FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Susan G. Komen For The Cure® Advances Global Breast Cancer Mission In Israel
Komen for the Cure Bringing World Scientists, Advocates to Global Breast Screening Think Tank and First Susan G. Komen Israel Race for the Cure® in Jerusalem
WASHINGTON, D.C. – April 28, 2010 – Building on its long-standing mission to end breast cancer on a global scale, Susan G. Komen for the Cure®, the world’s largest breast cancer organization, is partnering with the City of Jerusalem, Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, health advocates and scientists for a week of events in Israel to examine major scientific issues in breast cancer while advancing the international breast cancer movement. The leading breast cancer organizations of Europe and Canada as well as long-term Komen for the Cure partners will join in generating participation for this historic trip.
The week of events Oct. 25-29 launches the Israel Breast Cancer Collaborative, a partnership between Komen and non-governmental organizations in Israel to enhance advocacy, awareness, screening and treatment of breast cancer in that country. Komen and its partners announced the Think Tank, Race for the Cure, delegation trip and Collaborative today.
This mission trip is similar to those Komen has sponsored in recent years to the Middle East, Western Europe and Africa to build on the momentum of the global breast cancer movement. During the week, Komen is calling together leading researchers and clinicians for a separate, invitation-only Think Tank designed to jump-start new thinking on breast cancer screening and risk assessment methodologies.
Delegates to the larger mission trip will investigate breast cancer issues and solutions in sessions with local officials and non-governmental organizations. The centerpiece of the delegation week is the first Susan G. Komen Israel Race for the Cure® around the walls of Old Jerusalem Oct. 28.
Komen global partners and cancer leaders, Breakthrough Breast Cancer in the United Kingdom and the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation as well as long-time Komen partner, Sharsheret, are adding support by generating participation in the mission delegation. The participation of these leading breast cancer and partner organizations underscores the cohesiveness of the growing global breast cancer movement.
Those interested in joining the delegation can visit komen.org/israel for registration information.
“Susan G. Komen for the Cure’s very first international research grant went to Israel 16 years ago, and we have enjoyed longstanding friendships and productive collaborations in Israel ever since,” said Ambassador Nancy G. Brinker, founder and CEO of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. “The new Israel Breast Cancer Collaborative takes our relationships to the next level–in partnership with the city of Jerusalem, Hadassah, government leaders, advocates and our global partners–as we work to address the critical issues in breast cancer for the women of Israel and the world.”
In Israel, breast cancer remains the most common form of women’s cancers and is growing, accounting for nearly 30 percent of all new cancer cases in the country. About 4,000 people are diagnosed with breast cancer in Israel each year. Since 1982, Susan G. Komen for the Cure has granted nearly $2 million to organizations in Israel including the Weizmann Institute of Science, Hebrew University-Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem, Beit Natan and Life’s Door. The new Collaborative provides opportunities to continue Komen’s long-standing partnerships in Israel and around the world with organizations such as the Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, as well as open doors to new collaborations with organizations such as the Israel Cancer Association.
Planning for the Israel events began more than a year ago with the support of Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, who will help lead the Susan G. Komen Israel Race for the Cure. “As a runner myself, I know the power of these events to unite people toward a common purpose,” Barkat said. “We have many different religions and nationalities in Israel. This Race brings them together in fellowship with all people who face the impacts of this terrible disease. I am honored to open the gates of our unique city to any and all people who want to see a cure for breast cancer in our lifetime."
U.S. Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman, breast cancer advocate and Komen Global Ambassador Hadassah Lieberman, former Ambassador to the Bahamas, Ned L. Siegel and breast cancer survivor and board member of the Susan G. Komen Advocacy Alliance, Stephanie Siegel are co-chairs of the Collaborative. “Cancer is a global health crisis, and collaborations like this foster a global response, united around the common goal of addressing and ending breast cancer anywhere it is found,” Sen. Lieberman said.
The Siegels, who helped form the Bahamas Breast Cancer Initiative and Foundation in 2008 with a similar series of events, have seen the benefits of collaboration firsthand. “We saw an emerging breast cancer crisis in the Caribbean and, with Komen and its partners, significantly improved treatment,” Ambassador Siegel said. “Stephanie and I know personally the devastating impacts of breast cancer, and we’re determined through collaborative programs like this one to help rid the world of this disease.”
The Hadassah organization, long an ally in Komen’s breast cancer global outreach, is world-renowned for its commitment to health, education and youth programs in Israel and to the Jewish community worldwide. Hadassah operates two medical facilities in Israel dedicated to research and state-of-the-art patient care: the Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center at Ein Kerem (Ain Karen) and Hadassah University Hospital at Mount Scopus–along with three women’s health clinics.
“From our decades of work in Israel and in our outreach in other countries, we know that there is far more work to do to address this critical threat to women’s health,” said Nancy Falchuk, Hadassah national president. “We are looking forward to adding the energy of 300,000 Hadassah members worldwide behind this important and life-saving effort.”
As a Global Goodwill Ambassador to the U.N.’s World Health Organization and recipient of the 2009 Presidential Medal of Freedom and the 2009 Anti-Defamation League’s Americanism Award, Ambassador Brinker has called on U.S. and global health leaders to make cancer control a global health priority.
