Our History

Bolded pink dates denote milestones pertaining to our specific Affiliate’s history.

Early 1950s
The NY Times refuses to publish an ad for a breast cancer support group stating that it would not print the words “breast” or “cancer.”

The modern mammogram is invented.

The standard treatment for breast cancer is a one-step surgical process in which a patient is put under anesthesia for a biopsy and, upon a positive result, is immediately subjected to a radical mastectomy without consultation.

First Lady Betty Ford openly discusses her diagnosis and mastectomy.  Two weeks later, Second Lady Margaretta Rockefeller undergoes a double mastectomy.

After a 3-year battle with breast cancer, Susan Goodman Komen dies at the age of 36.  Her sister, Nancy Goodman Brinker, promises to do everything she can to end breast cancer forever.

Nancy Goodman brinker establishes the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.  Komen awards its first research grant for $28,000 to Dr. Gary Spitzer at the Universty of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

The first Race for the Cure takes place in Dallas, TX with 800 participants.

The first Breast Cancer Awareness Month is held in October.

Nancy Brinker called on her friend Florence Shapiro, Plano Mayor at the time, to form the 7th chapter of Komen – the Collin County Affiliate of Susan G. Komen – and the first Plano Race for the Cure is hosted.

Komen establishes the pink ribbon as a national symbol for the cause by distributing one to every participant in the NYC Race for the Cure.

The first ever Amarillo Race for the Cure is held at Westgate Mall.  The Race had 200 participants and raised nearly $5,000.

Komen granted Dr. V. Craig Jordan, a Komen Scholar alumnus, to study drug resistance to Tamoxifen.  Dr. Jordan was the first person to show that Tamoxifen could be used to treat breast cancer and later demonstrated it could also prevent breast cancer.

The Komen Lubbock Area Affiliate was founded.

The Collin County Affiliate grows to encompass Denton and Grayson counties, becoming the North Texas Affiliate.

Herceptin:  Biotechnology Breakthrough in Breast Cancer wins FDA approval.  Funded in part by Komen and a game changer for HER2+ breast cancer, making this type of cancer no longer a death sentence.

The Greater Amarillo Race moves to downtown and the Greater Amarillo Affiliate was formed.

Komen awards the first grant for the Komen Tissue Bank, the only biorepository of its kind collecting health breast tissue to study the causes and prevention of breast cancer.

Komen North Texas adds an additional 5 counties to its service area.

Komen North Texas and Komen Wichita Falls merges to become the new Komen North Texas, covering 13 counties.

The U.S. FDA approves Lymphoseek for use as an imaging agent for lymph node mapping in breast cancer and melanoma patients.  Developed in San Diego by Dr. Anne Wallace at UCSD and funded in part by Komen, Lymphoseek can help prevent unnecessary lymphedema.

Komen Greater Amarillo and Komen Lubbock Area join forces to become Komen West Texas.

Komen North Texas and Komen West Texas join forces to become what is today Komen North & West Texas.  As part of the merge, the new Affiliate also incorporated counties previously unsupported by a Komen Affiliate, bringing its counties served to 91.

What will you help us accomplish next?

Our Impact

Since our inception in 1990, Komen North & West Texas has invested nearly $20 million in local breast health programs in our service area and helped contribute to the more than $988 million invested in national scientific research to find the cures.