For Immediate Release
Susan G. Komen for the Cure®, the world’s largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists, today awarded a USD $100,000 grant to the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), a 94-year-old, overseas, humanitarian aid organization which works in more than 60 countries worldwide. The grant, which solidifies the fifth year of partnership between Komen for the Cure® and JDC, will help sustain the critical work of the Women’s Health Empowerment Program (WHEP), an initiative to promote breast cancer awareness and early detection. It also will expand the program’s reach into Hungary’s rural communities, where access to screening facilities and breast health information is extremely limited.
“Breast cancer is one of the deadliest diseases in Hungary, killing more than 2,000 women each year,” said Susan G. Komen for the Cure® Founder and breast cancer survivor Ambassador Nancy G. Brinker. ”The need to provide women—regardless of where they live or their socioeconomic status—equal access to screening and an equal opportunity to beat a breast cancer diagnosis has never been greater.“ Ambassador Brinker announced the gift at a press conference held at Gerbeaud House this morning.
“The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee established WHEP more than a decade ago as part of our mission to support and empower vulnerable populations around the world. Our ongoing partnership with Susan G. Komen for the Cure®, which began in 2004, has enabled JDC to continue to provide critical assistance to women who might otherwise have no chance at survival,” said Steve Schwager, Chief Executive Officer of JDC. “We are pleased and thankful for Komen for the Cure’s oNGOing support of our programming and look forward to furthering our joint objective to educate and empower women—young and old—about services and treatments for breast cancer,” he added.
Dr. Klara Dobrev, wife of the Hungarian Prime Minister, Ambassador April Foley, U.S. Ambassador to Hungary, Itai Shamir, JDC’s Director of WHEP, high ranking public health officials and NGO representatives joined Ambassador Brinker at the press conference.
This new grant follows recent WHEP efforts in Hungary which include Equal Chance Against Breast Cancer, a series of “health days” in rural locations, designed to address striking disparities in breast cancer incidence among Hungarian Roma women. Roma women are three times more likely to die from cancer than non-Roma women. Other recent WHEP initiatives include the establishment of a Society of Senology in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and hosting an unprecedented conference in Moscow which united leaders from the region to discuss the critical issue.
A roundtable discussion on the state of breast cancer in Hungary preceded this morning’s announcement. During the discussion, Ambassador Brinker stressed the importance of transparency and collaboration as organizations work together to combat breast cancer. “Sharing knowledge and creating an open dialogue with government officials, NGOs, activists, survivors and the medical community will bring us closer to decreasing breast cancer incidence and mortality in Hungary,” added Ambassador Brinker.
Roundtable panelists included Dr. Klara Dobrev, Dr. Melinda Medgyaszai, under secretary Ministry for Health, Dr. Ferenc Falus, director of Public Health and Medical Officers Services, Dr. Andrea Odor, head nurse of Public Health and Medical Officers Services, Mãria M. Bodor, president of the Association of the Cancer Patients, Dr. László Vass, President of the Hungarian Senologists’ Society. Audience participants were patients, doctors, public health officials, NGOs and Romani women.
July marks Ambassador Brinker’s second visit to Hungary this year. This past September, Susan G. Komen for the Cure announced its Global Initiative for Breast Cancer at the organization’s landmark Ignite the Promise Global Advocate Summit in Budapest. The Global Summit brought together 50 breast cancer advocates from 30 countries, all of whom shared information and ideas on how to stem the growing global impact of breast cancer. Ambassador Brinker served as the U.S. Ambassador to Hungary from 2001-2003.
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 www.JDC.org.
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 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 www.komen.org or call 1-877 GO KOMEN.
About the Women’s Health Empowerment Program (WHEP)
Women’s Health Empowerment Program (WHEP) was established by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) in 1995 to strengthen services for women with breast cancer by creating psychosocial support programs by and for women with the disease. 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. WHEP is a partnership between Susan G. Komen for the Cure and JDC.