Spotlight on Komen’s Young Professionals for the Cure

17 05 2011

Originally seen on, April 30, 2011

Charity Spotlight | Susan G. Komen’s Young Professionals for the Cure Make Dreams Come True

By Jillian Diedrich

Just last week, a group of young professionals from Austin, Texas, used the power of social media to make a dream come true for 9-year-old Madeleine, who is battling stage IV Glioblastoma, by surprising her with a FOOD FIGHT at a local park.

Madeleine has been defying doctors’ predictions and is still fighting, enriching the lives of all who meet her with her infectious laugh and precious smile.

Komen’s Young Professionals for the Cure (YPC) group of Austin just-so-happened to meet Madeleine while out to dinner on her mom’s birthday.  Once the group talked with Madeleine and her family, they became inspired by her courage and strength.

“As we spoke with Madeleine, she informed us of the one thing she really wanted more than any gift: a food fight,” said Jeremy Butler, the social media chair of Austin’s YPC. “So, we decided to give her the best food fight ever!”

It took only a week and a half to plan the food fight – mostly via Facebook outreach and support.

“When Madeleine and her family showed up on the day of the food fight, I got to see Madeleine’s eyes light up in surprise,” said Butler. “How smoothly it went exceeded my expectations.”

About 100 friends and family members came out, armed with foods, to make Madeleine’s dream come true.

Madeleine’s favorite foods are spaghetti and chocolate cake, so cupcakes and pasta were donated by people in the community.  All those who attended were also asked to bring at least one canned food item to donate to the Capital Area Food Bank.

“The whole experience was positive,” said Jen Harman, active member of Austin’s YPC. “Madeleine’s smile was the best part of the whole day.  Everyone was there to have fun!”

This is a peak at what Komen’s YPC groups can do when they collaborate with the community.  The first YPC group was created in New York City by Eric Brinker, the son of founder and CEO of Susan G. Komen, Nancy Brinker.  The ultimate goal of all YPC groups is to collaborate and eradicate cancer.

“Madeleine’s Food Fight was so amazing,” said Glen Mayes, chairman of Austin’s YPC.  “Seeing our YPC group grow from last year to now have so many people around with like-minded views made it happen.”

Why get inovolved?

Do something that inspires you,” said Harman. “That’s what made us want to help. Madeleine inspired us.”

Please visit WWW.MADELEINESGIFT.ORG to learn more about Madeleine’s story and make donations toward her fight against cancer.

Photographs of Madeleine’s Food Fight can be found at  Twenty to 30 percent of all proceeds from purchased pictures will go to Madeleine’s family.

For more information, please visit:

To volunteer with our Austin, Texas Affiliate you can visit

Find out how to get involved in the Susan G. Komen Affiliate in your area by visiting