History

Susan G. Komen is the world’s largest breast cancer organization, 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 $800 million in research and provided more than $1.6 billion in funding to screening, education, treatment and psychosocial support programs serving millions of people in more than 30 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.

The Iowa Affiliate

The Iowa Affiliate of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure raises funds to support Komen’s mission to empower people, ensure quality care for all and energize science to find the cures. Our goal is to eradicate breast cancer as a life-threatening disease by advancing research, education, screening and treatment. The Iowa Affiliate service area includes 91 of Iowa’s 99 counties.

The majority of the funds raised come through the Komen Iowa Race for the Cure – Des Moines®, held annually in October. Other sources of revenue include individual and corporate donations, special breast cancer awareness license plates, third-party and other non-Affiliate special events, and memorial or celebration contributions.

At least 25% of net donations to the Iowa Affiliate are put directly toward breast cancer research through the Komen Grants and Awards Program, one of the nation’s most innovative, responsive grant programs. The Komen Grants and Awards Program is unique in its focus on research projects with potential for high impact that may not be considered by other agencies. Available grants include: postdoctoral fellowships; population-specific grants; basic, clinical, and translational research grants; imaging technology; dissertation research; and honor awards.

The remaining 75% of donations raised by the Iowa Affiliate stay in our communities to be invested through the Iowa Affiliate’s Community Grants Program. These are grants made to local non-profit organizations to provide educational, screening or treatment support services to the women in the service area. Special emphasis has been placed on grant applications focusing on breast health education and projects providing free and/or low-cost breast screening services for underserved and uninsured women in their communities. More than $2.5 million has been invested locally in the last five years.