Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The one billion dollar promise

Today's "Oprah" guests included Nancy Brinker, the woman who founded the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation; in memory of her sister Suzy who died at age 33 of breast cancer. Nancy explained that in 1978 few would even say the word "breast" publicly, there weren't support groups, 800 numbers, the Internet - but worse many knew so little about it there were fears it was an "automatic death sentence" or might be contagious.

Nancy promised her sister she would fight so other families would not have to go through it too. When asked by Oprah how she came up with the idea of the race and pink - she said, "I was in marketing." At the first race she had a mammogram machine and breast cancer survivors so that it could change the image of what the test is and remind everyone there are many survivors. Isn't that genius? The first race had 800, then spread nationwide and internationally.

Since that first race over $1 billion has been raised through the foundation for breast cancer research.

One woman who made a promise, and then used her talents to grow something as significant as the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation. Many talents we use in our professions all the time can be used with organizations that work towards change, hope and cures.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Do regular self-exams and have mammograms. It can save your life. And don't make excuses not to do it - some huge percentage of women routinely reschedule and cancel them. I hate them too (had to stretch out on a stretcher after my last one with all my anxiety) - but do it anyway. You're worth a billion dollars to someone too.

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