International Race for the Cure Recap: Italy and Germany

In 2008, we were very proud to have expanded the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure® series beyond its domestic Komen Affiliate network by establishing successful partnerships with leading nonprofit organizations from around the world to organize Race for the Cure events outside of the United States. The International Race series has changed the way communities around the world view and react to the words “breast cancer” and how breast cancer survivors are regarded in their respective countries.

While each International Race is unique, they all have the common goal of increasing breast cancer awareness, providing a sense of hope and community to those who have suffered from the disease and educating the public and local governments about breast health. Race events create a positive environment in which breast cancer is put in the public eye. Despite local taboos, we have seen the power of women around the world breaking the silence about breast cancer. On Race day, brave survivors acknowledge their disease and continue to dispel myths about breast cancer, serving as ambassadors for the cause. As a result, other survivors feel hopeful and women are empowered to take control of their health.

But the impact of our International Race series doesn’t stop on Race day. Thanks to these events, local survivor support groups have been established, access to screening, diagnosis and treatment has been increased, breast cancer awareness programs for key target groups have been created, and patient support programs continue to grow.

Over the past month, Race events took place in Belgium, Greece, Germany, Italy, Puerto Rico, Bosnia & Herzegovina, the Republic of Georgia and Tanzania. In this four-part series, we recap these international events while providing information about their local mission work.

We continue the series with recaps from Bologna, Italy and Frankfurt, Germany.

Susan G. Komen Italia’s final Race for the Cure of the three events in Italy this year took place on September 29, 2013 in Bologna, Italy. In spite of the pouring rain, they once again drew record numbers to their 7th Bologna Race with a participation of approximately 13,000 runners and walkers. Check out the pictures.

During the two days prior to the Bologna Race, Komen Italia hosted its annual “Villaggio della Salute” (health village) during which volunteer physicians and health care professional provide free screening to the underserved population as well as educational sessions for the general public. At this year’s health village, three suspected cases of breast cancer were identified and the individuals were sent for further diagnostic testing at the local hospital. To date, more than 8,100 women have been served through this screening program and 87 cases of breast cancer have been detected in women who would not otherwise have had access to screening.

Since the Affiliate’s inception in 2000, Komen Italia has granted nearly 2 million Euros to 102 grantee organizations for 225 projects in 17 regions of Italy. 8% of the funds went to early detection programs, 33% to education and awareness, 7% to treatment and 52% to breast cancer patient and survivor support programs.

On September 29, 2013, Susan G. Komen Deutschland e.V. wrapped up the German Race series with their 14th annual Frankfurt Race. Approximately 7,400 enthusiastic participants ran and walked the Race in honor and celebration of the several hundred breast cancer survivors in attendance. U.S. General Counsel Kevin Milas and his wife Eileen attended this year and supported the event. Check out the pictures.

In Germany, 17,000 women lose their battle with breast cancer each year and since 1980, breast cancer incidence has increased by 50%. With funds raised by Race events and other fundraising programs, Komen Deutschland has been able to award more than 50 grants totaling over 1.2 million Euros. Areas of funding include:

- Survivor support programs
- Funding of breast cancer nurses
- A breast cancer hotline
- Mammography screening guides
- Breast self-awareness campaigns
- Advocacy training
- Psycho-social support

Stay tuned for our next International Race post, where we’ll recap our events in Bosnia and Puerto Rico.

Read other recaps in this International series.

About the author

Susan G. Komen has written 342 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.