The Susan G. Komen story
Susan G. Komen fought breast cancer with her heart, body and soul. Throughout her diagnosis, treatments and endless days in the hospital, she spent her time thinking of ways to make life better for other women battling breast cancer instead of worrying about her own situation. Moved by Susan’s compassion for others and commitment to making a difference, Nancy G. Brinker promised her sister that she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer.
Though Susan lost her battle with the disease, her legacy lives on through the work of Susan G. Komen for the Cure®, the organization Nancy started in her honor. Komen for the Cure is the global leader of the breast cancer movement, having invested more than $1 billion since its inception in 1982. Komen’s promise is to save lives and end breast cancer forever by empowering people, ensuring quality care for all and energizing science to find the cures.
Across the country, that promise is upheld by a network of 122 local Affiliate offices. At the heart of each Affiliate is a person or group of people who, like Susan, wanted to make a difference.
About Susan G. Komen for the Cure Southern Arizona
The Southern Arizona Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure was started in 1999. Through events like the Race for the Cure and El Tour de Tucson, we raise dollars for local community-based programs that educate, screen and treat women who otherwise could not afford it. Our focus is on making grants for clinics that treat un-insured and under-insured women.
Out of every dollar raised, 75 cents net stays in the Southern Arizona community. The rest goes towards international breast cancer research. Because of some of the cancer research programs that exist here through the University of Arizona, much of that funding comes back.
We are always looking for new ways to reach the community, boost awareness about breast cancer, and diversify our funding efforts. These have included:
• Players for Pink, a high school breast health awareness initiative involving student sports teams
• Komen Shorts: 30 Seconds to Save a Life, our first film shorts competition.
• Cook for the Cure, a fundraiser in which the public gets to see some local Tucson chefs in action
• Voices for the Cure, a radio series in collaboration with Arizona Public Media sharing the stories of survivors and families of survivors
• ‘Pink October’ live concert series in collaboration with 92.9 The Mountain.
Komen SAZ is the ONLY local breast cancer foundation to raise money for treatment, as well as other initiatives. Where our money goes:
* Breast cancer treatment programs
* Breast health education
* Education and outreach in outlying communities of Southern Arizona
* Staffing a local resource office to respond to the breast health needs of our community.
How do we do it?
We operate with the help of Tucson’s generous community. That includes:
* Fundraising events and campaigns. Our biggest is Race for the Cure, Southern Arizona’s largest participatory fundraising event.
* Hundreds of volunteers who help man our office, organize events, operate Race for the Cure, and spearhead local education initiatives
* Sponsors and small businesses that help us take part in, organize and cater events
* Media partners like KOLD News 13, KVOA News 4, Tucson Weekly, the Arizona Daily Star and Arizona Bilingual, who give space and air time to our issues
* Physicians, scientists, politicians and business leaders who advise us and work with us in our missions to access health care for all Arizonans, and to highlight the benefits of early detection of breast cancer.
And it doesn’t stop there…
• Our Students for the Cure initiative engages students from schools and promotes health and early awareness of breast cancer.
• Faith in Pink works with churches to raise awareness about the Komen mission
• Players for Pink, launched in October 2011, promotes breast health awareness among sports teams in high schools.
• In 2011-12, a small grant issued by Komen SAZ to The Loft Cinema aimed to spread our message of breast health awareness through screenings, and our first film shorts competition.
About our grants
The majority of our money stays right here in Southern Arizona, where needs are serious. We fund grants to projects that educate, support survivors and offer screening/diagnostic services. But we don’t just award them to anyone; we’re looking for not-for-profit organizations that provide innovative breast health and breast cancer services that are not found elsewhere – ones that directly serve the uninsured and under-insured in Southern Arizona. The counties we cover are: Pima, Santa Cruz, Cochise, Yuma, Graham and Greenlee. For more information on our current grantees click here. Our grants review panel is made up of members of the Southern Arizona community who are independent of Komen SAZ. They make decisions on the awarding of grants based on our Executive Summary - Community Needs
Want to know more?
Breast health needs have never been greater here in Southern Arizona. You can find out more by reading our Community Profile Report summary.
Susan G. Komen for the Cure® has always been a brand to trust, and we are honored that we ranked number one in a recent Harris Interactive poll as the most valued non-profit brand and the charity people are most likely to donate money to. Additionally, Komen for the Cure ranked second on the 2010 list of the nation’s most trusted charities.