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.