Nancy Brinker Receives Medal of Freedom for Breast Cancer Work

Nancy Brinker honored for breast cancer work

Nancy Brinker’s self-less dedication to helping find a cure for breast cancer earned her the Medal of Freedom at the White House on August 12. Brinker, who is a breast cancer survivor, founded the Susan G. Komen for the Cure, an organization that she started in 1982 after her sister died of the disease.

The Dallas native was one of sixteen people to receive the country’s highest civilian honor. President Obama honored Brinker by saying that her fight against breast cancer has “eased the pain and saved the lives of millions throughout the world.”


What started as the fulfillment of a promise Nancy made to her dying sister Susan, who endured nine operations and three courses of chemotherapy and radiation before she succumbed to breast cancer, eventually became a movement. The Susan G. Komen for the Cure organization has received nearly $1.5 billion in donations since its inception, and it is the world’s largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists looking for a cure.

On the Susan G. Komen website, Nancy Brinker wants people to know just how important it is to find a cure for breast cancer. The site reminds us that without a cure, 1 in 8 women in the United States will continue to be diagnosed with breast cancer; that over the next 25 years, an estimated 5 million Americans will be diagnsoed with breast cancer; and that within that same time frame, an estimated 25 million women around the world will receive the diagnosis, and 10 million could die.

Nancy Brinker’s involvement with cancer goes beyond her role as the founding chair of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation. She is currently Goodwill Ambassador for Cancer Control for the United Nations’ World Health Organization and a leading advocate for cancer control programs around the globe. Brinker formerly was Chair of the President’s Cancer Panel (1990), US Ambassador to Hungary (2001-2003), and Chief of Protocol of the United States (2007-January 2009).

Dallas Morning News 8/12/09
Susan G. Komen for the Cure website