History & Impact

Susan G. Komen fought breast cancer with her heart, body and soul. Throughout her diagnosis, treatments, and endless days in the hospital, she spent her time thinking of ways to make life better for other women battling breast cancer instead of worrying about her own situation. Moved by Susan’s compassion for others and commitment to making a difference, Nancy G. Brinker promised her sister that she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer.

Though Susan lost her battle with the disease, her legacy lives on through the work of Susan G. Komen®, the organization Nancy started in her honor. Komen is the global leader of the breast cancer movement, having invested more than $1 billion since its inception in 1982. Komen’s promise is to save lives and end breast cancer forever by empowering people, ensuring quality care for all and energizing science to find the cures.

Across the country, that promise is upheld by a network of 100+ local Affiliate offices. At the heart of each Affiliate is a person or group of people who, like Susan, wanted to make a difference. To see how Susan G. Komen is impacting the nation and the world click here!

Local History

Susan G. Komen® Greater Kansas City began with a Race for the Cure event in 1994 organized by three inexperienced, headstrong women who relocated to Kansas City from Washington, DC with a “can do” attitude. In those days, a small core of committed women kept files in their homes and cars, had all Race phone calls on an answering machine in a spare bedroom and treated Komen as their second job. It was truly a grassroots effort.

The need for management grew increasingly evident over the years. Thus, the first Board of Directors was formed and an office was generously donated in 1999. Today, Komen Kansas City serves 10 counties in Kansas and 7 counties in Missouri and has a staff of seven while continuing to have nearly 200+ active volunteers serving on various committees. The annual Race for the Cure has grown to be the largest nonprofit run/walk in the Greater Kansas City community with 18,000 to 20,000 in attendance annually.

With the help of passionate volunteers, a dedicated board and staff members, Komen Kansas City has raised more than $10 million to support breast cancer education, screening and treatment as well as more than $3 Million to the most promising breast cancer research programs. During this time more than $6.5 Million in research grants have come back to our service area, including a $4.5 Million Promise Grant to Dr. Carol Fabian and $955,000 in grants to Dr. Danny Welch both at the University of Kansas Cancer Center.