Komen Milestones

Nearly thirty years ago, Ambassador Nancy G. Brinker founded Susan G. Komen® after promising her sister, Susan G. Komen, that she would do all she could to end the disease that claimed Suzy’s life.

That promise launched the global breast cancer movement, which in just one generation has reduced deaths from breast cancer, improved treatments, and opened a global conversation about the leading cancer diagnosed in women. From a time of silence and shame, Komen has led the fight to empower people, ensure quality care for all and energize science to find the cures.

Here are just a few milestones in the breast cancer movement:

1982
Nancy G. Brinker founds the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation on July 22 in Dallas, Texas, in her sister's memory with $200 and a shoebox of friends' names to call on for help.

1991
Komen reaches the $1 million mark in funding of research and project grants in a single year.

1997
With the launch of its website, Komen provides one of the first online resources solely dedicated to breast health and breast cancer information.

2000
For the first time in a single season, more than one million people cross the finish line in the Komen Race for the Cure® Series.

2004
Together with its Affiliate Network, corporate partners and generous donors, Komen has raised $750 million for the fight against breast cancer since 1982.

2007
Komen reaches the milestone of $1 billion invested in the breast cancer movement and pledges to invest another $1 billion in the next decade.

2009
Elizabeth Blackburn, Ph.D., a recipient of Komen funding, receives the Nobel Prize for Medicine for her 1999 discovery of Telomerase.

2011
Komen announces $66 million in research funding, bringing its breast cancer research investment since inception to $685 million, more than any other non-profit and second only to the U.S. government.

2012
Komen announces $58 million in new research funding for 2012, augmenting the $685 million that the organization has invested in breast cancer research since 1982. These funds target the full spectrum of cancer treatment – avoiding overtreatment, personalized therapies, reducing racial and socioeconomic disparities and more.

Komen-funded researchers make history by mapping breast cancer genomes and identifying four distinct sub-types of breast cancer. This work, led by Drs. Charles Perou and Matthew J.C. Ellis, could mean significant progress in treating aggressive forms of breast cancer.

View all of the milestones here.