For Immediate Release
Yesterday, thousands of Bosnians - Muslims, Jews, Serbs, and Croats - gathered in Sarajevo to join in the fight against breast cancer at the Fifth Annual Bosnia and Herzegovina Race for the Cure®- sponsored this year by the U.S. Embassy and organized by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee's Women's Health Empowerment Program (WHEP) and Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Željko Komšic, Member of the Presidency, and Danuta Moon, wife of the U.S. Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina Patrick Moon, once again served as patron and Chair of the Race, respectively.
"The Bosnia and Herzegovina Race for the Cure and our partnerships here are making it possible to provide treatment support, screenings and education that are vital in our mutual mission to end breast cancer forever," said Ambassador Nancy G. Brinker, founder and chief executive officer of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. "My promise to my dying sister to end breast cancer is really Komen's promise to all people, and we are so heartened by the enthusiasm and support that we see at this Race every year."
All proceeds from this year's Race will fund post surgery health kits and mammogram screenings for under-served women in Bosnia and Herzegovina. With 6,000 participants from more than 20 cities around the country, the annual Race highlights the strides made by WHEP. Today, countrywide WHEP awareness-building and cooperation between medical professionals, researchers, non-governmental organizations, and activists and survivors boosts efforts to prevent and treat breast cancer, a leading killer of women in the Balkans. WHEP, a JDC-Komen partnership program, is an innovative overseas public movement that encourages the early detection of breast cancer.
"We are incredibly proud of this 5th annual Race for the Cure in Sarajevo and were honored to have President Komšic, Ms. Moon, and the U.S. Embassy lend their enthusiastic support to an event which brings hope and provides critical treatment to so many women suffering with breast cancer," said JDC Interim CEO Darrell Friedman. "It is a stirring reminder of the impact of the JDC-Susan G. Komen partnership, that so many gathered to help eradicate this global scourge."
WHEP in Bosnia and Herzegovina is also transcending ethnic and religious divides by empowering women of diverse backgrounds to fight a disease that affects all of them. A national WHEP conference held on September 28, one day before the Race, sought to replicate the success of the program in other locations, and continue to turn the tables on this disease throughout the region. WHEP is also operating today in Hungary and Russia.
The annual Race for the Cure, which is part of Susan G. Komen's Global Race for the Cure series, provides breast cancer survivors and supporters a powerful way to unite behind the cause of increasing awareness of breast cancer and improving early detection of the disease. Breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in women and the leading cause of death among women worldwide. Every 74 seconds, somewhere in the world, someone dies from breast cancer. The event also provides participants the chance to make a difference for local women because all funds raised will remain in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The Race for the Cure Series, Komen's signature event, is the world's largest and most successful education and fundraising event for breast cancer. More than 1.6 million participate in the Race Series annually.
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 Women's Health Empowerment Program (WHEP)
Established in 1995, WHEP encourages the early detection of breast cancer, creates support groups and hotlines, strengthens doctor to patient communication, and facilitates partnerships among government agencies, NGOs and the medical community. WHEP programs have impacted the lives of women in Russia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Hungary, Montenegro, Georgia, Israel and the Palestinian Territories.
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, the promise became Susan G. Komen for the Cure, which is now the world's largest breast cancer organization and the largest source of nonprofit funds dedicated to the fight against breast cancer with more than $2 billion invested to date. 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.