1. Visions create a picture of the future that is better than the status quo. What mental image or picture of the future did Nancy have before beginning Susan G. Komen for the Cure?;2. What kind of change in values did Nancy?s vision about cancer research create? What kind of resistance did she confront to her articulated vision?;3. From a leadership perspective, how big a role did vision play in what Nancy created?;4. After reading the case, how did you feel? If you could talk to Nancy, what would you want to tell her about her accomplishments?;Additional Requirements;Level of Detail: Only answer needed;Other Requirements: The Promise of the Pink Ribbon It started with a deathbed promise and a shoebox full of names. In 1980, Nancy Brinker?s only sister, Susan Komen, was dying of breast cancer at the age of 36. She asked her younger sister to do something so other women didn?t have to suffer her fate. ? I really want you to put an end to breast cancer,? she said. Nancy replied, ? Suzy, I promise. I?ll help. Even if it takes me the rest of my life.? Nancy, who was a recently divorced single mother, worked in retail marketing and public relations. She soon met millionaire Norman Brinker, who had lost his first wife to ovarian cancer, and the two bonded over their mutual desire to do something about the devastating disease. They married, and the new financial freedom allowed Nancy to quit her job and begin to make good on her promise. With only $ 200, a typewriter, 12 volunteers, and a shoebox full of index cards with names of contacts she had copied from her husband?s Rolodex, Susan G. Komen for the Cure was born. From the start, the nonprofit foundation?s mission was to eradicate the disease by improving research, screening, education, and treatment. But Nancy found that people were hesitant to talk about the disease,especially the male CEOs she approached for corporate donations. People called it ? The Big C,? and some thought it was contagious. Nancy quickly determined that raising money wasn?t the challenge, but reshaping the public perception about the disease was. ? There was so much fear about this disease, of the treatment, and for good reasons. People died so easily and quickly of it,? she says. ? There can be no change until there?s awareness. It wasn?t just a question of changing what was happening in the clinics and changing science. It was changing the culture? (Stahl, 2010). Nancy believed the best way to do that was through cause- related marketing. Soon, the little pink ribbon adopted by the foundation and the color pink became synonymous with breast cancer. Nancy forged partnerships with major companies, including automobile, food, cosmetics, and appliance manufacturers, to design and promote pink products, donating back a portion of the profits to the foundation. As one supporter said, ? Nancy knows how to translate corporate goodwill into programs that have meaningful results? (Stahl, 2010). In 1984, the foundation developed Race for the Cure, a 5- kilometer running/ walking event to raise money and awareness, and in 1986, it began promoting October as the official Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Nancy?s efforts to publicize its cause resulted with the Empire State Building in New York City turning all its lights pink, as well as having pink lights shine on the White House. With each new link to a corporate sponsor and each new pink product, Nancy saw opportunity to educate more people about the disease. The foundation was doing well enough by 1984 to award its first grants for research and education. At the same time, Nancy was diagnosed with the same kind of breast cancer that took her sister. She took an aggressive approach to treating her cancer, including a double mastectomy and several rounds of chemotherapy. She emerged from the battle even more determined to help those with the disease. By 1989, two researchers who were partly funded by the Susan G. Komen foundation received Nobel Prizes for their discoveries about cancer genes. A few years later other foundation- supported researchers identified the BRCA gene mutation, which is linked to hereditary breast cancer. By 2010, Susan G. Komen for the Cure had become the world?s largest source of nonprofit funds for breast cancer, having invested $ 1.5 billion since 1982. The foundation now has a presence in 120 U. S. communities and 50 countries. In 2009, Nancy Brinker was awarded the U. S. Presidential Medal of Freedom. She admits that when she began, she didn?t know it would take so long to get to where the foundation is today. ? In the beginning, I don?t think many scientists and physicians took us real seriously, but they didn?t realize we were going to work this hard for this long,? she says. ? I?d like to think I survived all these years because I?m supposed to do this work. I realized I may not have enough time to live out this promise, so I?ve always kind of felt I am in a race personally to get this done? (Farwell, 2009).
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