Chocolate & Croissants's Reviews > Promise Me: How a Sister's Love Launched the Global Movement to End Breast Cancer

Promise Me by Nancy G. Brinker
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U 50x66
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Jan 09, 2011

really liked it

The first week of the year has just ended and I would have to say that Promise Me is the most inspirational book I have read this year and in a long time. If you live in North America I am sure you must be familiar with the Susan Komen Foundation and Race for the Cure. While Susan succumbed to breast cancer many years ago, Promise Me is her sister's story of who Susan was and how the foundation came about.

I found the book to be utterly amazing. For me it falls into the category of books that I could not put down once I started reading it. The book is part memoir, part the history of documented cases of breast cancer,the story of Nancy Brinker's promise to her sister to bring awareness to breast cancer along with the stories of various women who have been afflicted by breast cancer.

Race for the Cure is the largest foot race in the United States in terms of participants. Once you start reading the book you get an understanding for who Nancy Brinker is and how she came to create the Susan Komen Foundation. Born to a mother who believed in helping those less fortunate, Nancy and her sister put on a talent show with neighborhood children in their effort to raise money for the fight against polio. They also spent time dropping off food to families afflicted by polio.

As a college graduate, Nancy worked for Neimen Marcus in Dallas, learning what customer service was all about. It is these life experiences that I believe gave Nancy the ability to create such a successful foundation. While her sister underwent treatment, Nancy or other family members were always along her side. After her death, Nancy spoke to the same doctors to find out what could be done to bring awareness to breast cancer and help other individuals (Breast cancer is not unique to women).

Nancy had me laughing when she detailed a French doctor's oncology research. Only a French doctor would cook a sample of a breast with cancer alongside with beef to detail how cooking it changed the sample. He also tasted the sample.

With fondness she recounts growing up as the younger sister of Susan and the adventures they had together. Little did she know when they toured Europe as young women that her sister's life was already half over.

Most importantly, as a breast cancer survivor author Brinker, emphasizes the importance of regular mammograms and self breast exams. The book is truly remarkable. I have run in the local Race for the Cure race and watched from the sidelines. The event is truly something to watch. For those who have never been or seen the races, hundreds of people turn out. But what is more amazing are the various teams of families who are supporting a breast cancer survivor or running in memory of someone that science and medicine could not save.
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