Thousands of Bosnians — Muslims, Catholics, Orthodox Christians and Jews — will gather in Sarajevo on October 5th for the Sixth Bosnia and Herzegovina Race for the Cure, an annual event raising breast-cancer awareness in the country. Organized by Women’s Health Empowerment Program (WHEP), a partnership of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee and Susan G. Komen , the event will draw local celebrities and politicians as well as activists from 23 cities, transcending ethnic and religious affiliation, to fight against one of the Balkans’ leading killers among women.

‘Where a woman lives shouldn’t determine whether a woman lives, and our Bosnia and Herzegovina Race for the Cure is a bold example of how far we’ve come in making sure women everywhere have access to quality breast cancer health,’ said Nancy G. Brinker, founder and chair of global strategy for Susan G. Komen. ‘Our partnership with JDC is a valued one and gets us closer to the promise I made to my dying sister Suzy that one day we will put an end to this disease throughout the world.’

All proceeds from the Race -; with an estimated 6,000 participants -; help fund post-surgery health kits and mammogram screenings for under-served women and women with no insurance in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Last year’s race helped pay for some 1,300 post post-surgery health and care packages to every woman diagnosed with breast cancer in the country as well as close to 700 mammogram (and other health related) checkups for underserved women and women with no health insurance.

‘The 6th annual Race for the Cure in Sarajevo not only raises the profile of the fight against breast cancer here in Bosnia, it demonstrates the incredible power of WHEP to transform the lives of women by delivering hope, proactive education, and life-saving care. We’re proud our partnership with Susan G. Komen is ensuring those priceless results to so many women and their families,’ JDC CEO Alan Gill.

Besides organizing the race, WHEP conducts a range of breast cancer awareness activities throughout the year. Initiatives include providing more than 2,200 breast cancer survivors with psychological support, distributing 95,000 copies of educational materials on the disease throughout the country and educating 15,400 high school and university students about breast self-awareness through lectures.

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. WHEP, a JDC-Komen partnership program, is an innovative overseas public movement that encourages the early detection of breast cancer.

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 1.5 million participate in the Race Series annually.