Worldwide most people are familiar with Susan G. Komen for the Cure and the pink breast cancer ribbon. In Dallas at Borders people got a much closer look at what inspired this global, multi-million dollar cause and it all started with two sisters.
“A few weeks before she died she asked me if I would help her end breast cancer and I promised her I would if it took me the rest of my life,” said Founder of Susan G. Komen for the Cure Nancy Brinker.
Nancy Brinker’s older sister by 3 years, Susan, was also her best friend but Susan died of breast cancer at the age of thirty six.
“She had a very quiet, lovely way of communicating and she loved people,” said Brinker.
In Brinker’s new book Promise Me she shares her memories of her sister including Susan’s diagnosis of breast cancer in 1977 when there was still a dark stigma around it. Brinker promised Susan that she would one day find the cure for breast cancer and Susan G. Komen for the Cure was born.
“It was really her wish and it just set me on a path,” said Brinker. “The more I got on it the more I realized how important it really was to do.”
“As I look at all the women here today in pink it’s overwhelming to think that a disease can so devastate an entire world,” said breast cancer survivor Jan Marshall.
In 1984 Brinker herself was diagnosed with breast cancer but unlike her sister she survived it.
“I developed breast cancer a few years later,” said Brinker. “I’ve never really spent a lot of time talking about mine because it’s never been about me. Its always been about actualizing this promise.”
In the time since that promise was made five year breast cancer survivor rates have risen to ninety eight percent. Now a breast cancer diagnosis is no longer a death sentence.
“It’s been an amazing journey and we’ve gotten a lot done,” said Brinker.
“I have a seventeen year old daughter and I would love for it to be gone before she gets her first mammogram,” said support Cindy Waldrop.
“It is possible to do something to fix something that’s wrong in the world,” said Brinker.
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