Press Releases

JDC Recognizes Breast Cancer Awareness Month with First-Ever Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Breast Cancer Awareness Race Unites Cultures to Educate and Benefit Underserved Women in former Soviet Union


Michael Geller / JDC Telephone: (212) 885-0838

Jamie Epstein / JDC Telephone: (212) 885-0849

Julie Bernstein / Susan G. Komen for the Cure Telephone: (240) 601-5562

For Immediate Release

On October 25, Muslims and Jews, Serbs and Croatians will unite to battle a common enemy which each year kills more than 410,000 women and men around the globe: breast cancer. Organized by the Women’s Health Empowerment Program (WHEP), an innovative overseas public movement that encourages the early detection of breast cancer, people from 13 different cities and guest celebrities, high school students, government officials and NGOs are expected to participate in the first-ever Bosnia and Herzegovina Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, as part of the largest series of 5K runs/fitness walks in the world.

“Every year, more than 1,300 women in Bosnia and Herzegovina are newly diagnosed with breast cancer; Hundreds are dying because they lack knowledge, resources, and support to cope with the disease. We are thrilled to create this opportunity to celebrate life, while also helping underprivileged women and families,” said Nela Hasic, program director for JDC’s Women’s Health Empowerment Program and the event’s organizer.

“A woman dies from breast cancer every 75 seconds worldwide,” said Susan G. Komen for the Cure President and CEO Hala Moddelmog. “Komen for the Cure is proud to expand our partnership with JDC to launch the first-ever Bosnia and Herzegovina Race for the Cure. I commend the Women’s Health Empowerment Program for raising awareness and needed resources to combat this deadly disease.”

Proceeds from the Bosnia and Herzegovina event will help provide free mammogram check-ups for women without health insurance throughout the region, where an estimated 1 of every 6—over 700,000 people—lack insurance. The Komen Race for the Cure Series raises funds and awareness for the fight against breast cancer, celebrates breast cancer survivorship, and honors those who have lost their battle with the disease.

WHEP is a partnership between the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), an overseas humanitarian aid organization that works in over 70 countries and Susan G. Komen for the Cure®, the largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists. The event will mark five years of partnership between JDC and Komen in their joint efforts to promote early detection of breast cancer in overseas communities.

The race will coincide with WHEP’s Sixth National Breast Awareness Conference on October 24 and 25 in Sarajevo, a gathering which unites leaders from across the region.

About Women’s Health Empowerment Program (WHEP)
Established in 1995, the Women’s Health Empowerment Program (WHEP) is an innovative overseas public education movement that encourages the early detection of breast cancer—when it is treated more easily. The Program builds leadership, creates new services (such as support groups and hotlines), strengthens doctor-patient communication, and facilitates partnerships among government agencies, NGOs and the medical and health community. WHEP projects have been carried out in communities throughout the former Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, Israel, and the Palestinian territories. In 2004, JDC partnered with Susan G. Komen for the Cure®, and WHEP was re-launched in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In 2006, WHEP was expanded to Hungary, and in 2007, it expanded into Russia. Komen and JDC are in the process of identifying a fourth location in the region in which to conduct additional WHEP activities.

Learn more about WHEP.

About JDC

The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) is the world’s leading Jewish humanitarian assistance organization. JDC works in more than 70 countries and in Israel to alleviate hunger and hardship, rescue Jews in danger, create lasting connections to Jewish life, and provide immediate relief and long-term development support for victims of natural and man-made disasters.

For more information, please visit

About Susan G. Komen for the Cure

Nancy G. Brinker promised her dying sister, Susan G. Komen, she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer forever. In 1982, that promise became Susan G. Komen for the Cure and launched the global breast cancer movement. Today, Komen for the Cure is the world’s largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists fighting to save lives, empower people, ensure quality care for all and energize science to find the cures. Thanks to events like the Komen Race for the Cure®, we have invested more than $1.2 billion to fulfill our promise, becoming the largest source of nonprofit funds dedicated to the fight against breast cancer in the world. For more information about Susan G. Komen for the Cure, breast health or breast cancer, visit or call 1-877 GO KOMEN.

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