Thursday, February 2, 2012

Komen, their money and our money

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


Anonymous said...


I am COMPLETELY supporting you and on my Facebook page am asking people to support AICR!!!!

Kathy E. said...

Hi Diana,
I don't think I've ever posted on your blog, but I too am "done with" Komen. As a fellow RD, they lost me when I learned about the Buckets for the Cure." Can I say, Gag me? I said basically the same thing in a petition to their organization.

Anyway, I appreciate your efforts and your voice in this world that is all too filled with not-so-rational-voices. And I also totally support your perspective.

Here's to your (and your readers') health and a future focused on cancer prevention!

Anonymous said...

What an awesome post! You've used words I couldn't find about why I couldn't get behind Komen. I will gladly give money for prevention. Co-opting the great color pink just pisses me off. Let's reclaim it and the focus on prevention, early detection and support for survivors and those currently with breast cancer.

Ali said...

You might be swimming upstream, but you have many people swimming along with you! Thanks for your post :)

Maru said...

I very much wanted to know your comments on this.

I read Barbara Ehrenreich's book, Bright-sided, the very month before my own cancer diagnosis (of all ironies -- or maybe not) and she has some very pointed things to day about Komen, its supporters and environmental causes vis-a-vis prevention. You probably know what I'm talking about.

Anyway. When I read today that Bloomberg was matching donations to Planned Parenthood, I went straight to their web site and donated $100. And I'm not rich. And I'm no overall fan of Bloomberg. But I'm with him on this.

Maybe the "correction" to pink washing that was overdue has arrived.

Amanda said...

I totally agree! You're thoughts are not too "out there" for me! You're saying it exactly the way I was feeling it. Deeply disturbing. Thanks for your thoughts!

Anonymous said...

Wholeheartedly agree Diana. Love you blog.....visit regulary. I truely believe you are on the right track with prevention and cure. May the "Force Be With YOU"!!
Naomi Stone

Ellen said...

Go Diana! Yes, yes, and yes. I also read your blog regularly & support your mission & your passion. I am disgusted by Komen.

Anonymous said...

I'm late with my comment (and I know that Komen has reversed its decision - hurrah) but wanted to let you know Diana the Tiger rocks! Well said, with courage and conviction.