History

Susan G. Komen is the world’s largest breast cancer organization outside of the federal government, 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 $920 million in research and provided more than $2 billion in funding to screening, education, treatment and psychosocial support programs. Komen has worked in more than 60 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.

Central Virginia Affiliate Story

The Central Virginia Race for the Cure® was started in 1998 by Jennifer Norvell Saunders, in memory of her mother, Joanne. Joanne lost her battle with breast cancer after a second reoccurrence of her disease. To honor her mother’s life, Jennifer, her family, and friends planned the first Central Virginia Race for the Cure® with the hope that fifty people would join them. To Jennifer’s surprise over 1,200 gathered at the starting line that Mother’s Day weekend.

The Komen Central Virginia Affiliate was established in 1999 to support Komen’s vision of a world without breast cancer and to promote the promise to save lives and end breast cancer forever by empowering people, ensuring quality of care for all and energizing science to find the cures. In 2010, the Affiliate changed its name to Komen Central Virginia to better reflect its expansive region, which today encompasses approximately 60 cities and counties.

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As a grant-making organization, the Affiliate awards the funds raised through our Race for the Cure®, special events, and the generosity of individual and corporate donors, right back into the community through our well-established grants program. Since 1998, the Komen Central Virginia Affiliate has invested over $5.8 million in community grants and $1.9 million in the Susan G. Komen Grants Program. Your support has enabled us to fund 8 innovative projects totaling $262,187 in 2016. Additionally, in 2015, we contributed $123,388 to fund breast cancer research through the Susan G. Komen Grants Program.

Want to get involved with the Komen Central Virginia Affiliate but not sure how? Email us at volunteer@komencentralva.org to find out about our year-round opportunities!