curing breast cancer. In 2007, the name was switched from “The Susan G. Komen breast cancer Foundation” to “Susan G. Komen for the Cure”. The new name focuses more on finding the Cure to breast cancer, not just researching treatments.

Breast cancer is the leading cause of death in middle aged women. Susan G. Komen for the Cure is one of the largest foundations in the world and the largest cancer awareness program. Eighteen countries are permanently involved with the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer foundation and a total of fifty have been affiliated with the organization. Within the United States, over 100 cities and tens of thousands of volunteers are involved. Many people who have been diagnosed or know someone who has, participate in fundraising events run by the organization. The Race for the Cure is an annual charity race that raises cancer awareness and money to treat patients. The first race was held in Dallas, Texas in 1983. There are different races/events associated with Susan G. Komen breast cancer Foundation. There are three day walks, marathons, pink days and a bowling event. Every year the events spread to new towns and new people causing the foundation’s participation rates to grow exponentially in the last 29 years. Today, the foundation is still going strong. Since Nancy started in 1982, two billion dollars have been invested in researching to find the cure. Of the 400 million dollars raised in 2009, 365 million came from donations alone and 360 million was spent on races, research, screenings, education and treatment.

Although Susan died four years after she was diagnosed, she is the reason Susan G. Komen for the Cure was started. If her breast cancer hadn’t been fatal, her sister wouldn’t have looked into the reasons why she lost her sister. She wouldn’t have started a foundation, searched for a cure and inspired so many people to do the same. Because of the foundation started in her honor, she has lived on long after her death and changed countless lives.

Page created on 2/17/2012 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 2/17/2012 12:00:00 AM

The beliefs, viewpoints and opinions expressed in this hero submission on the website are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs, viewpoints and opinions of The MY HERO Project and its staff.