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 Home > News & Policies > March 2003

For Immediate Release
March 13, 2003

Remarks by Mrs. Bush

Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation "Embrace the Race" Event

Wednesday, March 12, 2003


Thank you, for your warm welcome - but I should applaud you - the fighters and the survivors of breast cancer and the family and friends who support you. I am excited to be here to "Embrace the Race" and to celebrate the Komen Foundation's 20 years of advocacy and action.

Thank you, Dr. Leffall for leading the Komen Foundation in the fight against breast cancer. Thank you, our dedicated Members of Congress for being here today - Senator George Allen, Congressman Billy Tauzin and Congresswomen Sue Myrick and Marsha Blackburn. Thank you for providing more than 200 million dollars for the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program.

It is moving to see so much pink standing here behind me - it is also inspiring. Today, the color pink symbolizes more than hope - it's a symbol of courage and triumph. A few short years ago, a diagnosis of breast cancer left little hope of recovery. But thanks to the work of the Komen Foundation and every one of you, more women and men are beating breast cancer and beating the odds.

All of us know someone who is touched by breast cancer. With this disease affecting one in nine women, it is hard not to know someone. For me, breast cancer hit close to home when my mother, Jenna Welch, was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 78. My mother is fortunate - she had surgery and has been cancer free for five years.

But more than 40 thousand women and men will not win their battle with breast cancer this year. It is for them - and for the more than 200 thousand Americans who will be diagnosed this year - that we race for a cure.

Every step and mile of the race brings us closer to finding a cure. Nancy Brinker, our American ambassador to Hungary, has dedicated her life to this end. Twenty years ago, when Nancy started the Susan G. Komen Foundation in honor of her sister, breast cancer was rarely talked about. Today, thanks to Nancy's leadership, millions more know about the risks of breast cancer - more are aware and have access to early detection, treatment and support. And more people around the world, both survivors and supporters, are lacing up their running shoes and making a difference.

In 1983, eight hundred people participated in the first Komen Race in my home state of Texas. Today, the race is held in over 100 cities - and with 70 thousand participants - the National Race is the largest 5K footrace in the world. Last year, this race raised an astonishing 2.4 million dollars for research and treatment.

Both the President and I are strong supporters of the Race for the Cure. The President ran and I walked with survivors and supporters in both Austin and Lubbock. And although the President doesn't have a lot of pink in his closet, he was proud to wear it on those days. We're proud of the Komen Foundation and of the people who fight breast cancer on race day - and every day.

The Race for the Cure is long and the road is often bumpy. But when you are tired and thirsty and ready to give up, remember the people who love you and the people you have loved and lost. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "Our greatest glory consists not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." Each of you show the world that a little hope, a lot of love, and abounding courage will pick us up every time. Thank you very much and congratulations.