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Breast Cancer: A Common Enemy That Impacts Us All

By Blue Cross NC | June 10, 2014 | Careers & Culture, Employee Spotlights

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by King Prather

I never knew my grandparents.

Two died before I was born, one died within a year and another died within six years after I was born. I had my picture taken with the last one and I can conjure up an image or two of her with an apron and a cast iron skillet. Cancer took at least two of my grandparents.

Close to Home

In middle school, from 1971-1974, I was part of a five-friend pack in the lunch room and on the athletic fields. We were nearly inseparable in and out of Swanson Junior High in Arlington Virginia, building friendships that last to this day.

Since the good old days, one friend has lost a wife, and one has lost a daughter to cancer. Of the other two spouses, one is a breast cancer survivor and one is battling it now. My wife comparatively calls the scare she experienced recently a “brush with cancer”… but she is a cancer survivor all the same. That’s five for five from a lunch table 40 years ago.

Image: King Prather
Image: King Prather

Susan Komen Foundation

I’ve been asked why am I raising money for the Susan Komen Foundation for the June 14 Race for the Cure in Raleigh. These are some of the reasons.

The fact that one in eight women will suffer from breast cancer could be enough to motivate one toward action, but that figure was only a statistic to me — until it became faces of family and friends, and until the pain was nearby, visible and heartbreaking.

Wearing pink and asking people for money to help find a cure for such a horrible yet common enemy seems like a small enough part to play.

What motivates you to give back?

Whether your support goes to Race for the Cure or some other worthy endeavor aimed at making our world a healthier place, I salute you.


N. King Prather is senior vice president and general counsel of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina. In addition to his duties managing the Law Office at BCBSNC, which includes his role as corporate secretary, Mr. Prather oversees the company’s Compliance and Ethics department, the Audit and Risk Management function, and the Health Policy Office. He also serves as the secretary of the separate and independent BCBSNC Foundation, a private not-for-profit foundation.