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Susan G. Komen founder visits Birmingham before big race

Ambassador Nancy Brinker

(WSFA) – The Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure is this Saturday, but on Tuesday, race volunteers had a special visit from the woman who founded Komen more than 30 years ago to fight breast cancer.

Nancy Brinker first stopped and spoke to members of the Birmingham Kiwanis Club on Tuesday afternoon. Then she made a trip to Brookwood Village, to the area where race day packets are being distributed.

She visited with volunteers, took photos and cheered them on in the work they’re doing.

Brinker started the Susan G. Komen Organization in 1982 in honor of her sister, Susan Komen, who died of breast cancer. She says the amount of money that’s been raised in that time has helped reduce the breast cancer death rate by 34 percent.

But the work is not over yet. Brinker says there’s still lots more research to be done, in a time when funding is decreasing and fewer young people are going into science. She says that’s why races, like the one coming up Saturday, are so important.

“I believe that if we can fund the research and do what needs to be done in America, we can turn this into a very manageable disease in the next four or five years. It’s not going to be easy and it’s going to require a lot of support and funding,” Brinker said.

“Many people are living with this disease and it’s not all great and their issues are difficult and we need to do things to help them have a murch better journey and a much more livable journey,” she said.

Brinker points out that of the money raised at Saturday’s race, 75 percent will stay in Birmingham. The other 25 percent goes to the research fund at Komen.

The race for the cure is this Saturday at Linn Park in downtown Birmingham. WBRC FOX6 is a proud sponsor of the race.

You can register online at komenncalabama.org or in person at Brookwood Village on the second level right outside Macy’s.

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