Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Nancy Brinker Ethos: "When you see someone in need, you give. When you see something wrong, you fix it."

Those words appear in Nancy Brinker's new book, Promise Me: How a Sister's Love Launched the Global Movement to End Breast Cancer, reviewed in The Washington Post this morning.   Brinker, the founder of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure, recalls the words of her mother: "When you see someone in need, you give.  When you see something wrong, you fix it."

Susan G. Komen died of breast cancer in 1980, still in her 30s.  Ever since, her sister, Nancy Brinker, has been a dynamo on behalf of fighting breast cancer.  Not just paying for its treatment, but seeking to fix it.  That is, seeking a cure.

The Hebrew words tikkun olam don't mean provide care for the world, they means heal the world.


  1. This article was a true depiction of so many champions of the eventual cure and the admirable contribution of Nancy Brinker.My own wife was a breast cancer victim 10 years ago and escaped with a lumpectomy. Today she is cancer free, working. soccer all is well. The devastating and most vexing time is when the woman is in the fight with surgery and chemo and errant emotions throughout the family is nothing short of horrific. Then comes the resulting diagnosis which was excellent in our case but I cannot imagine the pain if the outcome were to be different.We have have to push and fight and do whatever is humanly possible to defeat this disease.I believe health care will have to be re visited in order to accomplish a cure.

  2. Jay’s right, health care must be revisited. In my Walter Mitty way, I kid that we would be a lot better off if 535 grand mothers were on the Hill instead of what we have now. My wife had 5 chest operations, all were benign. I cannot imagine the pain of those whose results were different.
    If we men had cancer of the scrotum as frequently as women get breast cancer, it would have been cured a long time ago. I’m a grandpa and I approve of this sexist opinion.