Komen for the Cure Bringing World Advocates Together for Week of Activities Expanding Global Breast Cancer Fight to Israel
JERUSALEM – Oct. 25, 2010 – Significant historic sites were lit in pink and hundreds will gather for the first Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure® in Israel, as delegates from global and Israeli organizations gather to advance the breast cancer movement in a mission trip to Israel Oct. 25-28.
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, and health, science and advocacy organizations for the historic week that will also launch the Israel Breast Cancer Collaborative.
The week begins with the lighting of the historic Walls of the City of Old Jerusalem Oct. 25 at a ceremony presided over by Mrs. Sara Netanyahu, wife of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu; Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat; former Israeli Ambassador to the United States Zalman Shoval; Komen Founder and CEO Ambassador Nancy Goodman Brinker, and Hadassah President Nancy Falchuk. The Israel Museum is lighting the Shrine of the Book in pink, the color of the global breast cancer movement, at the same time.
Throughout the week, delegates will meet with Israeli government leaders at the Knesset, tour medical facilities, meet with breast cancer advocates and attend a reception at the U.S. Embassy. Separately, Komen is assembling clinical and translational researchers from around the world to a private planning session for a symposium addressing genetics, and the complications of detecting cancers in, and providing treatment for, mutation-carrier patients. The session is sponsored by GE Healthcare.
The highlight of the week is the first Susan G. Komen Israel Race for the Cure Oct. 28, hosted by Mayor Barkat.
“The outpouring of support and friendship we have received from Mayor Barkat and our many friends in Israel underscores our long and warm relationships in this country,” Brinker said. “Our very first international research grant went to the Weizmann Institute in 1994, and we have partnered with many other organizations over the years. It has been a dream of mine to deepen the work of the breast cancer movement here for all women, and I’m thrilled that this dream is coming true.”
The mission trip to Israel 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.
About 4,000 people are diagnosed with breast cancer in Israel each year. Since 1982, Susan G. Komen for the Cure has granted nearly $3 million to organizations in Israel including research institutes, hospitals and academic centers and advocacy groups.
The Israel Breast Cancer Collaborative being launched this week is a partnership between Komen and non-governmental organizations in Israel to enhance advocacy, awareness, screening and treatment of breast cancer in Israel. This Collaborative provides opportunities to continue Komen’s longstanding partnerships in Israel and opens doors to new collaborations with organizations such as the Israel Cancer Association.The Israel Mission Delegation includes philanthropists, dignitaries, survivors, activists and interested parties from around the world who serve as Mission Ambassadors for the breast cancer movement in Israel. The delegation trip’s co-chairs are U.S. Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman and Komen Global Ambassador Hadassah Lieberman, and former Ambassador to the Bahamas, Ned L. Siegel and Stephanie Siegel, a breast cancer survivor and board member of the Susan G. Komen Advocacy Alliance.
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 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.
During the week, delegates will visit with officials at Hadassah Hospital to discuss issues and plan programs addressing pressing issues in breast cancer for Arab, Christian and Jewish women in the region.
"We are so proud to partner with Susan G. Komen for the Cure and Mayor Barkat to heighten awareness of breast cancer in Israel,” said Falchuk. “Israel has one of the highest rates of breast cancer in the world and women's health issues have always been paramount to Hadassah's mission and members."
Komen global partners and cancer leaders underscore the cohesiveness of the growing global breast cancer movement,” said Elizabeth Thompson, president of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. “Recognition and thanks go to Breakthrough Breast Cancer in the United Kingdom, the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation and Sharsheret for adding support by generating participation in the mission delegation,” she said.
In Israel, Thompson said Komen has been honored to work with Beit Natan, Life’s Door, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, Americans for Israel and Torah, Emunah, Hadai, Hillel Israel, NA’AMAT Israel, One in Nine and the Women’s International Zionist Organization on critical outreach and event planning.
Komen currently provides awareness, education, advocacy training, research and community outreach funding through partnerships in more than 40 countries.
Brinker founded the organization in 1982, two years after she promised her sister, Susan G. Komen, that she would do everything she could to end breast cancer. Susan G. Komen died of breast cancer in 1980. Since that promise, Komen has invested more than $1.5 billion to research and outreach programs worldwide.
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, Brinker has called on U.S. and global health leaders to make cancer control a global health priority.
“Our cause must be global, because breast cancer is global,” Brinker said. “It is the second leading cause of cancer death among women worldwide; it will strike 1.3 million women this year alone. It doesn’t care about borders, politics or religion, and so our Komen family is open to all.”
Komen research grants to Israel since Komen’s founding total $2.4 million to Weizmann Institute, Tel Aviv University, Chaim Sheba Medical Center, Hebrew University-Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem, the Israel Institute of Technology and Bar Ilan University. Community outreach grants total almost $400,000 to Beit Natan, Life’s Door Inc., the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, the Galilee Society, Americans for Israel and Torah, Emunah, Hadai, Hillel Israel, NA’AMAT Israel, One in Nine, the Women’s International Zionist Organization and for a conference arranged by a Tel Aviv University researcher.