Woman of the Week: Nancy Goodman Brinker
Ok- so due to some scheduling conflicts, I was not able to do a spotlight on a woman in the Danville community, however, since it’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I decided that instead of skipping the post all together, I would highlight a name not often associated with this month: Nancy Goodman Brinker. Most people know of her sister, Susan G. Komen–it’s her name on the foundation, the race and the commercials, but the woman behind the pink ribbon doesn’t get quite as much publicity. So, in honor of her devotion to her sister, I figured I’d let everyone know a little about her history, and her mission.
Susan G. Komen was born in 1943, in Peoria, Illinois and was diagnosed with Breast Cancer when she was 33. Before she died, in 1980, her sister, Nancy Goodman Brinker, made her a promise that she would devote her life to bringing awareness and education to women all over the world about breast cancer. Two years after Susan’s death, Brinker started the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation. According to Wikipedia (LOLZ) Brinker has invested nearly $2 billion for breast cancer research, advocacy, health services and social support programs in the US, and has become known as one of the most trusted nonprofit organizations in America.
What many people do not know is that Brinker was also United States Ambassador to Hungary from 2001 to 2003 and Chief of Protocol of the United States from 2007 to the end of the George W. Bush administration. Brinker, also a breast cancer survivor, uses her experience to heighten women’s understanding of the disease, and the importance of patient awareness. She also authored a book in 2010 titled “Promise Me- How a Sister’s Love Launched the Global Movement to End Breast Cancer.”
However, her biggest achievement is widely known as the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation. Brinker serves as the CEO of the company, and currently has over 120,000 volunteers. Brinker advocates for the early detection of the cancer with universal screening as the primary tool for fighting this disease. The Komen foundation has awarded over 1,000 breast cancer research grants, totaling more than $180 million. The Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure is currently the world’s largest fundraiser for Breast Cancer Awareness. It consists of a series of 5K runs and fitness walks to to raise money to for breast cancer, to raise awareness of the disease, to celebrate those who have survived breast cancer, and memorialize those who have not.
Brinker is currently serving as the World Health Organization’s Goodwill Ambassador for Cancer Control. She has taken it upon herself to become the public face for raising awareness and strengthen programs in poorer countries on behalf of the United Nations.
Talk about sisterly love. Brinker has also associated the foundation with several other nonprofits such as Planned Parenthood, Breast Cancer Action and Yoplait.
Well, I personally don’t know too many people who keep their promises to such an extreme! Huge UPS to Brinker for taking her job as sister seriously, and doing all of this in Susan’s name. Susan’s early death was a tragedy, as are the other *209,060 deaths caused by breast cancer per year. Advocates like Brinker are depending on the public’s help to lower these rates. You can donate to the Susan G. Koman Foundation in a number of ways- texting, bowling and even just walking. Even if you can’t afford to donate, awareness is the main point anyways, so look it up, the statistics and lack of treatment available might shock you. You go, Nancy Brinker.
Know anyone who needs to be recognized?? Let me know!