The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation recently marked its 25th anniversary with a renewed and impassioned mission that incorporates a new name and logo, a $1 billion commitment and a host of initiatives designed to support its promise to end breast cancer. The organization’s new name is Susan G. Komen for the Cure and will be represented by a new logo featuring a customized version of the ubiquitous pink ribbon.
In the 25 years since its inception, Komen for the Cure has successfully brought breast cancer to the forefront, changing how the world talks about and treats the disease. The foundation has grown to become a large grassroots network of survivors and activists, investing nearly $1 billion in the cause and turning breast cancer into a priority health issue for women, researchers, health professionals and politicians. Though the organization’s promise to end breast cancer remains the same, the new name, logo and look represent the bolder stance Komen is taking toward fulfilling that promise.
“Susan G. Komen for the Cure is drawing a line in the sand,” says Komen founder Nancy G. Brinker, a breast cancer survivor. “We are literally on a mission to end breast cancer forever and it’s high time we took ownership of the strides we’ve made and declare our uncompromising commitment. Our new name and logo leave no question about the only acceptable result of the work we do — we are Susan G. Komen for the Cure.” Brinker founded the organization in 1982 on a promise she made to her sister, Susan G. Komen, who died of breast cancer at age 36.
The decision to change the organization’s name is the result of significant research that showed an opportunity to extend Komen’s reach by linking the organization’s name with its strongest asset — the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure and its series of “for the Cure” trademarks. Susan G. Komen for the Cure and the pink ribbon icon pay homage to the inspiration behind Komen’s legacy, serve as reminders that the lives of real women are at stake, define Komen’s position and infuse it with a sense of urgency and hope.
25 Years of Achievements
For the past 25 years, Komen for the Cure has played a critical role in major advances in the breast cancer movement. Because of the organization’s efforts to establish the importance of early detection in finding and treating breast cancer, nearly 75 percent of women older than 40 now receive regular screening mammograms, compared to just 30 percent in 1982. Before the organization was founded, the five-year survival rate for breast cancer, when diagnosed before it spreads beyond the breast, was just 74 percent. Today, it is 98 percent.
Komen is perhaps most widely known for its signature event, the Komen Race for the Cure. Brinker created the race series as a way to educate the public about breast cancer while raising funds to discover and deliver the cures. The first Race took place in 1983 in Dallas with 800 participants, many of whom wore pink to symbolize the breast cancer movement for the first time. Today, more than one million people annually participate in more than 100 race events, raising funds to help meet local breast health needs and educating their communities about breast health and breast cancer.
Leveraging the ability of race events to engage one person and one community at a time, Komen pioneered its grassroots model with the creation of affiliates. Today, 125 Komen affiliates around the world serve more than 18,000 communities. Recognizing the limitations of Komen’s reach alone, Brinker pioneered the concept of cause-related marketing. Today, more than 130 corporate partners work with Komen to deliver life-saving messages to millions of consumers where they live, work and play.
Seeing It Through
In the world of breast cancer, the big questions are still without answers: What causes the disease and how can it be prevented? One in eight American women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. Without a cure in the next 25 years, an estimated 25 million women globally will be diagnosed with breast cancer and an estimated 10 million will die from the disease. It is obvious that breast cancer is not yet under control.
In response to these hard facts, Komen is pledging to invest an additional $1 billion in education, community health programs and research in the next decade. By the end of 2007, Komen already will have invested nearly $1 billion in breast cancer research and community outreach programs, making it the world’s largest source of non-profit funds for the fight against breast cancer. Additionally, the organization is committed to agitating in the public policy arena to address life and death issues women face as they navigate the current health care system.
“We will mobilize more than 10 million activists — everyday people who share our determination and passion to end breast cancer,” said Hala Moddelmog, Komen president and CEO and a five-year breast cancer survivor. “We will work every day to save lives and to spare future generations the pain of this disease.”
25th Anniversary Initiatives
Throughout 2007, Komen for the Cure is focusing on special national and international initiatives and unveiling new ways for everyday people to commit to the cure and experience Komen’s new brand. Key initiatives include: the Komen Community Challenge, a policy and education tour to 25 communities; the first-ever State of Breast Cancer Report and the world’s first Global Breast Cancer Advocate Summit.
For more information on 25th anniversary initiatives taking place throughout 2007, visit www.komen.org.
Komen for the Cure is also unveiling its Promise Ring, a symbol of the unbroken promise between two sisters that launched the organization. Individuals can wear the ring as their fashion manifesto or as a way to enhance visibility of their commitment to the cure.
Source: Susan G. Komen for the Cure