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Nancy G. Brinker Washington, D.C.
Nancy Brinker

Nancy G. Brinker ignited the global breast cancer movement by promising her sister, Susan G. Komen, who died at age 36 of the disease, that she would put an end to the shame, pain, fear and hopelessness caused by breast cancer.

In 1982, Ambassador Brinker, with a handful of dedicated friends, founded Susan G. Komen for the Cure® in her sister's memory. At that time, there was an enormous stigma around breast cancer -- newspaper editors told her they would not print the words "breast cancer," no one talked openly about the disease and there were few, if any, support groups. Few treatment options existed for breast cancer patients and hardly any researchers focused on the disease.

Within a few years, Ambassador Brinker, who led a relentless, one-woman breast cancer information and awareness campaign, succeeded in breaching the silence surrounding the disease, fundamentally changing the way it is talked about and treated. Susan G. Komen for the Cure® is now 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.

A year after creating the organization, Ambassador Brinker started the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure®, the most successful fundraising and education event for charity ever created. Additionally, she pioneered cause-related marketing, which has enabled millions more people - from top executives to everyday consumers - to join the fight against breast cancer. Her unwavering advocacy was instrumental in the development of many new treatment options and a higher quality of life for patients diagnosed with breast cancer as well as long-term survivors. To date, Komen for the Cure has played a role in every major advance in breast cancer and is now the world's largest source of nonprofit funds dedicated to the fight against breast cancer.

Ambassador Brinker's determination to create a world without breast cancer is matched by her passion for enlisting every segment of society to participate in the elimination of this disease. She continues her mission to ensure that everyone, from United States presidents and members of Congress to global medical experts and social leaders understands and addresses the heavy toll breast cancer takes on our society, our families, our economy and our future. An outspoken champion of all people with breast cancer as well as those who are at risk for developing the disease, Ambassador Brinker takes her cause and her passion all over the world, seeking the fresh input and international partnerships essential to ending breast cancer forever.

Globally known as a change agent, Ambassador Brinker was appointed by the World Health Organization as Goodwill Ambassador for Cancer Control in May 2009. She was included in TIME's "100 Most Influential People" in 2008, and that same year, President George W. Bush appointed her to The Kennedy Center Board of Trustees. She served as U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Hungary from 2001-2003 and most recently served as U.S. Chief of Protocol from 2007-2009 where she was responsible for coordinating ceremonial events for visiting heads of state as well as overseeing all protocol matters for Presidential or Vice Presidential travel abroad.

Ambassador Brinker has received numerous accolades for her work, including the prestigious Mary Woodard Lasker Award for Public Service, the Trumpet Foundation's President's Award, the Independent Women's Forum Barbara K. Olson Woman of Valor Award, the Champions of Excellence Award presented by the Centers for Disease Control, the Porter Prize presented by the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, the Forbes Trailblazer Award, Ladies Home Journal's 100 Most Important Women of the 20th Century and Biography Magazine's 25 Most Powerful Women in America.


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Winning the Race The Race is Run One Step at a Time
Winning the Race : Taking Charge of Breast Cancer The Race is Run One Step at a Time: Every Woman's Guide to Taking Charge of Breast Cancer and My Personal Story

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