Wed11302022

Last updateMon, 15 Jun 2020 10pm

Back You are here: Home Voices Voices News Rated PG Hey Looch, carve Nancy Brinker's face into your mountain

Hey Looch, carve Nancy Brinker's face into your mountain

Log in to save this page.

Given its shear size and local connections, Peorians who pay attention to what goes on around them know about Komen for the Cure, its history and the fact it is a major player in the search for a cure for breast cancer.

Talk about keeping a promise, eh?

Given its shear size and local connections, Peorians who pay attention to what goes on around them know about Komen for the Cure, its history and the fact it is a major player in the search for a cure for breast cancer.

But I didn't realize just how major player it is in the world until now, when Eric Brinker posted a notice on Facebook about the upcoming Race for the Cure in Bosnia. In fact, said Brinker – Susan G. Komen's nephew and son of Komen for the Cure founder Nancy Brinker – 141 cities worldwide host the races annually and more than 1.6 million people participate in the 5K run and walk events.

Talk about keeping a promise, eh?

I mean, Nancy Brinker promised her dying sister Susan Komen – both Peoria natives – that she would work to find a cure for the devastating disease and look what it has become. In less than 30 years Susan G. Komen for the Cure, founded in 1982 with $200, has raised nearly $2 billion toward eradicating breast cancer.

A few years later the pink ribbon, which has become the international symbol for finding cures for disease, was established for breast cancer survivors by Komen.

"As the world's largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists, we're working together to save lives, empower people, ensure quality care for all and energize science to find the cures," it says on the Susan G. Komen for the Cure website.

The first international Race for the Cure was in 1998 in Costa Rica. A year later its first international affiliates were established in Germany and Greece.

Nancy Brinker, herself a breast cancer survivor, has served on the world stage herself, as U.S. Ambassador to Hungary and later Chief of Protocol in the George W. Bush administration. She currently is the World Health Organization Goodwill Ambassador, after reconnecting with the Komen group as its CEO.

Those positions have certainly helped increase awareness of breast cancer and the fight to cure it, but Brinker was able to get that movement started by establishing relationships in several sectors throughout the country, including in business and government.

That is why she was presented the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, two years ago this month and in 2008 was named by Time magazine's list of the 100 most influential people in the world.

I cannot think of any higher honor a person could receive.

So, Phil Luciano, when I read your column on Thursday and your request for suggestions to a Peoria Mount Rushmore, Nancy Brinker came quickly to mind. Besides, you know, having her face up there between the mugs of Thome and Pryor would dress it up quite a bit.

 

About the Author
Paul Gordon is the editor of The Peorian after spending 29 years of indentured servitude at the Peoria Journal Star. He’s an award-winning writer, raconteur and song-and-dance man. He also went to a high school whose team name is the Alices (that’s Vincennes Lincoln High School in Indiana; you can look it up).