Philadelphia Susan G. Komen office set to close after 30 years

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- For 30 years strong, starting in 1991, we've seen the mission of Susan G. Komen become quite a force here in Philadelphia.

But now, in the midst of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the office covering over 15 local counties, including all of the state of Delaware; Camden County, New Jersey; and 11 counties in Pennsylvania, is closing its operations Friday because of a national reorganization.

"I remember being on the steps of the Art Museum with Phyllis Roseman who was the first chair, a survivor, and we said, 'who's going to come?'" Komen Philadelphia CEO Elaine Grobman said.

And boy was Philadelphia in for a surprise. More than 1,900 people participated in the first year of Susan G Komen Walk for A Cure. That number skyrocketed to more than 100,000 during its span.

"I will miss the women and families that we have touched over the 30 years. We watched their families grow up, seen them successfully come through their breast cancer mission, and cried with the ones that didn't," Grobman said.

It's devastating for an operation that's distributed $63 million in community grants throughout its history and raised more than $28 million in research. The Philadelphia chapter also helped more than 180,000 women receive free mammograms and pay for treatment if needed.

Grobman says for many, it's become much-needed support.

"Whether I was delivering groceries in an emergency or taking a woman to treatment or whatever they needed, we were part of their life," Grobman said.

The Philadelphia chapter says they haven't been made aware of how the restructuring process will turn out, but they say Susan G. Komen will still be a resource in the future.

The group is also working with nearby hospitals to ensure there's money to help women in need.
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