Voices of Impact – Partners in Mission

Our corporate partners fund research, pay for screenings and community outreach, and help us educate and engage women and men worldwide. Each partner is critical to our mission. Join us in thanking just eight of them who make our lifesaving work possible worldwide.

American Airlines

American Airlines was one of Komen’s first corporate partners, having supported the Race for the Cure® as a national series sponsor since 1988. In 2007, AA dramatically increased their support, committing to fund a five-year, $7.5 million Promise Grant to MD Anderson Cancer Center focused on finding better treatment options, for inflammatory breast cancer.

Promise Grants are multi-million dollar, long-term, large-scale research grants. They bring together the best researchers, doctors, nurses, patient advocates and others – working as one team to solve an important issue in breast cancer.

Of all the forms of this disease, inflammatory breast cancer is probably the most insidious, which also makes it one of the most deadly. Because of this grant, researchers now have a better understanding of how inflammatory breast cancer develops. The MD Anderson team has identified prospective new targets for cancer drugs, and they’re using these findings to design clinical trials of potential treatments, along with better ways to diagnose this form of the disease.

Belk

Belk was the funding sponsor of Belk EDGE: A Susan G. Komen Grant for Early Detection and General Education from 2010-2013. This project was led by Dr. Neb Duric, Professor of Oncology at Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit, Michigan. The focus of this research project was to optimize ultrasound tomography (UST) technology to find breast cancer earlier and more accurately, particularly in women with dense breasts. Dr. Duric and his team demonstrated that the technology was able to correctly identify cancer in 90 percent of all cases, regardless of breast density. The investigators have estimated that up to 30 percent of unnecessary biopsies could be avoided by using UST. Dr. Duric and his research partner, Dr. Peter Littrup, M.D., were able to commercialize this ultrasound screening device under the name SoftVue®. They are currently undergoing a clinical study at The Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit, as they continue to improve the imaging and accuracy of the device.

Belk has been a Komen partner since 2002 and has donated more than $3.98 million to help fund research as well as community health programs in local areas where their employees and customers live.

Caterpillar

Since 2011, the Caterpillar Foundation and Susan G. Komen have partnered in Brazil, Mexico and Panama to improve early detection of breast cancer and save lives by increasing awareness, strengthening screening services, and removing barriers to access.

This partnership has helped women access breast cancer screening services, many for the first time. We have also reached millions of women through breast cancer awareness campaigns, trained medical providers on breast cancer concepts, and educated thousands of community members on breast self-awareness.

Caterpillar supports the philanthropic efforts of the Caterpillar Foundation. Founded in 1952, the foundation has contributed more than $550 million to help make sustainable progress possible around the world. This includes a $5 million investment in Susan G. Komen for breast cancer programs in Latin America through 2016.

GE

In 2011, as part of GE’s $1 billion commitment to cancer, GE healthymagination joined forces with Susan G. Komen to address the global breast cancer crisis. This partnership has paved the way for Komen and our partners on the ground to make great strides in providing accessible, affordable and quality breast health services. Thanks to GE’s $5.18 million investment in Komen, critical programs in Wyoming, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the People’s Republic of China are delivering significant impact to the women who need us most. In addition to our programmatic work, GE generously underwrote Komen’s inaugural Global Women’s Cancer Summit in February 2013. Together, we convened 300 world leaders to address the growing women’s cancer crisis. Our partnership has allowed Komen and GE to build on areas of respective expertise to magnify our overall reach and impact.

Princess Cruises Community Foundation

Princess Cruise Lines has contributed more than $2 million to support Susan G. Komen programs in the fight to end breast cancer. In 2011, Princess increased their commitment, contributing $630,000 to fully support two research grants.

The first Princess grant is a three-year, $180,000 investment at Stanford University supporting a Postdoctoral Fellowship focused on breast cancer stem cells. Through this grant, Dr. Maider Zabala and her mentor, Dr. Michael Clarke, will study a potential new treatment for breast cancer and work to determine how to more effectively kill breast cancer stem cells to reduce the likelihood of recurrence.

The second Princess grant is a three-year, $450,000 grant to Dr. Susan Krum to investigate the role that certain environmental factors, specifically BPA, might play in the development of breast cancer. Through this grant, Dr. Krum has shown that breast stem cells multiply more in the presence of BPA than without BPA. In the coming year Dr. Krum plans to continue examining how BPA causes breast cancer by assessing which genes are altered after exposure to BPA. She also hopes to determine whether BPA inhibits the effects of currently used chemotherapies, doxorubicin and tamoxifen.

Rally for the Cure®

We are so thankful to Condé Nast for operating the Rally for the Cure program and the millions of women and men they help us reach annually with breast cancer awareness messages. For the past seventeen years, the Rally program has worked to educate women about breast self awareness and remind them, through volunteer organized golf, tennis and social events, to get their annual screening to ensure the early detection of breast cancer.

Each year, over three thousand Ambassadors host Rally events in their communities to help spread awareness in support of Susan G. Komen. In addition to spreading awareness, fundraising activities at these events have generated over $70 million for Komen. Monies from these events have helped fund a research grant to identify genes that are amplified by estrogen and to understand how estrogen amplifies these genes, as well as funding numerous education, screening and treatment programs in local communities all across the country through the Komen Affiliate Network.

Walgreens

Walgreens has been a national sponsor of the Race for the Cure Series since 2010. Through the partnership, Walgreens promotes its Way to Well program at more than 100 Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure events throughout the year and provides free Race registrations to employees and their families.

In addition to its Race sponsorship, each October, Walgreens invites customers at more than 8,000 retail locations to donate to Susan G. Komen at checkout using the pin pad by the register. During the 2012 program, Walgreens consumers donated an astonishing $8.5 million to the cause. Komen used those funds to help provide education, screening and treatment assistance to underserved women in communities across the United States and Puerto Rico. In just three years, Walgreens and their customers have donated more than $11 million to Susan G. Komen.

Zumba

Zumba® Fitness has been a wonderful corporate partner to Susan G. Komen since 2010, helping raise over $3 million dollars for all facets of Komen’s mission across the globe. In 2013, they have taken that message even further. From July 15, 2013 to October 31, 2015, Zumba Fitness will provide $3 million to support a Susan G. Komen five-year Promise Grant through their Party in Pink™ campaign by asking supporters, survivors, and Zumba enthusiasts to “Party, Prevent, and Prevail” against breast cancer. The grant has been aptly named the Zumba® Global Research Grant for Breast Cancer Prevention.

This grant is funding a study that will evaluate the preventive effects of SDG, the lignan found in flaxseed, on pre-menopausal women. The clinical trial supported by this grant is currently active in multiple centers across the U.S., and will demonstrate whether SDG can be used as a safe, low-cost, highly accessible solution to help prevent breast cancer on a global scale. All funds raised at Party in Pink™ Zumbathon events across the globe during the campaign period, as well as merchandise sales for specially branded Party in Pink™ Zumba wear, will go toward the grant.

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Meet more of the Corporate Partners and Sponsors who support us in our mission to end breast cancer!

About the author

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Susan G. Komen has written 274 articles for Susan G. Komen® | Blog

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.