Our power to evolve is our guarantee to conquer

First Race for the CureBy Elaine I. Grobman, CEO, Komen Philadelphia    

That’s me in this picture – 24 years ago, at the first Komen Philadelphia Race for the Cure. The gentleman with me is Fred Stein, you’ll see him this year at our Race, doing the same thing he did then, only on a much grander scale!

Looking at this picture while I sit down to post this is definitely a “Look How Far We’ve Come!” moment for me.

Back then, when Komen Philadelphia made our entry into this community, do you know what we had to communicate to everyone? One phone and a TYPEWRITER. ONE LANDLINE PHONE… and ONE , MANUAL typewriter. Actually, we did also have those awful purple duplication sheets that one of our handful of volunteers mimeographed. A few letters and fliers we mailed, but many we delivered by hand. Nonetheless, it worked – because, above all else, we had commitment and we had faith.  One by one, supporter by supporter, woman in need by woman in need, we grew our family and our outreach.

Now look at me – writing a blog! Reaching thousands of people in a matter of minutes, without cost to our mission. Equally as importantly, I love that communications has become extremely two-way.  Every day I make time to visit Facebook and be heartened and enlightened by what you have to say. And now with our website blog feature, I so very much look forward to what others have to share to inspire our Komen Philadelphia community. Your comments are important to Komen Philadelphia, we take them all to heart and we value them in helping to shape our mission.

Looking at Komen Philadelphia ‘back then’ and looking at us now, it’s clear to me the ultimate power our community has over breast cancer: the POWER TO EVOLVE. In communications, resources and capabilities… in treatment, outreach, understanding and awareness… in involvement across generations, genders, cultures and lifestyles… the community fighting breast cancer has evolved so very much! But breast cancer has not, it cannot. And this single advantage we have is why each and everyone of you can be totally confident some day breast cancer will be conquered for once and for all! Every day, this one Komen Philadelphia community grows stronger and experiences more victories, while breast cancer has no choice but to suffer defeat!

In closing I want to thank everyone who, through the years has made this evolution possible.  From those first “handful of volunteers” who believed in the vision and brought it to life, to every person who donated even just one dollar or one hour of their time, to all of you reading this – I appreciate you all. Every one of you possesses that same commitment and faith that started it all… and that will see our fight to the end!


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