Susan G. Komen for the Cure, formerly known as The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, often referred to as simply Komen, is the most widely known, largest and best-funded breast cancer organization in the US.
Since its inception in 1982, Komen has invested nearly $2 billion for breast cancer research, education, advocacy, health services and social support programs in the U.S., and through partnerships in more than 50 countries. Today, Komen has more than 100,000 volunteers working in a network of 124 affiliates worldwide. As of March 2011, Komen is listed on Charity Navigator with the site's highest rating of four stars. According to the Harris Interactive 2010 EquiTrend annual brand equity poll, Komen is one of the most trusted nonprofit organizations in America. However, the organization has been criticized for its use of donor funds, as well as its choice of sponsor affiliations and its role in commercial cause marketing.
Susan Goodman, later Susan Goodman Komen, was born in 1943 in Peoria, Illinois, and was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 33. She died three years later, at the age of 36, in 1980. Komen's younger sister, Nancy Goodman Brinker, who felt that Susan's outcome might have been better if patients knew more about cancer and its treatment, made a promise to her sister that she would do everything she could to end breast cancer. To fulfill that promise, Brinker founded the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation in Komen's memory in 1982.