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 $800 million in research and provided more than $1.6 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.
“Be Bold. Be Beautiful. Be Compassionate.”
In one eloquent phrase, Jeanne Peck summed up her passion and her most important life’s work: finding a cure for breast cancer. With her death, these same words serve as our inspiration to continue the work she began 19 years ago when, with vision and determination, she brought the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Race Series to Raleigh. With the help of a handful of good friends and volunteers, she gave birth to an event that now attracts approximately 10,000 people annually and is recognized as one of the largest 5K events in North Carolina.
What followed was the inception of the Komen North Carolina Triangle to the Coast Affiliate, an organization that continues to raise millions of dollars and impact thousands of lives each year in a 29-county service area through breast cancer research, education, screening and treatment. A breast cancer survivor herself, her intent was simple and pure, to do everything she could to help find the cures.
While her intent may have been simple, her vision was larger than life. She always believed that anything was possible. In February 2008, when the Komen North Carolina Triangle to the Coast Affiliate was named Komen’s worldwide “Affiliate of the Year” in Dallas, TX, those around her believed it too. Jeanne had been diagnosed with lymphoma a few months before, and although her immune system was weakened, her spirit was strong. She was with us to accept an award that would never have been possible without her.
Jeanne was beautiful, both inside and out. Her smile was contagious and her work ethic, infectious. She made the countless hours of volunteer effort joyful and meaningful. Her compassion towards others was unparalleled, and she lived her life with dedication, motivation, humanity and kindness. The lives she touched directly and indirectly will be forever changed. The wheels she has set in motion cannot be stopped, and we will continue to move forward just as she challenged us to do.
As an Affiliate, as her friends, and for all who loved her, our tribute is to live her words until the day a cure is found. There is, indeed, much work to be done.