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.
The Arkansas Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure was incorporated in 1992 by Terri DeSio, Pat McClelland and Pat Torvestad. Since its founding, the Arkansas Affiliate has held 18 Komen Races for the Cure ® in downtown Little Rock, welcoming women, men and children from throughout the state.
The Komen Arkansas Race has had 18 races and has distributed more than $11 million throughout the state, funding grants and educational programs which have provided support and information (focused on early detection) to thousands of Arkansas women and their families.
The Race provides an opportunity to honor breast cancer survivors and to remember those who have lost the battle. Of the money raised through the Race, 75 percent stays in Arkansas to fund educational programs, while the remaining 25 percent funds national research grants.
The Arkansas Affiliate has become a powerful voice for change through the passage of the Breast Cancer Act of 1997 which provides funding for the promotion of breast cancer awareness, mammograms, and treatment. A member of the Arkansas Affiliate Foundation board of directors serves as a member of the state Breast Cancer Advisory Board which oversees the funding provided by the legislation.