Bahamas Mission Delegation Recap
Our time in the Bahamas ended appropriately on Sunday morning as we gathered to celebrate with the more than 1000 runners who participated in Marathon Bahamas. Franklyn Wilson, Chairman of Sunshine Holdings, Ltd., presenting sponsor of Marathon Bahamas, as well as the event organizer, invited our delegation to what was billed as a “VIP Breakfast” on beautiful Junkanoo Beach. More accurately, it was a family reunion, as elite runners from all of the world reunited with one another and enjoyed the warm hospitality of the extended Wilson family.
I couldn’t help but think how perfect it all was. We often refer to Komen as a family. After all, our organization was founded on a promise between two sisters and then grew with the support of our Founder’s family and friends…And grew further with the support of their family and friends. And now here we are, nearly 30 years later, continuing to add to our family as we work to tackle the toughest issues facing the breast cancer movement: aggressive disease and access to quality care.
To say that I’m proud to have accompanied this Delegation to the Bahamas is an understatement. From the time we hit the ground on Thursday until the time we left the islands on Sunday, I was amazed at the group’s dedication and passion! Special thanks to:
- Ambassador Ned Siegel and his wife, Stephanie, Komen Global Ambassador and Advocacy Alliance Board Member, for their leadership and counsel;
- Mrs. Margot Copeland, National President of The Links, Incorporated, and the many Links who accompanied our delegation and whose vision and support are so critical to the work we do – in the Bahamas and across the world;
- Mrs. Tina Lewis, Komen Adocacy Alliance Board Member, and her husband Mr. Harold Lewis for their giving spirits and the generous initial donation that has resulted more than $75,000 in grants to support the fight against breast cancer in the Bahamas;
- Ms. Brenda Lauderback, Komen National Board Member, for her support and passion and her powerful remarks at the Town Hall Meeting and the Bahamas Race for the Cure;
- Dr. Dara Richardson-Heron, CEO of Komen’s Greater New York City Affiliate and 13-year breast cancer survivor, who loaned her scientific expertise to the Medical Roundtable and her dynamic personality and “emcee” skills to the Town Hall Discussion;
- Ms. Neel Stallings, Komen Global Race Ambassador and 12-year survivor, whose energy, enthusiam and positive outlook are nothing short of inspiring.
To all of our delegates who helped make our time in the Bahamas a meaningful and memorable experience: thank you!
But just as our work in the Bahamas didn’t begin this weekend, it doesn’t end here, either. As a result of our discussions in both the Medical Roundtable and the Town Hall Meeting, there is much left to do… Many dots left to connect… as we work to overcome the significant challenges faced by the women and men of the Bahamas. Certainly, $75,000 will help move things in the right direction, specifically as it relates to treatment and awareness. But there’s a tremendous amount of work to be done on the policy front to address access to quality care and to ensure that sustained philanthropy will have our desired impact of saving lives and ending breast cancer forever…in the Bahamas and across the world.
About the author
Nancy G. Brinker promised her dying sister, Susan G. Komen, she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer forever. In 1982, that promise became Susan G. Komen and launched the global breast cancer movement. Today, Komen is the world’s largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists fighting to save lives, empower people, ensure quality care for all and energize science to find the cures. Thanks to events like the Komen Race for the Cure®, we have invested more than $1.9 billion to fulfill our promise, becoming the largest source of nonprofit funds dedicated to the fight against breast cancer in the world.