A Mother’s Work is Never Done
By Judy Salerno, President and CEO
This past weekend was very special.
On Saturday, I walked in the 25th Susan G. Komen Global Race for the Cure in Washington, D.C., for the first time as Susan G. Komen’s President and CEO. I’d run and walked several of the previous Komen D.C. Races with my kids in tow, but it was especially exciting to be there in my leadership role, on the Race’s 25th anniversary,witnessing the commitment and passion of thousands of participants – survivors, friends, neighbors, citizens who care - racing to make a difference against breast cancer.
Their support of our communities has helped us fund more than $800 million in breast cancer research worldwide, including about $23 million at biomedical research institutions in the National Capital Region – where Komen has also invested more than $35 million into local breast cancer programs. With the highest breast cancer mortality rates in the entire country found in our nation’s capital, support for these community screening, education, outreach and patient navigation programs is essential.
Those who came together for the Global Race share our commitment to end this disease. It’s claimed too many of their wives, sisters and mothers. They are mothers like Kristi Mangan, who was nicknamed “Runner Girl” by her oncology nurse for her incredible commitment to continue running despite the pain, exhaustion and anemia caused by her breast cancer treatment. Kristi is determined to watch her boys grow up, and her mantra is, “Cancer, you’re just another finish line for me to cross.”
Kristi was just one of many mothers (and grandmothers, daughters, sons and husbands) who laced up their running shoes this Mother’s Day weekend at numerous Komen Races across the country: mothers who are investing in a future without breast cancer, and making the choice to get active and stay healthy for their children’s sake.
Let’s take this effort a step further.
Each of us can make small lifestyle changes every day to improve our health. In the ongoing fight against breast cancer, healthier choices can make a difference. And those changes can start now!
Today marks the official start of National Women’s Health Week, and over the next few days, Komen, along with our partner WWE, will be sharing information about how a healthy lifestyle may reduce your risk of breast cancer, and asking you to share with us what healthy lifestyle choices YOU will make.
In a recent blog, I shared my concern for the health of my own daughters and young women everywhere, especially when it comes to breast cancer. We moms can do more to educate young women about their risk of breast cancer, while we redouble our efforts at Susan G. Komen to find ways to prevent and cure a disease that will strike 232,000 women and men in the U.S. this year alone.
This week, we can set an example by pledging to make our health – including breast health – a priority.
Join me, your favorite WWE Superstars and Divas, and women everywhere this week by using the hashtag #NWHW to learn about healthy lifestyle choices you can make and to showcase your healthy choices. Starting tomorrow, May 12, learn more and see how others are getting involved at http://www.komen.org/wwe.
Happy Mother’s Day!
About the author
Judith A. Salerno, M.D., M.S., is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Susan G. Komen®, responsible for the day-to-day operation of the organization and for setting Komen’s strategic vision. Dr. Salerno brings extensive experience in research, public health policy and community health to the role. Before joining Komen, she was the Leonard D. Schaeffer Executive Officer of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academies, serving as executive director and chief operating officer of the Institute.