I cannot even get onto the Komen website this morning, after it has finally released a statement about its decision to withdraw funds from Planned Parenthood. So I have not read the official statement. I will let you all sort out your own thoughts on its action and its stated reason(s) for withdrawing funding to Planned Parenthood, which had been designated to provide breast cancer screening and education to women who do not have the financial ability (or access) to pay for this critical component of their health.
I have not given any money to Komen for years and years, not since the day after I was their invited keynote speaker at a Race for the Cure event and was handed a race t-shirt with a small discreet Komen logo on the front and a huge picture of Tony the Tiger on the back (it looked life-size)! Of course this was a 'thank-you' to Kellogg's, a sponsor of that event.
Sugared cereal without any fiber (in those days) being promoted along with a breast cancer cure was too much of a 'mind-bender' for me. I stopped giving Komen any money after that event. Now of course a whole lot of 'pink-washing' is going on.
I want to see a Race for Prevention. Having > 200,000 women diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012 in the US alone is appalling. I want more attention paid (and more than lip service) to understanding all the causes of cancer, and in particular understanding and eliminating the environmental causes of cancer (and by environmental causes, I am NOT talking about diet and lifestyle and smoking!).
Komen's latest mis-step of how they use their funds is beyond the pale for me. Last year it was the KFC "Pink Bucket" campaign. This year it is pulling their funding from Planned Parenthood, funding that was used by low-income women to provide the early detection that is exactly what Komen is advocating (and the fact that this service is likely to be needed by the very women living in the lower income neighborhoods where the Pink Bucket was highly promoted last year is just another 'mind-bender' for me.)
Good-bye Komen. If my name is still on your list of supporters, please take me off. Please stop sending me return address labels. They will be thrown away. The t-shirt was cut up for rags a long-time ago. I could not in good conscience put it into a box of stuff going to a thrift store as that gigantic picture of Tony on the back would have given too many more people the wrong message about breast cancer prevention (or a cure).
Sigh............I really really really don't like this part of the world. I always feel like I am either swimming upstream or with sharks, I'm not sure which. If my raw and honest thoughts are too 'out there' for you, i.e. radical or wrong, I will understand if you respectfully disagree with me. However, silence will not help prevent (or catch early) the 200,000+++++ new cases of breast cancer next year and the year after that and the year after that.
Whatever your thoughts, please share them with Komen and Planned Parenthood. Your money, one way or another, is being used here.
Diana Dyer, MS, RD