Susan G. Komen for the Cure® and Partners Bring Advocates Together for First Susan G. Komen Israel Race for the Cure® in Jerusalem
JERUSALEM – October 28, 2010 – More than 5,000 people from all nationalities and religions raced through the streets of Jerusalem today in unity against breast cancer as the world’s largest breast cancer organization and its partners launched the first Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure® in Israel.
Komen for the Cure partnered with the City of Jerusalem, Hadassah®, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, and health, science and advocacy organizations for a week of activities that launched the Israel Breast Cancer Collaborative and ended with today’s Race around the Walls of the City of Old Jerusalem.
“It is absolutely inspiring to see so many people gathered together to support and encourage breast cancer survivors in Israel, and to raise awareness and funds to fight breast cancer for all women in the region,” said Komen’s founder and CEO, Ambassador Nancy Goodman Brinker. “This week, we’ve set a new course for more treatments, more hope and more life.”
The week’s activities began with the lighting in pink of the historic Walls of the City of Old Jerusalem Oct. 25 at a ceremony presided over by Sara Netanyahu, wife of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu; Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat; former Israeli Ambassador to the United States Zalman Shoval; Ambassador Brinker, and Hadassah President Nancy Falchuk. The Israel Museum also lit the Shrine of the Book in pink, the color of the global breast cancer movement.
Throughout the week, delegates met with Israeli government leaders at the Knesset, toured medical facilities such as the Hadassah Women’s Health Center at Abu Gosh, attended a women’s health fair for Orthodox Jewish women sponsored by Beit Natan, and met with breast cancer health officials and advocates serving Jewish, Arab and Christian women in the region.
Separately, Komen assembled clinical and translational researchers from around the world to begin planning a symposium addressing genetics and the complications of detecting cancers in and providing treatment for mutation-carrier patients. “We challenged them to find new biomarker and detection technology that is more sensitive and more specific,” Brinker said.
With today’s Race, Israeli women joined more than 1.6 million people who participate annually in Komen Race for the Cure events in more than 140 cities around the world.
About 4,000 people are diagnosed with breast cancer in Israel each year, making it the leading cancer killer of women in that country. Komen has been involved in Israel since the mid-1990’s, granting nearly $3 million to research institutes, hospitals, academic centers and advocacy groups.
Brinker founded Susan G. Komen for the Cure in 1982, two years after she promised her sister, Susan Goodman Komen, that she would do everything she could to end breast cancer. Since then, Komen’s reach has grown to more than 40 countries, and the organization has invested more than $1.5 billion for breast cancer research and outreach 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.
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 continues Komen’s longstanding partnerships in Israel and opens doors to new collaborations with organizations such as the Israel Cancer Association.
Co-chairing this week’s delegation trip were U.S. Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman and Komen Global Ambassador Hadassah Lieberman, with former Ambassador to the Bahamas, Ned L. Siegel and Stephanie Siegel, a breast cancer survivor and board member of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure® Advocacy Alliance.
The Hadassah organization is world-renowned for its commitment to health, education and youth programs in Israel and to the Jewish community. Hadassah operates 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.
"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."
Elizabeth Thompson, president of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, thanked Breakthrough Breast Cancer in the United Kingdom, the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation and Sharsheret for adding support to the mission in Israel.
In Israel, Komen partnered 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 research grants to Israel over the years 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 nearly $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.
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.