Susan G. Komen: The Story Behind The Organization


Maanya Bhutani

Weddington High School Cheerleading Team sells pink shirts to fundraise for breast cancer awareness. Photo credits: Maanya Bhutani

Emily Unks, General

Why do we wear pink in October? It is definitely not unintentional! Maybe we just really like the color. Or maybe it wards off Halloween ghosts. No. Instead, it is an expression of solidarity. We wear pink to spread awareness and honor those who have survived or lost their battle with breast cancer. 

Breast cancer is the formation of malignant cells in the tissue of the breast. It is the most common cancer among women, and according to the World Health Organization, a “global burden”. Breast cancer is found in men in addition to women, but rarely. 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lives resulting in a worry that looms over women of all types. Organizations are formed to aid in the fight against breast cancer. 

When thinking of donating to the support of breast cancer, our minds immediately go to the Susan G. Komen Foundation, the largest non-profit breast cancer organization in the United States, founded by Nancy Brinker in 1982. The Susan G. Komen foundation confronts breast cancer by using “research, community health, global outreach, and public policy initiatives.” So who is Susan G. Komen? We have all heard the name, but few of us know her story. 

Susan G. Komen is the older sister of founder, Nancy Brinker. Susan was always known as a kindhearted, charitable person who was fulfilled by helping others, but when she was diagnosed with breast cancer, she began her fight in a losing battle. As Susan was on her deathbed, her younger sister Nancy vowed that she would do whatever possible to end breast cancer. The passing of Susan G. Komen deeply affected her family and her community. At the time of Susan’s death, Nancy was disappointed in the lack of attention placed on the disease and the failure of corporations to subsidize any events that were associated with cancer. With no information or 800 numbers to call to learn more about breast cancer, Nancy realized that something had to be done. The heartbreak of losing a loved one translated into the growth of a beautiful organization, fighting to end the detrimental disease which is breast cancer.  The vow Nancy made to her sister was upheld. Nancy Brinker started with only $200 and a list of potential donors, and now the foundation has supplied more than 2.9 billion dollars in research for breast cancer. The foundation also grabs participation from hundreds of U.S cities and a few other countries in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, an education and fundraising event that raises awareness and celebrates the survivors of breast cancer. Nancy’s dedication to sustain a dying promise has set in motion a global movement that has contributed to critical research and the saving of lives. 

To support and donate to the breast cancer cause, the Weddington High School Cheer Team is selling pink shirts for only $10 in preparation for the October 15th “pink out” game. All proceeds are donated to Susan G. Komen foundation. Show cancer what Warrior Nation is made of by buying your pink t-shirt in support!