Congresswoman Maloney and Congressman Sessions unveil plan to raise millions for the fight against breast cancer

Jun 10, 2015
Press Release
New commemorative coin would generate funds for breast cancer research and awareness at no cost to taxpayers

NEW YORK— Breast cancer has touched the lives of millions of American families, but two members of Congress are working to help change that through increased research and awareness of the disease which is now the second leading cause of cancer death in women. Today New York Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12) and Texas Congressman Pete Sessions (TX-32) joined the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF) President Myra Biblowit, President and CEO of Susan G. Komen Dr. Judith Salerno, and breast cancer survivors to announce their plan to raise millions of dollars for the fight against breast cancer. The House members will soon introduce the Breast Cancer Awareness Commemorative Coin Act, which would direct the U.S. Treasury to issue up to 50,000 $5 gold coins, up to 400,000 $1 silver coins and 750,000 half-dollar clad with a design to symbolize the fight against breast cancer in 2018. The production cost of these coins will be fully covered within the sales price, and the proceeds will benefit the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, headquartered in New York, and Susan G. Komen for the Cure, headquartered in Texas. The bill has been cosponsored by 306 Members of the House.

“It is estimated that over 231,000 new cases of breast cancer will occur in the U.S. in 2015, and tragically 40,000 women will die from it,” said Congresswoman Maloney. “Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women, and the only way for us to eradicate it is through research to find a cure and increased awareness and screenings. There are only a handful of ways Congress can raise money to assist this fight at no cost to taxpayers and creating a commemorative coin is one. If we pass this bill, we can provide millions of dollars to raise awareness and accelerate research.”

“Breast cancer is a disease that has impacted millions of individuals and families across the nation,” said Congressman Sessions. “While researchers have made great strides in early detection and treatments, I believe it is critical that we continue to support research efforts so that one day we can finally defeat this devastating disease and live in a world without breast cancer. I am proud to join Congresswoman Maloney in supporting this important initiative, and I applaud the integral role that both the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and Susan G. Komen have played in the fight against breast cancer.”  

"There are over 3.1 million breast cancer survivors in the US. These women and men are alive today in large part due to the investment BCRF has made in research and awareness. As a leading funder of breast cancer research worldwide since 1993, BCRF investigators have been deeply involved in every major breakthrough in breast cancer prevention, diagnosis, treatment and survivorship," said Myra Biblowit, President of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. "The incredible bi-partisan support this bill has received demonstrates the reality of breast cancer: it impacts everyone, no matter where they are from or political party they may belong to. Funds raised from the minted coin will move BCRF closer to its goal of eradicating this terrible disease."

“The funds raised from the sale of these commemorative coins will help ensure that vital breast cancer research continues,” said Komen President and CEO Judith A. Salerno, M.D., M.S. “As the world’s largest nonprofit funder of breast cancer research, we are grateful for this commitment to women’s health and honored by the trust placed in our organization to steward these funds, as we move forward in our mission to discover and deliver the cures for breast cancer.”

The Breast Cancer Awareness Commemorative Coin Act was first introduced by Rep. Maloney in the 113th Congress. This bipartisan bill was widely supported by a total of 195 cosponsors, with 57 Republicans and 138 Democrats. Breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer among nearly every racial and ethnic group. Clinical advances resulting from research have led to increased survival rates, and death rates have dropped over 34 percent since 1990.

The Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF) has raised more than $500 million for research, making it one of the largest supporters of privately funded research across 25 states and 14 countries. BCRF is dedicated to keeping administrative costs low. Of every dollar donated to BCRF, $0.91 goes to research and awareness programs—$0.88 towards research and $0.03 towards awareness.

Susan G. Komen has spent over $847 million on research in 48 states and around the world. Komen’s mission is to attack the disease on all fronts: in research, community outreach, education. The organization provides peer-reviewed research grants, which have resulted in breakthrough scientific discoveries that bring us closer to eradicating breast cancer.