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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

History

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 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 Affiliates. At the heart of each Affiliate is a person or group of people who, like Susan, wanted to make a difference.

The Texarkana Affiliate

The Komen Texarkana Race for the Cure is truly a grassroots movement adopted and championed by the twin cities of Texarkana, Arkansas and Texarkana, Texas and their many surrounding communities.

Texarkana breast cancer survivors Kathi Couch and Becky Blake, along with Judy Morgan and a group of friends were part of a lobbying effort to have Texarkana approved by Susan G. Komen for the Cure® as a Race for the Cure host city. When approval was announced in October 1998, Texarkana was the smallest city approved as a Race for the Cure site.

Arkansas' First Lady, Janet Huckabee, served as the first Honorary Chairman of the Komen Texarkana Race for the Cure. During the inaugural event, an impressive 3,300 people walked through the historic streets of Texarkana, Texas and raised $237,000 for breast cancer programs and research. Additionally, $172,000 in grants was awarded to area health care providers for low-cost mammography screening.

In 2004, in an effort to meet the growing demands of the Affiliate, the board of directors began exploring the possibility of hiring staff.  In July 2004, the first staff person was hired and the office began having regular office hours three days a week. In 2006 the staff person was promoted to Executive Director and the board began transitioning from a working board to a governing board with working committees.

Through the efforts of our local Junior League, the Affiliate maintains a supply of "The Breast Cancer Treatment Handbook" by Judy C. Kneece, RN, OCN. This publication has become a sought after resource for those recently diagnosed in the community.

In 2008, the Komen Texarkana Race for the Cure celebrated its ten year anniversary with over 8,200 participants and raising in excess of $422,000. In 2010 over 8,600 people, including 519 survivors and 240 teams, participated in the Komen Texarkana Race for the Cure.  To date, the Komen Texarkana Affiliate has awarded over $3,658,450 in grants.

Every part of our Komen Texarkana Race for the Cure effort is a step in fulfilling a sister’s promise. The Komen Texarkana Affiliate is confident that our efforts will continue to inspire personal victories of breast cancer patients and save lives.