Karen Shultz, Susan G. Komen® Austin Interim Executive Director, became involved with Komen Austin by participating many years in the Komen Austin Race for the Cure® to support friends and family who have survived or are living with breast cancer. She lost family members and friends to metastatic breast cancer so this is an important issue for her family. Several years ago Karen joined the board of directors and became interim executive director of Komen Austin in 2014.
Karen enjoys gardening, reading, traveling, golfing, health and wellness. Beginning at a young age, she was motivated to lead a healthy lifestyle. She is an advocate for taking care of herself through exercise, organic and fresh foods and meditation.
Our mission is to save lives and end breast cancer forever by empowering others, ensuring quality care for all and energizing science to find the cures. Susan G. Komen® is a locally-based 501c (3) nonprofit committed to saving lives locally and fighting breast cancer globally. We are the only local breast cancer organization attacking the disease on all fronts – education, screening, treatment, follow-up care, survivorship support, advocacy and research. The organization serves the women and men in the city’s five-county area battling breast cancer by removing barriers to care for the uninsured and underinsured. Of the funds raised annually, Komen Austin invests up to 75 percent into local community health care grants and educational initiatives; the remaining 25 percent is invested into global research studies to find the cures for breast cancer.
Our vision is a world without breast cancer.
Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in the North America; 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. If detected early, the 5-year survival is 99%. Komen funds research grants that exemplify potential to advance the field and have an impact on patients through a rigorous review process called peer-review. Following the peer-review, Komen’s Scientific Advisory Board guides all research and critical questions that need to be answered.
Since 1999, Komen Austin has invested nearly $11 million into breast health services and raised $5 million to fund global research studies to find the cure for breast cancer. This year Susan G. Komen will commit 50% of the research dollars raised to metastatic breast cancer. Komen Austin funded the first ever “Pink Bus” in Central Texas. The Pink Bus is a self-contained breast screening on wheels featuring advanced digital mammography services and an exam room for breast self exams distributed through Seton Healthcare Family. Komen Austin serves 1.9 million residents of the Greater Austin Area and has removed barriers in order to care for uninsured and underinsured community members in Bastrop, Caldwell, Hays, Travis and Williamson Counties. Komen Austin has one of the largest groups of volunteers, which are a critical asset to carry out our mission at Komen Austin. 2,000 volunteers lie within the heart of the organization and the Komen Austin Ambassador program is essential for implementing exceptional education and outreach to the entire greater Austin area we serve.
Susan G. Komen® is the largest non-government funder of breast cancer research. Metastatic breast cancer (MBC), also called stage IV or advanced breast cancer, enables tumor cells to spread to other parts of the body. During the 1970’s, only 10% of women survived five years after diagnosis of metastatic breast cancer but Susan G Komen® has increased the survival rate to 40% through the research and discovery of new and more effective treatments. Komen has invested more than 15% towards the funding in metastatic breast cancer research.
Komen is a member of the Metastatic Breast Cancer Research Alliance along with 29 organizations with the goal to improve the lives for those living with MBC. More than $133 million in research has allowed Komen to investigate on identifying the genes and processes that cause breast cancer cells to metastasize, develop and test new therapies to both prevent and treat MBC and discover new methods for predicting or detecting metastasis using urine or blood tests or body scans.
I’ve lost a daughter-in-law and friends to breast cancer. Although we made huge strides in diagnosis, treatment, care and research; there is much more work to be done. I strongly believe no one should die because they could not access quality care. -Karen Shultz
Happy Amplify Austin Day! Amplify Austin is a 24-hour day of giving to local nonprofits like Komen Austin. Donate to Komen Austin today to help us reach our goal of $5,000.00. Anything helps to keep our mission at a stand to end breast cancer forever!