Even after 22 years, the Susan G. Komen Global Race for the Cure® in Washington, D.C. still brings tears to our eyes. Close to 40,000 people – including 3,500 breast cancer survivors – flooded the National Mall to honor a loved one, celebrate survivorship and unite as one in the global fight against breast cancer.
Our founder and CEO, Ambassador Nancy G. Brinker charged up the crowd, noting that the sea of pink making their way up the National Mall was a bold statement by this community that we will not rest until our promise to end breast cancer forever is fulfilled. Special guests including Princess Margriet of the Netherlands and Kennedy Center chairman David Rubenstein were on hand to help drive home the importance of this global fight and the impact the $5 million raised from this event will have , noting that just because our Race has been run, doesn’t mean our job is done. The Race kicked off with a sea survivors clad in their pink race shirts marching onto the mall to the sound of American Idol’s Tim Halperin singing his tribute to the cause – “We Fight Back!”
The Race to the finish was aptly won by native Kenyan and current D.C. resident Komen Wilson. The first female to cross the finish line was Michelle Miller from Maryland. The first survivor to finish was Katie Sutton from Missouri.
A big thank you to the entire Washington, D.C. community for hosting us yet again – see you next year!
Register for the 2012 Susan G. Komen Global Race for the Cure today!
Get your internet bookmark tool ready! We are excited to announce that Susan G. Komen for the Cure’s founder and CEO Nancy Brinker will be adding her voice to the roster of global thought leaders blogging regularly on The Huffington Post. It’s only fitting that the world’s most influential on-line community would host the leading authority on breast cancer and women’s health. Nancy will talk breast cancer, yes, but also global policy, the coming cancer crisis, and how we can turn awareness into action for every woman, everywhere. Be prepared to add your comments to Nancy’s on-line community by clicking here.
May 26, 2011 Breast Cancer, Breast Cancer News, Education, Global, Komen Events, Komen News, Mission
What an amazing day we had yesterday! More than 11,000 Ghanaian runners and walkers took to the streets at the inaugural Susan G. Komen Ghana Race for the Cure in Kumasi yesterday to tell the country and the world that Ghana will not tolerate its women dying from breast cancer. Young, old, mothers, fathers, wives, husbands, daughters and sons – they all came to walk and support a cause that has touched so many of their lives. Our partnership with Dr. Beatrice Wiafe-Addai and Breast Care International brought the Race to Ghana and there is no doubt that it is here to stay.
We were delighted that Ghana’s Vice President Dramani Mahama postponed a trip to participate at the Race and talk to the crowd about breast awareness and early detection. The most unforgettable moment of the morning came when the breast cancer survivors received a standing ovation from the crowd as they marched into Baba Yara stadium. The festivities continued from there, ending with performances from Ghanaian and Nigerian gospel music stars that had the crowd on their feet dancing and singing.
The Ghana Race has made its mark in West Africa and we are so honored to have been a part of this historic day!
May 25, 2011 Breast Cancer News, Education, Global, Komen Events, Komen Leadership News, Komen Programs, Mission
We’re in Africa, kicking off the first official Susan G. Komen Ghana Race for the Cure on Wednesday (May 25). Ghana is one of seven African countries where Komen partners to educate, screen and help reduce mortality rates from breast cancer (with $462,000 in grants to Ghana along). Our Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Katrina McGhee is a Ghana veteran and files this report:
It’s my fourth trip to Ghana and something is different. The people are still wonderful, the air is still hot and humid, and yes unfortunately the Mosquitos still serve on the welcoming committee. But this time I can feel the winds of change. It’s like a subtle breeze carried by the quiet resolve of women fueled by hope and determination.
Three years ago when I first came to Ghana with Dr. Riccardo Masetti to represent Komen I was so enthusiastic, so fired up to help save women from breast cancer. I fell in love with the people and the place. My naive exuberance quickly met with the harsh realities that this would be a journey not a sprint. Young women were dying at alarming rates. The lack of awareness, resources, and infrastructure coupled with the poverty and long held myths were quite frankly daunting. How could we even begin to make a difference?
The answer was through partnership and perseverance. Forming an Alliance with NGO throughout the country, we slowly established a network of friends that would help guide our work. They are my heroes. People like Dr. Wiafe who work tirelessly to raise awareness, dispel myths, remove stigmas, and inspire women to act. It is no easy task and in truth can be frustratingly slow.
But the boldness of three women on last evening renewed my hope that we can win this battle. They were all at work – a hotel clerk, a waitress, and a cook. Each one upon seeing Dr. Wiafe declared “I need you to examine my breasts before you leave.” Wow! Can you imagine? Just a few short years ago no one would have been talking about this in public. Not many would have cared.
So is the transformational nature of Komen’s work. Inspiring the world with a vision of what could be, helping to map out the journey, and providing the fuel to get there. Together, we are Susan G. Komen. We will end breast cancer. In Ghana and around the world.
The Rome Race is one of 19 international Races raising funds and awareness for breast cancer, including our very first Susan G. Komen Ghana Race for the Cure in Kumasi on May 26, where we expect more than 14,000 walkers and runners!
These Races are a great way to help spread understanding and awareness. They were started almost 30 years ago in Dallas as a way to celebrate breast cancer survivors and also to break the silence around the disease – at the time, there was still a significant stigma around breast cancer in the United States. Over time, these Races have grown to include more than 1.6 (or is it 1.7) million runners and walkers, in more than 140 cities, helping to raise funds and bring people together for this cause. They also serve to give women a voice in countries where stigma, shame and isolation around breast cancer still exist.
Check out photos from the event in our Flickr slideshow below.