History

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Vision: A world without breast cancer!

Our Promise: To save lives and end breast cancer forever by empowering people, ensuring quality care for all and energizing science to find the cures.

Susan G. Komen is the world’s largest breast cancer organization, funding more breast cancer research than any other nonprofit while providing real-time help to those facing the disease. Since its founding in 1982, Komen has funded more than $889 million in research and provided $1.95 billion in funding to screening, education, treatment and psychosocial support programs serving millions of people in more than 30 countries worldwide. Komen was founded by Nancy G. Brinker, who promised her sister, Susan G. Komen, that she would end the disease that claimed Suzy’s life.

History of Susan G. Komen East Central Texas
The history of Susan G. Komen East Central Texas is a tale of three beginnings and relationships built on a shared desire to help.

1996 – The passion is ignited in Tyler

The first beginning occurred when Anne Owens from Tyler, Texas attended the 1996 Fort Worth Race for the Cure.  Anne was extremely moved by this event and was sharing her emotions with a good friend that had just been diagnosed with a recurrence of breast cancer.  Much like Komen’s national founder Nancy Brinker, Anne promised her friend that she would do anything she could to help fight off this disease.  Meanwhile, this same year Freda Harder, a teacher diagnosed with breast cancer, and her oncologist, Dr. Vukelja, formed a breast cancer support group. They quickly realized, however, that more breast health initiatives and services were needed in Smith County.

Not yet connected, but with a shared passion, these three women individually contacted Susan G. Komen headquarters in Dallas to find out how Tyler could join in this great cause.  Seeing opportunity, Komen introduced the three women and the idea for a Komen Affiliate in Tyler was born.

1998 to 2001 – Two Komen Affiliates begin to take shape

Komen officially approved the formation of Komen Tyler in June 1998. The new Affiliate hosted about 2,500 participants for its first Race for the Cure on May 8, 1999.

Meanwhile, about 130 miles to the west a dedicated and passionate group of breast cancer survivors and advocates were preparing their own beginning in Waco, Texas.  Driven by a commitment to educate their neighbors about the importance early detection and to support local breast health programs, they submitted a request to start a Komen Affiliate in Central Texas.  In anticipation of approval, the group began raising funds in 1999, enabling them to provide a grant of $5,000 to Scott & White for breast health services.

In 2000, Komen Central Texas was incorporated and in 2001 they hosted their first Race for the Cure® event in Waco.

2016 – A new beginning

After more than a decade and a half of supporting their individual communities, the leaders of Komen Central Texas and Komen Tyler began discussing possibility of joining forces to realize significant operational efficiencies, which in turn would enable them to increase their ability to support people across the region.  In early 2016 these discussions became a reality and Komen East Central Texas was born.  The consolidated organization began sharing staff and resources and expanded to serve an additional 10 counties that were previously not served by a Komen Affiliate.

Now serving 17 counties, Komen East Central Texas is positioned for a strong future.  It’s a future built on a foundation of a shared dedication to serving those in need, and a joint belief that working together we can save lives and end breast cancer forever.

Susan G. Komen®  East Central Texas:

  • Is the local source for funding breast cancer detection and support projects
  • Serves the residents living in Anderson, Bell, Bosque, Cherokee, Coryell, Ellis, Falls, Freestone, Henderson, Hill, Kaufman, Limestone, Mclennan, Milam Navarro, Smith  and Van Zandt counties.
  • Funds vital screening mammograms, diagnostic testing and treatment support through annual Community Grants Program
    Empowers East Central Texas residents with information about the importance of early detection and being active in their breast health