Breast cancer has received a lot of attention from the media over the last fifteen to twenty years. This increased media attention has led to increased research and funding for this devastating disease. While much of the research is funded by private corporations and the government, there is still a fair amount that is funded through grassroots fundraising efforts including sales of pink ribbons and sponsored breast cancer walk for the cure events.
The most well-known and oldest of these breast cancer walk for the cure events is the Komen Race for the Cure Series, sponsored by the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. This breast cancer walk for the cure was started in 1983 in Texas. The first breast cancer walk for the cure had about 800 participants. Today, over 100 events are held worldwide and are attended by about 1.4 million participants. Since the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation was started, it has raised over $770 million for breast cancer research through a variety of fundraising efforts, the most popular being the Komen breast cancer walk for the cure.
The American Breast Cancer Society sponsors the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk for the cure. Since its inception in 1993, this breast cancer walk for the cure has raised over $160 million, with $32 million having been raised in 2004 alone. Another popular breast cancer walk for the cure is the Avon Walk. The Avon Walk was only founded in 2003, but in just 2 years, this breast cancer walk for the cure has raised over $100 million.
One of the newest breast cancer walk for the cure events is called the Breast Cancer 3-Day. This is a 3 day breast cancer walk where participants gather in 12 US cities and walk 60 miles over 3 days. The proceeds from this 3 day breast cancer walk are split between the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation and the National Philanthropic Trust Breast Cancer Fund. This breast cancer walk for the cure event is still in its fledgling stages, so statistics on money raised are not yet available.
Another breast cancer fundraising effort that has been raising money for research is the Lee National Denim Day. For the past 10 years, Lee Jeans has sponsored a fundraiser where companies allow their employees to wear jeans to work in exchange for a $5 donation. While each $5 donation may seem small, this year alone they added up to over $8 million nationwide. This money was presented to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation to further research to find a cure.
While researchers have not yet found a cure, they have found many new treatments and adjuvant breast cancer treatment through their studies. These studies would not have been possible without the type of grassroots funding such as the breast cancer walk for the cure events or the Lee National Denim Day. Even if you can't participate in a 60 mile walk, or if your company doesn't participate in Lee National Denim Day, any contribution you can make to breast cancer research will make a difference in women's lives and may eventually lead to researchers finding a cure.