2011 Honoring the Promise Gala – Women In Media

Hoda KotbYesterday was our Honoring the Promise gala in Washington, D.C., where Susan G. Komen honors the people who have made huge impacts on breast cancer.  It’s a great and meaningful evening, with awards being presented to scientists, community advocates, survivors and global dignitaries who have advanced the cause of women’s health, specifically to spread awareness or make an impact for women and men facing this disease.  We’ll have more on the full program in a later blog but we wanted to take a minute to tell you about a special event that we’ve held for the last two years, honoring women in media that have shared their stories and motivated other women to take action for their breast health.

The award itself has a bittersweet story behind it.  The Rebecca Lipkin Women of Media Distinction Award is named in memory of Rebecca Lipkin, a television producer for ABC News and Al-Jazeera who was well-known and well-loved. She died of inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) in 2009, just 49 years old.  When she was diagnosed with IBC (which is a very rare but aggressive form of breast cancer), she set out to tell others about it. Her family picked up that ball after her death, establishing the Rebecca Lipkin Fund in conjunction with Susan G. Komen for the Cure.  The family also wanted to honor the female journalists/breast cancer survivors who are making an impact on breast cancer awareness, and established the Media Distinction Award in 2010.

Last night, survivor Jennifer Griffin of Fox News presented the 2011 Media Distinction Award to Hoda Kotb of NBC’s TODAY show. Hoda was diagnosed with breast cancer in February of 2007.  At first, she didn’t want to discuss it publicly, but did reveal it in an interview with Ann Curry, saying “I’m hoping that me telling about my journey and the kind of hell I went through will help somebody at home who thinks ‘Oh God, I’m by myself’ or ‘Oh no, there’s just me.’ Because it’s not just you. It’s never just you. You know, there’s a whole bunch of us out there.”

Hoda has shared her story in newscasts, on the lecture circuit and with frequent appearances at Susan G. Komen for the Cure Races around the country.  We were just delighted to honor her at this ceremony tonight. We all owe Hoda our thanks for all that she has done to let women know they are indeed not alone – they’re part of a global family.

A special thanks, too, to Jennifer Griffin and all the members of the Women in Media committee:

  • Deborah Charles of Reuters
  • Jill Dougherty from CNN
  • Robin Roberts from ABC
  • Andrea Roane of WUSA TV, Washington, DC
  • Laura Ingraham of “The Laura Ingraham Show”And
  • Andrea Mitchell and Anne Thompson from NBC

A few pictures from the event are in the slideshow below.

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.