About Susan G. Komen®
In 1980, Nancy G. Brinker promised her dying sister, Susan, that she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer forever. In 1982, that promise became the Susan G. Komen® organization and the beginning of a global movement. What was started with $200 and a shoebox full of potential donor names has now grown into the world’s largest nonprofit source of funding for the fight against breast cancer. To date, we’ve invested more than $2.9 billion in groundbreaking research, community health outreach, advocacy and programs in more than 60 countries. Our efforts helped reduce deaths from breast cancer by 38 percent between 1989-2014 and we won’t stop until our promise is fulfilled.
Our Vision: A world without breast cancer
Our Mission: Save lives by meeting the most critical needs in our communities and investing in breakthrough research to prevent and cure breast cancer.
Our Goal: Reduce the current number of breast cancer deaths by 50% in the United States by 2026.
About the Central Tennessee Affiliate
1992 – More than 500 people gathered in Centennial Park in Nashville to participate in Greater Nashville’s first Race for the Cure. During the next six years, the Greater Nashville Race was managed under the umbrella of the Sarah Cannon Cancer Center at Centennial Medical Center.
1997 – The Greater Nashville Affiliate was founded through the leadership of Junior League of Nashville members, Shana Alford and Barb Sawyer. Shana, a Breast Cancer Survivor herself, became the first president of the Affiliate, and Barb served as the first Race Chair. Through their leadership, along with countless volunteer efforts, the Greater Nashville Affiliate served Cheatham, Davidson, Dickson, Maury, Montgomery, Robertson, Rutherford, Sumner, Trousdale, Williamson and Wilson counties.
1999 – The Chattanooga Affiliate was established under the leadership of David Watson and Sarah Bowen. The first Race for the Curewas held in the fall 2000. It brought 4,300 people to the newly opened Coolidge Park. The Komen Chattanooga Affiliate served 10 counties in southeast Tennessee: Bledsoe, Bradley, Grundy, Hamilton, Marion, McMinn, Meigs, Polk, Rhea and Sequatchie, and six counties in Northwest Georgia: Catoosa, Dade, Fannin, Murray, Walker and Whitfield.
2006 – The Upper Cumberland Affiliate was founded by a dedicated group of volunteers that vowed to improve breast health in the Upper Cumberland through education and advocacy. Each year the Affiliate held its signature events, the Upper Cumberland Race for the Cureand the Tee Up for the Cure golf tournament. Komen Upper Cumberland’s service area included Cannon, Clay, Cumberland, DeKalb, Fentress, Jackson, Macon, Overton, Pickett, Putnam, Smith Van Buren, Warren and White counties.
2016 – In the spring of 2016, leaders of Komen Chattanooga, Komen Greater Nashville and Komen Upper Cumberland began the conversation to merge in order to strengthen operations and have a greater impact in the fight against breast cancer in Tennessee. In June of 2016 the Greater Nashville and Upper Cumberland affiliates joined forces to form Komen Central Tennessee.
2017 – Komen Chattanooga finalized the merge with Komen Central Tennessee, where the new service area now includes 41 counties, strengthening the Affiliate’s footprint.
Now serving 41 counties, the Susan G. Komen Central Tennessee Affiliate:
- Is the local source for funding for breast cancer detection and support projects for those with the most critical needs to eliminate barriers to potential lifesaving services
- Funds vital screening mammograms, diagnostic testing and treatment support through annual Community Grants Programs. Since 2000, the affiliate has funded more than 397 grants totaling $10.1 million. Meet our current Komen Community Grantees here.
- Maintains offices in the Chattanooga, Greater Nashville, and Upper Cumberland Regions. To see office locations, please click here.
- Regional offices continue to support outreach and community focused events, local Race for the Cure events, and purse community engagement activities.
Komen Central Tennessee supports breast cancer treatments, screening, education, support services and research. Up to 75% of net proceeds remain in the affiliate service area. The remaining 25% goes towards lifesaving research in all areas of breast cancer, from basic biology to prevention to treatment and to survivorship.