Ambassador Nancy Brinker is regarded as the leader of the global breast cancer movement. Her journey began with a simple promise to her dying sister, Susan G. Komen, that she would do everything possible to end the shame, pain, fear and hopelessness caused by this disease. Shortly after Susan’s death from breast cancer at the age of 36, Nancy founded Susan G. Komen for the Cure in 1982, which is now the world’s largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists fighting to save lives, empower people, ensure quality care for all and energise science to find the cures.
Her creativity in raising awareness led to programs that at the time were revolutionary. In 1983, Nancy Brinker founded the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, which is now the world’s largest and most successful education and fundraising event for breast cancer. She also pioneered cause-related marketing, allowing millions to participate in the fight against breast cancer through businesses that share Komen’s commitment to end the disease forever.
In 2009, President Barack Obama honoured Nancy Brinker with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honour, for this work. The same year, she was named Goodwill Ambassador for Cancer Control for the United Nations’ World Health Organization, where she continues her mission to put cancer control at the top of the world health agenda.
Nancy Brinker was named one of TIME magazine’s “100 Most Influential People” in 2008. She served as US Ambassador to the Republic of Hungary from 2001-03 and most recently served as U.S. Chief of Protocol from 2007-2009 where she was responsible for overseeing all protocol matters for visiting heads of state and presidential travel abroad. In 2008, President George W. Bush appointed her to The Kennedy Center Board of Trustees.
Nancy Brinker has received numerous accolades for her work, including the prestigious Mary Woodard Lasker Award for Public Service, the Trumpet Foundation’s President’s Award, the Independent Women’s Forum Barbara K. Olson Woman of Valor Award, the Champions of Excellence Award presented by the Centers for Disease Control, the Porter Prize presented by the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, the Forbes Trailblazer Award, Ladies Home Journal’s 100 Most Important Women of the 20th Century and Biography Magazine’s 25 Most Powerful Women in America.
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