Susan G. Komen Launches Campaign, Crowdfunding Initiative

Susan G. Komen's is kicking off a crowdfunding initiative in recognition of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The organization also is launching a campaign to educate about metastatic breast cancer, which is the most deadly variety. 

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month is an annual international health campaign organized by major breast cancer charities every October to increase awareness of the disease and to raise funds for research into its cause and prevention.

Donations received at for the initiative will go further, thanks to a matching commitment from Odonate Therapeutics, a company dedicated to the development of therapeutics that improve and extend the lives of patients with cancer. Odonate and an affiliated partner will match, on a dollar-for-dollar basis, all donations toward this initiative received between Oct. 2 and Dec. 31, up to a maximum of $1.5 million.

Through the initiative, donors have the opportunity to contribute directly to the work of four scientists and their teams who are dedicated to making discoveries that will ultimately improve outcomes for patients suffering from metastatic breast cancer, where the cancer has spread beyond the breast to other organs in the body, most often to the bones, lungs, liver or brain. Metastatic breast cancer is incurable and is responsible for most of the nation's 41,000 annual breast cancer deaths.

To achieve its goal to reduce current breast cancer deaths in the U.S. by 50% by 2026, Komen is focusing its research program on understanding the biology of metastatic breast cancer and developing ways to treat and prevent it. To date, Komen has invested more than $180 million toward metastatic breast cancer research, and more than 41% of Komen's 2017 grants are devoted to metastatic research.

Only 7% of breast cancer research funds raised are generally put toward stage IV metastatic cancer research. A new campaign, from AOR Dalton Agency, features Valynda Planeta, a 38-year-old mother of three who is currently battling stage IV cancer. In one TV spot, Planeta explains how she is writing letters to her children for the future.

These letters are to be opened at monumental moments in their lives; including their graduation, weddings, and birth of their children — moments that she knows she will not be there for. A second spot shows her slowly remove the fake eyelashes and the wig that she wears because she has lost her hair due to chemo treatments. The ads end by making the point that no mother should have to do this.

The campaign launches nationwide this week and will include TV, digital, social media, and print.

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