National Breast Cancer Awareness Month is here, but for countless organizations around the world, the rally to find a cure happens every day of the year. No matter the size of the organization, the tireless efforts of each group share a common goal to defeat breast cancer.
Among the most notable is the Susan G. Komen for the Cure organization, which began as a promise founder Nancy G. Brinker made to her dying sister, Susan, 27 years ago. Since then, the movement has grown into the world's largest grassroots networks of survivors -- 2.5 million strong -- and activists fighting to save lives of breast cancer sufferers worldwide.
Of the group's many accomplishments, perhaps the most notable is the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure: the pink-ribbon and T-shirt themed walk rallies that, according to the foundation, is the most successful fundraising and education event for breast cancer ever created. Through the Race for the Cure, the foundation has reached people in more than 200 countries, becoming the world's largest source of private funds for breast cancer research and community outreach programs with more than $1.2 billion invested.
People interested in the Susan G. Komen for the Cure can get involved in a variety of ways. Monetarily, they can simply donate funds, or purchase merchandise through the organization that goes to benefit the cause.
Another valuable commodity to the foundation is time. People can volunteer and become active in a Race for the Cure or other fundraising events in their community. The Foundations also provide guidance on how to host affiliate events through its Passionately Pink organization, which provides event day ideas, promotional posters and other means to help communities in their own Race for the Cure.
While Komen foundation keys in on breast cancer awareness through fundraising, research, advocacy and community involvement, BreastCancer.org is mostly a reference site that provides in-depth information into what breast cancer is.
The site offers insight into symptoms and diagnosis, treatment and side effects, day-to-day matters, methods of lowering your risks, and a community board where users can communicate through discussion boards, chat rooms and online conferences featuring experts on breast cancer.
Like the Komen foundation, BreastCancer.org welcomes the work of volunteers and accepts donations in it's strives to ensure that it provides the best breast cancer information available.
Network of Strength is much like the Komen foundation in that it concentrates on organizing events to raise funds to support research, and provide education and resources to patients in the ongoing battle against breast cancer. The group, which has been providing information to breast cancer patients for more than 30 years, also operates the Your Shoes 24/7 Breast Cancer Support Center, a toll-free hotline which offers interpreters in 150 languages. In addition to emotional support, Peer counselors can match callers with survivors who had a similar diagnosis or life experiences.
Like its fellow breast cancer advocacy groups, the National Breast Cancer Organization keys in on awareness and education, but has an emphasis on early detection. The NBCF was founded in 1981 by Janelle Hail, who was 34 years old when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Today Hail is proudly a 29-year survivor.
The organization not only provides support services through site educational site videos (including Beyond the Shock) and an online community, but free diagnostic breast care services for those in need through its National Mammography Program.
This NMP is made possible through the NBCF's annual Pink Ribbon Challenge every October. The challenge involves radio stations and syndicated programs nationwide, where the NBCF enlists the aid top-name music celebrities and listeners to raise funds to provide the free mammograms through the NMP.