Susan G. Komen was a young woman from Peoria, Illinois, who was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 33. Komen died in 1980, three years after the initial diagnosis. In 1982, Komen's sister, Nancy G. Brinker, established the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation in her name.
Susan G. Komen was a high school homecoming queen and later a college beauty queen. Komen married her college sweetheart and modeled locally in Peoria, Illinois. In 1977, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Despite surgeries and aggressive treatments, the cancer spread throughout her body, and she passed away in 1980. Susan's sister Nancy founded the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation in 1982 because of a promise she made to her dying sister to help women with breast cancer, according to the foundation. Both believed that if women knew more about breast cancer and their choices, survival rates would increase. The foundation is best known for its Race for the Cure events, which are held in countries throughout the world. The first Race for the Cure was held in 1983 in Dallas, Texas, with 800 participants.
Komen's sister Nancy Brinker was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1984. Brinker serves as the CEO of the foundation, now referred to as Susan G. Komen, or simply Komen. The organization's website offers information regarding breast cancer detection, treatment, research and support. To help fund the organization's efforts, the website accepts monetary donations and has corporate sponsors. There is also a shop with official Susan G. Komen merchandise.