“Our ongoing mission is to attack breast cancer on all fronts – in science, prevention, education and advocacy for people with the disease, and to do so everywhere,” Ambassador Brinker said. “We’ve made tremendous progress to this point, but there is so much more to do when 1.3 million people will be diagnosed with breast cancer globally this year, and almost 500,000 will die from the disease. With the ongoing support of our friends, volunteers, partners and advocates, we are adding new urgency to our mission to end suffering from this disease, everywhere.”
The week of events features:
Think Tank on Early Detection
Susan G. Komen for the Cure is again taking leadership to find solutions to the toughest answers in breast cancer with a week-long, invitation-only Think Tank to explore more cost-effective, portable and accurate screening for women’s cancers worldwide. The organization will gather 40-50 global experts including physicists, nanotechnology experts, bio-engineers, imagers, prevention experts and oncologists, who will be asked to prepare proposals to develop innovative approaches to early detection. Komen is providing seed grants of $50,000 to $100,000 for the three or four top ideas. The meeting will result in a white paper outlining research opportunities, the state of the science and a request for applications to further explore a major research initiative in this area.
Susan G. Komen Israel Race for the Cure®
The Susan G. Komen Israel Race for the Cure® will be held just outside the walls of Old Jerusalem, a city with great historic significance for Jews, Muslims and Christians. The Race is a rallying point for people of all faiths around a common goal of curing breast cancer and a public demonstration of unity to end a disease that affects all people. The Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure® Series is the world’s largest series of 5k walks and runs for charity, and a model for encouraging global health diplomacy. Funds from the Israel Race will be earmarked for Israel Collaborative and global programs.
The Israel Mission Delegation
The Israel Mission Delegation will include philanthropists, dignitaries, survivors, activists and interested parties from around the world who wish to serve as Mission Ambassadors for the breast cancer movement in Israel. Komen is providing opportunities to participate in this historic trip as a delegate at several levels. Please visit komen.org/israel for more information on travel packages and levels.
About Susan G. Komen for the Cure®
Nancy G. Brinker promised her dying sister, Susan G. Komen, she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer forever. In 1982, that promise became Susan G. Komen for the Cure and launched the global breast cancer movement. Today, Komen for the Cure is the world’s largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists fighting to save lives, empower people, ensure quality care for all and energize science to find the cures. Thanks to events like the Komen Race for the Cure®, we have invested more than $1.5 billion to fulfill our promise, becoming the largest source of nonprofit funds dedicated to the fight against breast cancer in the world. For more information about Susan G. Komen for the Cure, breast health or breast cancer, visit komen.org or call 1-877 GO KOMEN.
HADASSAH, the Women's Zionist Organization of America, is a volunteer women's organization whose members are motivated and inspired to strengthen their partnership with Israel, ensure Jewish continuity, and realize their potential as a dynamic force in American society. Founded in 1912, Hadassah retains the passion and timeless values of its founder, Henrietta Szold, Jewish scholar and activist, who was dedicated to Judaism, Zionism, and the American ideal. Committed to the centrality of Israel based on the renaissance of the Jewish people in its historic homeland, Hadassah promotes the unity of the Jewish people. In Israel, Hadassah initiates and supports pace-setting health care, education and youth institutions, and land development to meet the country's changing needs. In the United States, Hadassah enhances the quality of American and Jewish life through its education and Zionist youth programs, promotes health awareness, and provides personal enrichment and growth for its members. Visit www.hadassah.org for more information.
About Breakthrough Breast Cancer
Breakthrough is a dynamic charity that has established the UK's first dedicated breast cancer research center, in partnership with the Institute of Cancer Research. At the center, world-class scientists carry out pioneering research into breast cancer, bringing together different research specialties under one roof. This innovative, focused approach is designed to result in scientific discoveries being translated as rapidly as possible into practical help for patients. Breakthrough’s total income was nearly $28 million during fiscal year 2007. For more information, see www.breakthrough.org.uk
About the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation
The Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation was founded in 1986 by a group of volunteers and has become the leading national volunteer-based organization in Canada dedicated to creating a future without breast cancer. The Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation has invested over $220 million CAD since its inception to collaboratively fund, support and advocate for relevant and innovative breast cancer research, meaningful education and awareness programs, early diagnosis and effective treatment, and a positive quality of life for those living with breast cancer. Based in Toronto, the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation has regional offices in British Columbia/Yukon, Prairies/North West Territories, Ontario and the Atlantic Region. Visit www.cbcf.org for information.
Sharsheret, Hebrew for “Chain,” is a national not-for-profit organization for young Jewish women and their families facing breast cancer. Our mission is to offer a community of support to women, of all Jewish backgrounds, diagnosed with breast cancer or at increased genetic risk, by fostering culturally-relevant individualized connections with networks of peers, health professionals, and related resources. Sharsheret offers a continuum of care for the Jewish community – addressing the needs of those who are concerned about the risk of breast cancer in their family, those who have been diagnosed with the disease and are undergoing treatment, and those who face issues of survivorship or recurrence. For more information, visit www.sharsheret.org.
Read Nancy's Falchuk's Remarks