DALLAS — September 13, 2011 — Susan G. Komen for the Cure and Three Rivers Press announce the paperback release of “Promise Me,” a memoir by Susan. G. Komen founder and CEO Nancy G. Brinker that tells the story of how one sister’s love launched the global movement to end breast cancer.
Growing up in postwar Peoria, Illinois, Suzy and Nancy Goodman were inseparable, with the elegantly poised Suzy serving as younger sister Nancy’s best friend and role model in the grand adventure of life. The Goodman sisters learned at an early age the importance of helping those in need. Charity became a common theme in their lives but so did breast cancer. In 1977, at the age of 33, Suzy was diagnosed with the disease. Three years later, having endured multiple surgeries, and several grueling courses of chemotherapy and radiation, she died.
In one of the sisters’ last conversations, Suzy asked Nancy to do something to stop the suffering: “Promise me, Nanny,” she said. “Promise me you won’t let it go on like this.” Her heart broken, Nancy promised. “I swear, Suzy. Even if it takes the rest of my life.” At that moment, Susan G. Komen for the Cure was born.
Now out in paperback, PROMISE ME (Three Rivers Press, $15.00) is Nancy G. Brinker’s poignant memoir of her unshakable commitment to fulfill her promise to her late sister and the phenomenal global impact that the organization named after Suzy has made in pursuing her life's purpose: to end breast cancer. Armed with only $200 and a shoebox filled with names, Nancy embarked on her quest to change the way the world thought about, spoke about, and treated breast cancer – a quest that took on added urgency when she herself was diagnosed with the disease in 1984. Through it all, she was aided by her husband, Norman Brinker, whose dynamic approach to business served as Nancy’s model for building Susan G. Komen for the Cure into the most influential breast cancer research, outreach and advocacy organization in the world.
Susan G. Komen for the Cure has raised billions of dollars for research and outreach programs around the world, helping to increase the five-year survival rate for breast cancer from 74 percent in 1980 to the current rate of 98 percent. Today, more than 1.7 million people participate in the iconic Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure®, a series of 5K runs/fitness walks that Brinker launched in Dallas in 1983 and that are currently held in more than 140 venues around the globe. Susan G. Komen also managed to turn a simple pink ribbon into an internationally recognized icon of hope.
PROMISE ME weaves a host of other elements into the compelling story of Brinker's personal and professional life, including:
• an historical overview of breast cancer and its treatment, from ancient Egypt until now;
• a timeline of major developments in breast cancer detection and treatment;
• short, inspiring profiles of women who have survived breast cancer
• a primer in advocacy and cause-marketing (a field virtually invented by Nancy Brinker);
• an extensive list of resources for people living and dealing with breast cancer.
Nancy survived her own breast cancer diagnosis and went on to turn Susan G. Komen for the Cure into the most influential health charity in the world. To date, Susan G. Komen has contributed some $1.9 billion for cutting-edge research and community programs. And, thanks to a sister’s love, a diagnosis of breast cancer is no longer a death sentence.