In 1980, Susan Goodman Komen lost her battle with breast cancer at the age of 36. In the last months of Susan’s life, her sister, Nancy Goodman Brinker, made a promise to dedicate the rest of her life to increasing awareness and support of breast cancer research, education, screening and treatment. In 1982, Nancy’s promise launched the global breast cancer movement and the creation of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, which was renamed Susan G. Komen for the Cure in 2009.
In 1990, Brinker established The Komen Houston Affiliate. It is ranked number one, topping 125 affiliate groups worldwide, in recognition of providing the most funding for education, screening and treatment both globally and in its seven-county service area in Southwest Texas. The Komen Houston Race for the Cure, the affiliate’s largest fundraiser, attracted a record 30,000 participants in 2008 amidst the devastation and confusion of the Hurricane Ike aftermath. As a grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists, the organization works to save lives, empower people, ensure quality care for all and energize science to find cures.
The Komen Foundation, as a whole, is the global leader of breast cancer awareness and support. As of 2008, the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation had invested more than $1 billion since its inception in 1982. The Komen Foundation is the largest source of nonprofit funds dedicated to the fight against breast cancer in the world.