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 $2.2 billion in research and community programs 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.

Supporters at the first Komen Puget Sound Race for the Cure in 1994.

The first Komen Puget Sound Race for the Cure in 1994.

Across the country, that promise is upheld by a network of local Affiliate offices. At the heart of each Affiliate is a person or group of people who, like Susan, wanted to make a difference.

In 1992, CJ Taylor and a group of community volunteers, all of whom shared a vision of ending breast cancer forever founded Komen Puget Sound. The first Susan G. Komen Puget Sound Race for the Cure® was held in the fall of 1994 with 3,000 participants and raised $56,000. Following that first Race, Komen Puget Sound awarded its first grants totaling $42,000.  To date, Komen Puget Sound has provided $28.6 million in grant funds for mammograms, patient treatment support and breast health education in Western Washington and $9.5 million to Komen global breast cancer research. Read more about our current community grants and Komen-funded research programs in Washington state.