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Promise me how a sister's love launched the global movement to end breast cancer

by Brinker, Nancy.

Format: Book on CD 2010
Availability: Available at 1 Library 1 of 1 copy
Available (1)
Location Collection Call #
Penn Hills Library Audio Visual CD 616.99 BRI
Location  Penn Hills Library
Collection  Audio Visual
Call Number  CD 616.99 BRI
Suzy and Nancy Goodman were more than sisters. They were best friends, confidantes, and partners in the grand adventure of life. For three decades, nothing could separate them. Not college, not marriage, not miles. Then Suzy got sick. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1977; three agonizing years later, at thirty-six, she died. It wasn't supposed to be this way. The Goodman girls were raised in postwar Peoria, Illinois, by parents who believed that small acts of charity could change the world. Suzy was the big sister-the homecoming queen with an infectious enthusiasm and a generous heart. Nancy was the little sister-the tomboy with an outsized sense of justice who wanted to right all wrongs. The sisters shared makeup tips, dating secrets, plans for glamorous fantasy careers. They spent one memorable summer in Europe discovering a big world far from Peoria. They imagined a long life together-one in which they'd grow old together surrounded by children and grandchildren. Suzy's diagnosis shattered that dream. In 1977, breast cancer was still shrouded in stigma and shame. Nobody talked about early detection and mammograms. Nobody could even say the words breast and cancer together in polite company, let alone on television news broadcasts. With Nancy at her side, Suzy endured the many indignities of cancer treatment, from the grim, soul-killing waiting rooms to the mistakes of well-meaning but misinformed doctors. That's when Suzy began to ask Nancy to promise. To promise to end the silence. To promise to raise money for scientific research. To promise to one day cure breast cancer for good. Big, shoot-for-the-moon promises that Nancy never dreamed she could fulfill. But she promised because this was her beloved sister. I promise, Suzy.... Even if it takes the rest of my life. Suzy's death-both shocking and senseless-created a deep pain in Nancy that never fully went away. But she soon found a useful outlet for her grief and outrage. Armed only with a shoebox filled with the names of potential donors, Nancy put her formidable fund-raising talents to work and quickly discovered a groundswell of grassroots support. She was aided in her mission by the loving tutelage of her husband, restaurant magnate Norman Brinker, whose dynamic approach to entrepreneurship became Nancy's model for running her foundation. Her account of how she and Norman met, fell in love, and managed to achieve the elusive "true marriage of equals" is one of the great grown-up love stories among recent memoirs. Nancy's mission to change the way the world talked about and treated breast cancer took on added urgency when she was herself diagnosed with the disease in 1984, a terrifying chapter in her life that she had long feared. Unlike her sister, Nancy survived and went on to make Susan G. Komen for the Cure into the most influential health charity in the country and arguably the world. A pioneering force in cause-related marketing, SGK turned the pink ribbon into a symbol of hope everywhere. Each year, millions of people worldwide take part in SGK Race for the Cure events. And thanks to the more than $1.5 billion spent by SGK for cutting-edge research and community programs, a breast cancer diagnosis today is no longer a death sentence. In fact, in the time since Suzy's death, the five-year survival rate for breast cancer has risen from 74 percent to 98 percent. Promise Me is a deeply moving story of family and sisterhood, the dramatic "30,000-foot view" of the democratization of a disease, and a soaring affirmative to the question: Can one person truly make a difference?
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "In this compelling memoir, the 64-year-old founder of Susan G. Komen for the Cure mixes details from her soap opera-like life with facts about breast cancer. Nancy Goodman of Peoria, Illinois, morphs from a chubby Jewish girl (in second grade, she tips the scale at more than 100 pounds) to a nearly six-foot glamazon. After breast cancer kills her beautiful 36-year-old sister, Suzy, Nancy starts the world's largest breast-cancer charity in her memory. At age 37, she discovers a lump in her own chest. Nancy gets by with a little help from her second husband, Norman Brinker, the casual-dining gazillionaire and a member of the Susan G. Komen board from its inception in 1982 until his death last year. Cowritten with Joni Rodgers (author of the cancer memoir Bald in the Land of Big Hair, 2001), the book does take some liberties, and Nancy drops names (she spent time with Betty Ford and was a U.S. ambassador for George H. W. Bush and chief of protocol for George W.) and settles some scores. But readers will find much to admire.--Springen, Karen Copyright 2010 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Both Nancy and Susan Goodman, born in the mid-1940s to a businessman and his community-active wife in Peoria, Ill., developed breast cancer, and Suzy died from it at age 36 in 1980. Although she'd had a subcutaneous mastectomy two years before, her doctor did not follow through with chemotherapy or radiation. On a deathbed promise to her sister, Nancy (now Brinker) vowed to bring breast cancer out in the open, force people to "talk about it," and find funding for a cure. In this deeply thoughtful, assertive, sensitive memoir of the sisters' growing up and devotion to each other in life and death, Brinker chronicles the long path she trod to create Susan G. Komen for the Cure. With her marriage in 1981 to conservative Texas millionaire Norman Brinker, Nancy recognized she had a "platform" on which to build a foundation. High-profile breast-cancer cases such as Betty Ford's, Nancy Reagan's, and numerous others highlighted the cause, and in separate chapters Brinker delineates background and personal stories. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Brinker, Nancy.
Komen, Susan G. -- Health.
Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.
Breast -- Cancer -- Patients -- United States -- Biography.
Breast -- Cancer -- Popular works.
Publisher [Old Saybrook, CT] :Tantor Media,2010
Edition Unabridged.
Contributors Rodgers, Joni, 1962-
Marlo, Coleen, narrator.
Participants/Performers Read by Coleen Marlo.
Language English
Notes Compact discs.
Duration: 13:00:00.
Description 10 audio discs (13 hr.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in.
ISBN 9781400119745
Other Classic View