International Race for the Cure Recap: Republic of Georgia and Tanzania

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 finish the series with recaps from the Republic of Georgia and Tanzania.

In Georgia, we are proud to have joined forces with Women Wellness Care Alliance (HERA) to organize the annual Race for the Cure at Vake Park in Tbilisi, an event that – in its 5th year – is well-known among the population of Georgia. This year’s Race took place on October 13, 2013, and attracted over 1,000 registered participants, including 130 breast cancer survivors. A group of survivors grew special pink flowers in small flower pots and displayed them at the Race as a symbol of hope.

VIP attendees included the First Lady of Georgia Sandra Roelofs, US Ambassador Richard Norland with his wife Mary Hartnett, and several other predominant government leaders, including the Deputy Minister of Health, Labor and Social Affairs.

The Race makes it possible to fund breast cancer treatment for women who cannot afford it and supports a number of breast cancer education activities in the local community. Check out the pictures from the event.

On October 27, 2013, the Tanzania Breast Cancer Foundation (TBCF) hosted the Tanzania Race in the Dar es Salaam city center. Approximately 2,700 participants registered to join, including 70 survivors. The Race enjoyed involvement of Tanzanian government officials, the US Embassy and the British Commission.

TBCF supports women with breast cancer. All funds raised from the Race help pay for counseling services for  breast cancer patients, financial support for patients who cannot afford treatment, prosthesis for poor women  and other patient support.

Over the past four years, the Race has brought the local survivor network out of the shadows. In a country with much stigma surrounding breast cancer, women are giving a face to survivorship and are ambassadors for the cause.

Read other recaps in this International series.

About the author

Susan G. Komen has written 343 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.