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National Spotlight

Financial Resources —Did you know that there are many financial resources that can help people living with breast cancer? Find out more

Voices of Impact™ — Join us here as we continue to share stories that celebrate the women and men who inspire us all.


Susan G. Komen fought breast cancer with her heart, body and soul. Throughout her diagnosis, treatments, and endless days in the hospital, she spent her time thinking of ways to make life better for other women battling breast cancer instead of worrying about her own situation. Moved by Susan’s compassion for others and commitment to making a difference, Nancy G. Brinker promised her sister that she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer.

Though Susan lost her battle with the disease, her legacy lives on through the work of Susan G. Komen for the Cure®, the organization Nancy started in her honor. Komen for the Cure is the global leader of the breast cancer movement, having invested more than $1.9 billion since its inception in 1982. Komen’s promise is to save lives and end breast cancer forever by empowering people, ensuring quality care for all and energizing science to find the cures.

Across the country, that promise is upheld by a network of 121 local Affiliate offices. At the heart of each Affiliate is a person or group of people who, like Susan, wanted to make a difference.

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 81 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.