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Who is Susan Komen?

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SusanKomen headerHistory of Komen for the Cure Movement

Susan Komen was a daughter, sister and friend. She was also a strong and compassionate woman who, while battling her own sickness, cared for other women who were fighting breast cancer. She had compassion for those who wore the same badge of breast cancer and she wanted to help.

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When diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 33, Susan did her best to carry on with life. As she and her sister Nancy sat in the waiting rooms at the hospitals and physicians' offices, her concern was for the other women. Those waiting rooms were drab and had no life to them. Susan told Nancy that when she got better, she wanted to do something to make these waiting rooms a better place for the woman who would still have to visit.

After a courageous and long battle with breast cancer, Susan Komen lost her battle just three short years later. Even in the hardest and most painful of times, she worried more about others than about herself.

So who is Susan Komen? Susan Komen is the reason for the Susan Komen Foundation and the reason for Komen for the Cure, which was established in 1982. Nancy G. Brinker, Susan’s sister, promised she would do something to help those women fighting breast cancer, and continues to do so in memory of her sister. Komen for the Cure not only helps men and women with breast cancer, it is the largest grassroots network consisting of breast cancer survivors, activists and family members of those with breast cancer.

The Komen for the Cure Foundation has raised over $1.5 billion to help fulfill the promise Nancy made Susan to help other women in the battle of breast cancer. With the help of the foundation, research is moving forward on a cure for breast cancer. More places around the world are being helped to educate women on how important early detection is in the battle against breast cancer. Those drab waiting rooms are a thing of the past.

Breast cancer research is moving forward, and improvements and support for breast cancer patients continues to grow. The United States government now sets aside over $900 million each year to aid in breast cancer research, early detection and the education of people in cancer awareness.

How did this happen? The love for a sister and a promise to do something in her name, for the help Susan wanted to give those fighting breast cancer. Susan Komen can never be replaced but this legacy is how she is remembered. The love for a daughter, sister or wife and the pain in losing them will never get easier, but striving for a cure gives us a way to help remember them with honor and to help end future loss from this disease. The Susan J. Komen Foundation for the Cure is known around the world and people from all walks of life come together to help fulfill a promise.

This movement came about because of one sister's promise to another. It is amazing to see just how much a public effort can do to help others. Have you taken part in the Komen for the Cure effort? Have you battled breast cancer? Has a relative or friend traveled this path? If so, please share your story.
 

Photo credit: Booth Features