October 4, 2010

JDC and Susan G. Komen For The Cure® Hold Third Annual Race For The Cure® in Sarajevo

On October 2, 2010, more than 3,000 Bosnians, Muslims, Croats, Serbs and Jews united at the Third Bosnia and Herzegovina Race for the Cure®, organized by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) and Susan G. Komen for the Cure®. This year's Race for the Cure honors the memories of Susan G. Komen (who died from breast cancer 30 years ago) and JDC’s Marcia Presky, founder of the Women’s Health Empowerment Program (WHEP) –an JDC-Susan G. Komen® for the Cure overseas breast cancer education program -- who lost her battle five years ago.

“We’re proud to once again be bringing together the diverse people of Bosnia and Herzegovina to join us in the battle against breast cancer. Through our continuing educational efforts and by recalling two great women who have come to symbolize the fight against this disease, we are giving a public face to those Bosnian women who struggle daily with breast cancer,” said JDC CEO Steven Schwager.

The funds raised at the 2010 Race will be used to distribute immediate post-surgery medical kits to women and provide free mammogram checkups for uninsured women (in Bosnia, 1 in 7 do not have medical insurance). Proceeds from 2009 helped to purchase vital medication that significantly improves breast cancer survival and is not affordable for many Bosnian women. All funds raised for the Race will remain in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

“This Race and the work it supports are making a significant difference in the quality of life for women with breast cancer in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and all around the world. It has always been so gratifying to see people of all faiths, political backgrounds and nationalities united as one against this disease, and to see how this effort is making life better for so many,” said Ambassador Nancy G. Brinker, founder and CEO of Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

This year’s Race for the Cure coincided with the Seventh WHEP National Conference which will took place on October 1, 2010, focusing on the challenges and successes in breast cancer treatment and early detection in Bosnia. Established in 1995, WHEP encourages the early detection of breast cancer, creates support groups and hotlines, strengthens doctor to patient communication, and facilitates partnerships among government agencies, NGOs and the medical community. WHEP programs have impacted the lives of women in Russia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Hungary, Montenegro, Georgia, Israel and the Palestinian Territories.

The Race for the Cure Series, Komen’s signature event, is the world’s largest and most successful education and fundraising event for breast cancer. More than l.5 million participate in the Race Series annually.

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