I have been off-line and only heard about Komen's reversal to reinstate funding to Planned Parenthood for breast cancer screening for low-income women by reading a short email message from a friend making sure I heard the news.
What a difference 24 hours can make! Thank you to everyone who spoke up somehow to express your outrage that Komen would pull funding for breast cancer screening from the most vulnerable women in our society.
Speaking as an advocate for all women at risk for breast cancer (that is 100% of women, no matter how young or old, rich or poor, how educated or not, their sexual orientation, ethnic background or the color of their skin), I am grateful that Komen has restored funding to breast cancer screening at Planned Parenthood designated for women of limited financial means.
I have been one of these poor women, back when my husband and I were both graduate students with no money and I had no (or 'crappy') health care insurance because of carrying the horrid 'stigma' of being a childhood cancer survivor (which has labeled me with a pre-existing health condition virtually my entire life). Thus I have used Planned Parenthood for women's health care services in the past. (I was also eligible for, based on income, needed, and benefitted by using the federal Women, Children, and Infant Nutrition Program (WIC) to ensure I had adequate nutritious food to eat when pregnant with my first-born child, which I continued for the first 9 months of my son's life.)
I have not forgotten my challenges nor do I turn a blind eye to families who have challenges even more difficult than my own were. I will fight for them, and I am grateful that others did so also yesterday.
My most radical hope is that that everyone in this country can see the wisdom of and can agree about the financial reality of needing to focus our limited resources on prevention, prevention of both unwanted pregnancies and unwanted breast cancers!
We are not only 'all in this together' but I deeply believe that 'we are all related'. What happens to one, happens to all.
My long-time readers may remember that one of my favorite proverbs comes from the Quaker tradition: "Let your life speak".
Thank you to my readers who shared their supportive comments, but more importantly, I thank you for caring, and I thank you for speaking up in whatever way you sent your thoughts through the Universe.
Cultivate your life - you are what you grow - inch by inch, row by row,
Diana Dyer, MS, RD