Susan Sonley is Komen's top fundraiser

Susan Sonley of Reston, Va., basically works two jobs. First, she's vice president at Grubb & Ellis, a commercial real estate firm in Northern Virginia. Second, she's a tireless fundraiser for the Susan G. Komen Global Race for the Cure.

"I do my day job so that I can pursue my passion," Sonley said.

Her passion for fundraising for Susan G. Komen for the Cure,{ }a foundation dedicated to education and research about causes, treatment and an eventual cure for breast cancer, stems from personal experience — Sonley fought and beat breast cancer twice, in 1994 and 2010.

After beating it the first time, Sonley felt ready to rally for the cause.

"I said, 'It's time to give back to this now. It's time to do something.'"

Her aggressive fundraising campaign consisted of her own Komen Race team, Champions of the Cure, and taking her story to the public to raise money.

When her cancer returned in 2010, she raised $100,000 on her own. Her efforts have paid off — she's now raised the most money for the foundation than any other fundraiser.

Sonley predicts that within the next two years, she'll have raised $1 million for Komen.

This year's Global Race for the Cure takes place in Washington, D.C., on June 2.

Race registration is down nationwide, and more people are reluctant to donate to the cause following controversy over Komen's temporarily withdrawn support of Planned Parenthood. Sonley said that meeting her fundraising goal for 2012 has been challenging.

But Sonley is undeterred. She said every dollar she raises goes toward finding a cure and saving lives.

"We have to keep our focus on the mission," she said. "And the mission is saving lives."

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