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.”

1969
The modern mammogram is invented.

1970’s
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.

1974
First Lady Betty Ford openly discusses her diagnosis and mastectomy.  Two weeks later, Second Lady Margaretta Rockefeller undergoes a double mastectomy.

1980
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.

1982
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.

1983
The first Race for the Cure takes place in Dallas, TX with 800 participants.

1986
The first Breast Cancer Awareness Month is held in October.

1990
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.

1991
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.

1991
The first ever Amarillo Race for the Cure is held at Westgate Mall.  The Race had 200 participants and raised nearly $5,000.

1991
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.

1995
The Komen Lubbock Area Affiliate was founded.

1996
The Collin County Affiliate grows to encompass Denton and Grayson counties, becoming the North Texas Affiliate.

1998
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.

2003
The Greater Amarillo Race moves to downtown and the Greater Amarillo Affiliate was formed.

2007
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.

2011
Komen North Texas adds an additional 5 counties to its service area.

2012
Komen North Texas and Komen Wichita Falls merges to become the new Komen North Texas, covering 13 counties.

2013
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.

2017
Komen Greater Amarillo and Komen Lubbock Area join forces to become Komen West Texas.

2019
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.

Beyond
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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.