Carrera Por La Vida (Race for Life)

Carrera por la vida race bib, 1998 March 8

Nancy Brinker founded the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation on July 22, 1982 in Dallas, Texas, in her sister’s memory. Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, the organization searches for an end to breast cancer. In 1983 the first Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure® took place in Dallas, Texas, with 800 participants.

Costa Rica become the first country outside of the United States to host a Race for the Cure event. The inspiration for the event came from former U.S. Ambassador to Costa Rica (1994-1998), Sonia Picado. An advocate for women’s health issues, Picado was an ardent support of the Race for the Cure in Washington DC. The race took place in La Sabana National Park in San José, Costa Rica on March 8, 1998.

Race participants

The goals of the race were to spread the message of early detection, and to raise funds to improve breast cancer education, screening, and treatment programs. At the time, breast cancer accounted for the second highest mortality rate of cancer for women in Costa Rica. Over 3,500 participated in the event, with funds raised from the event going towards Fundeso, the National Foundation for Solidarity Against Breast Cancer. Created in 1983 by Elena Sikora, a cancer survivor herself, this non-profit organization is run by volunteers, mostly cancer survivors, who fight cancer through early detection, prompt and effective medical intervention, and rehabilitation programs.

Women of Fundeso, recipient of the race funds

Housed in the DeGolyer Library are the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation records, 1983-2011, and the Susan G. Komen papers. The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation records consist of papers, photographs, clippings, company publications, awards, and artifacts along with an additional terabyte of digital video, photograph, and document files related to the development of affiliate Komen programs and races around the world.

Race for the Cure volunteers
Race for the Cure volunteers

Contact Samantha Dodd, curator of the Archives of Women of the Southwest for additional information or assistance with accessing the collections.

For access to these collections or to learn more about the adventurous women of the southwest, be sure to visit the DeGolyer Library and check out our books, manuscripts, pamphlets, and photographs.