As you may know, the Susan G. Komen foundation found itself in a big controversy earlier this year for taking away funding for breast exams to Planned Parenthood. The reaction was swift and severe from people who (IMO) rightfully felt this was a huge misstep. Donations to Komen tanked and they quickly reversed their decision.
Now, many people are continuing to boycott Komen, this time refusing to participate in their Race for the Cure walks/runs. This seems like a good thing. Hell, until earlier this week, I was firmly in this camp. Cut off funding for women who most need breast exams to get them because the organization also happens to provide abortions? Yeah, no thanks.
But now I’ve done an about face and will be participating in my very first Race for the Cure next Sunday, along with Peter and Emmie. Why the change of heart?
Brandi is an incredible woman, mother and wife. Recently, she was diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer. Needless to say, this sucks balls. Not for the first time, I’ve been grateful for my experience and for the opportunity to help someone else feel that they are not alone in this battle. We can commiserate over being the youngest person in the infusion room by 20 years, laugh about crazy advice we’ve gotten, and share the dark fears that come to mothers of young children when they are faced with the very real possibility of leaving them much too soon.
Here is a photo from her head shaving party just a few days ago. Instead of letting cancer take control, she shaved her head on her own terms first, and in the process, showed to everyone that she can rock a mohawk like no one’s business:
So how does this relate to Komen? you say. Just five days ago, research that was FUNDED BY KOMEN came out with some serious breakthroughs in the potential to cure “aggressive, metastatic cancer.” Exactly what Brandi is up against.
Although Komen often comes under attack for various things, the fact remains that they are the biggest name in breast cancer and provide a tremendous amount of funding for breast cancer researchers, as well as screenings and support for people like Brandi. Without them, who will provide the funding for researching the next treatment that will help Brandi see her kids go to first grade, high school, college? Yes, there are other foundations and organizations, but grant applications, additional funding, connecting donors with grantees.. all this takes a LOT of time. Brandi needs this NOW. Hell, she needed this research done ten years ago.
If you have issues with Komen, even after they’ve made amends (and SERIOUSLY learned their lesson), write them. Email them. Call them. I’m pretty sure they are going to be more receptive to feedback these days. But please, don’t punish the people who need this the most. People like Brandi.