Each month we will be featuring a different charity that Empire Productions has had the pleasure of working with. We want to highlight the great strides they are taking and the difference they're making in the world.
This week we are shining the spotlight on Susan G. Komen and their mission to fight and eventually end breast cancer.
There are some people that just make the world a better place. They see a need, and not only do they address it, they work tirelessly to see to it that the problem is solved. We are all too aware of breast cancer and the damage it does to people's lives, but the people that make up Susan G. Komen South Dakota are fighting against that and people are starting to notice.
Susan G. Komen South Dakota was recently recognized on a national level for its advocacy and promise to help bring an end to breast cancer. On June 27th, the organization was honored with "The Promise Award" for its innovative mission work, persistent dedication, and forward thinking at the breast cancer organization's annual Leadership Conference in Fort Worth, Texas.
"Out of 110 affiliates around the world, we were chosen for this honor," said Mary Kolsrud, Executive Director of Susan G. Komen South Dakota. "This is the first national recognition we've ever received."
Suzy Komen was diagnosed with breast cancer in her early 30's. Her sister, Nancy C. Brinker, made a promise as Suzy was dying to find an end to the disease. In 1982, she founded Susan G. Komen, and thirty-three years later, Susan G. Komen is the world's largest breast cancer organization. It funds more breast cancer research than any other nonprofit and provides real-time support to those afflicted by the disease.
"We have a promise to keep: to save lives and end breast cancer forever, and we are determined to fulfill that promise,” Kolsrud said.
The South Dakota branch of Susan G. Komen started in 2005. Since then, it has invested over $1.4 million in community funding to programs across the state. The South Dakota affiliate has invested $350,000 in research at a national level but has received over $1 million in national research grants to South Dakota scientists and researchers in their journey to find a cure. Komen South Dakota is the only breast cancer organization in South Dakota that provides patient advocacy, community outreach, and research.
As part of patient outreach, Komen South Dakota conducts a statewide needs assessment regularly. Community profile results recently showed a great need for focus to be placed on breast health services and education to the minority populations.
Just in the past year, Komen South Dakota has impacted the lives of over 6,300 women in the state by advocating with state legislation on prescription costs, offering free mammograms and diagnostic services, transportation assistance to treatment programs, mobile mammography services to American Indian reservations, launching a Latina outreach program, and providing education and translation services for minority populations.
"The highlight of our year was how we focused on reaching out to the minority populations." Kolsrud said of progress in advancements with minorites. "The Race for the Cure really drives our work thoughout the year but so often people only focus on the race . . .this is what we're really about."
The organization as a whole has funded more than $800 million in research since its humble beginnings 33 years ago. It has provided more than $1.6 billion in funding to education, screening, treatment, and psychosocial support programs and has reached millions of people in more than 30 countries worldwide.
"We are thankful to our volunteers, board members, donors, partner programs and sponsors, without whom we wouldn't be able to carry out our important work," Kolsrud said. "Together, we are bringing critical change to South Dakota and providing vital breast health services to thousands of women and men in our state."
There will be the 8th annual 5K Race for the Cure on September 27th at Falls Park to help raise funds for the organization.
For more information or to make a donation, call (605) 271-1751 or visit email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org