Event Raises Funds for Breast Cancer Research and Community Health
Programs Aimed at Uninsured, Low-Income and Medically Underserved in the
Washington, D.C. Area
WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Breast cancer survivor Joan Lunden and pioneering cancer researcher Dr.
Steven A. Rosenberg were honored last night at the sixth annual Susan G.
Komen Honoring the Promise Gala in the Eisenhower Theater at The John F.
Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
The event raised funds for grants for research and for Komen’s 19 breast
cancer grantees in the National Capital Region, where the mortality rate
from breast cancer is 40 percent higher than the national average.
Two-time Emmy© Award winner and Inside Edition anchor Deborah Norville
emceed the evening’s program, which featured a performance by
multiplatinum singer-songwriter Matt Goss. Goss, who lost his mother to
breast cancer, sang a rousing choir-backed rendition of his song
“Strong,” an inspirational tribute to all those who have been affected
by the disease.
Komen President and CEO Dr. Judy Salerno said proceeds from Honoring the
Promise provide critical funding for Washington, D.C.-area breast cancer
organizations at a time when it is needed more than ever.
“Thanks to the continued support of events like Honoring the Promise,
Komen has been able, over the years, to invest more than $35 million in
more than 300 community grants to serve low-income, uninsured and
medically underserved women in the region,” Salerno said. “This event
recognizes the progress that has been made against breast cancer, and
reinvigorates our commitment to our mission to end breast cancer,
Salerno noted that although breast cancer death rates in the U.S. have
fallen by more than a third since 1991, more challenges remain.
“The hurdles that remain are difficult and complex,” Salerno said.
“Forty thousand women are still dying each year from breast cancer.
Minority women die at rates far higher than the national average. Too
many women and men still find themselves cut off from quality cancer
care. But Komen, working with our partners, will never lose sight of our
mission: to end breast cancer through research while taking care of the
millions of women who need us today.”
Lunden received the David M. Rubenstein Mission Advancement Award which
recognizes individuals who have advanced Komen’s mission to end breast
After receiving her breast cancer diagnosis in June 2014, Lunden decided
to take her battle public, sharing a grueling nine-month journey through
radiation and chemotherapy treatments. Now cancer-free, the former Good
Morning America host is a prominent voice in the breast cancer
community, working tirelessly to help other women affected by breast
“It’s truly an honor to be the second recipient of the David M.
Rubenstein Mission Advancement Award,” Lunden said. “Both David
Rubenstein and Komen Founder Nancy Brinker inspired me to join the fight
against breast cancer by being a voice for women, advocating for them on
Capitol Hill, helping to bring them together, and helping to get them
answers to the many questions that they are faced with during their
battles. David Rubenstein stands as such a true inspiration to us all
considering everything he has done in the fight against breast cancer.”
Rosenberg received the Betty Ford Lifetime Achievement Award which
recognizes individuals who have committed their life to engaging the
public in the fight against breast cancer, advocating for meaningful
change and activating communities to support women and men facing the
disease. The award draws its name from the late First Lady Betty Ford, a
pioneer in women’s health who changed the world’s perception of breast
cancer by boldly sharing her battle with breast cancer with the American
people during a time that many did not dare to say the words “breast
The Chief of Surgery at the National Cancer Institute, Rosenberg has
worked as a pioneer in the development of immunotherapy and gene
therapy, leading the way for breakthroughs in advanced cancer treatments.
“I am deeply honored to receive this award named for a courageous woman
who helped bring the attention of the world to the problems of breast
cancer and from an organization that has done so much to promote women’s
health,” Rosenberg said.
The 2015 Honoring the Promise gala was co-chaired by The Honorable Ray
LaHood and his wife, Kathy LaHood. Honorary chairs of the evening
included Sen. Kelly Ayotte, Sen. Susan Collins, Rep. Debbie Dingell and
her husband, the Hon. John Dingell, Sen. Chuck Grassley, Sen. Heidi
Heitkamp and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
About Susan G. Komen®
Susan G. Komen is the world’s largest breast cancer organization,
funding more breast cancer research than any other nonprofit while
providing real-time help to those facing the disease. Since its founding
in 1982, Komen has funded more than $889 million in research and
provided $1.95 billion in funding to screening, education, treatment and
psychosocial support programs serving millions of people in more than 30
countries worldwide. Komen was founded by Nancy G. Brinker, who promised
her sister, Susan G. Komen, that she would end the disease that claimed
Suzy’s life. Visit komen.org or
call 1-877 GO KOMEN. Connect with us on social at ww5.komen.org/social.
Susan G. Komen
Andrea Rader, 972-855-4382