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Topic: Some Komen Races Cancelled Next Year

Forum: Walks, Runs and Fundraising Events for —

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Posted on: Jun 8, 2013 07:40AM - edited Jun 8, 2013 07:41AM by DivineMrsM

DivineMrsM wrote:

I wanted to post this as I'm interested in the opinions of others on this bc forum.  I provided the link, however, the entire article is pasted below.

The sad decline of Komen for the Cure - 

The streets will be a little less pink next year. One of the world’s most prominent breast cancer organizations, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, announced this week it’s canceling its annual “3-Day” fundraising event —  a “60-mile walk for women and men who want to make a personal difference in the fight against breast cancer” in seven locations for 2014. It will not be returning to Arizona, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Tampa Bay, San Francisco or Washington, D.C.

The cancellations are just the latest setback for the troubled organization. In recent years, it’s come under heavy fire for its aggressive, downright promiscuous alliances with dubious corporations looking to coat themselves in a virtuous sheen of do-good pink. Kentucky Fried Chicken? Sure. Whatever. Komen’s also been chastised for pouring its considerable financial resources into attacking other organizations that dare to use the contentious, wildly ambiguous phrase “the cure.” But its woes have ramped up considerably in the past 18 months, ever since it fumbled spectacularly in its attempt to cut off its funding for breast cancer screenings and services provided by Planned Parenthood. What followed was an epic social media failure, a quick retreat from its proposed course of action and the resignation of its politically conservative senior vice president  Karen Handel. Then, for a particularly galling coup de grâce, last month it was revealed that the organization had given its robotic founder and CEO Nancy Brinker amighty generous 64 percent raise, increasing her 2012 salary to an extravagant $684,717 — all while consistently investing smaller and smaller percentages of its donations in research for its famed “cure.” In 2011, it spent a paltry 15 percent of its donations on cancer research.

Shocker — now fewer volunteers are interested in donning their pink T-shirts, lacing up their sneakers, and devoting their time, energy and stamina to a charity that seems increasingly out of touch.

There’s no satisfaction to be found in the disappointment of people affected by breast cancer, a series of diseases that will affect one in eight women in their lifetimes. On Komen’s 3-Day event Facebook page, commenters have been saying they feel “abandoned” by decreasing support and expressing their “disappointment” that Komen has pulled the plug in so many cities. Yet others have been voicing their disillusionment with Komen itself, with comments like, “I can not justify donating any more money to this foundation.”

The event — with its high fundraising requirement of “at least $2,300 to participate” and its promise to participants of “a dining tent, hot showers, pink sleeping tents, evening entertainment and various other activities” – will still go on this year and in several cities next year. But the shift is an opportunity not just for Komen to seriously rethink its strategies and how it best services those affected by breast cancer, but also for its supporters to consider how best to genuinely serve the cause. I say this as someone who last year trained for and ran a marathon for a cancer charity — there are plenty of positive, wonderful things that come out of big, fun events like big runs and walks. But it’s a means, not an end. The ultimate goal is not a pink tent or a finish line and feeling good about yourself when you get there. That’s just a nice benefit. Nor does canceling an event in any way, shape or form disempower anybody from raising money for a cause that is truly worthy.   There’s so much more to fighting a devastating disease and helping the people living with it than the pleasant, but highly symbolic, act that fundraising events so often are. Walking is great. But walking was never going to cure cancer anyway. Maybe it’s time Komen remembered that.

Mary Elizabeth Williams

Mary Elizabeth Williams is a staff writer for Salon and the author of "Gimme Shelter: My Three Years Searching for the American Dream." Follow her on Twitter: @embeedub.


found lump 12/22/10~er+/pr+/her2- stage iv bone mets------------- Chemo~lumpectomy~radiation~arimidex------------- March2019/Ibrance-Aromasin---------- Sept2019/Verzenio-Aromasin
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Jul 2, 2013 11:04AM - edited Jul 2, 2013 11:40AM by meglet

My brother and I walk in the 3 day with some friends every year. And yes, the ending of the walk in the those 7 cities sucks. However, we are still faithful supporters of the 3 day. We did our research on which charity to support because it would not be right to our mom's memory if we didn't. While Nancy Brinker does make a ridiculous amount of money, she makes only .2% of all the money the Komen foundation raises. Susan Love (the President of the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation) makes 187,500 a year, which may not sound like a lot, but that's almost 10% of the money raised by that organization! She's not the only one either. Yonni Wattenmaker (the executive director of Breast Cancer Alliance) makes 3.75% of the funds they raise.

As for the walks that are being shut down after this year and the high mandatory fundraising goal of $2300- I see it this way. They provide us with quite a bit just for doing the walk- breakfast, lunch, dinner, towel service, showers, tents, medical attention when needed, shirts, entertainment while we're there. It's a lot of work and money to put those events together. If people are backing out or aren't able to raise the money or just don't raise the money, the organization is losing money that could be spent on life-saving exams or treatments for women who need them. So yeah, $2300 is a lot to raise. But the money spent on the events is a lot too. And if you've done a 3 day walk, you know most of it is necessary costs-the medical attention, the vans to pick up walkers who just can't make it to the next stop, the food to keep your energy up. That's on top of the money that IS going to women getting exams and treatments. SGK spends 82% of what is raised on the programs it's there for. That's more than a lot of charities do. And it's right in line with the percent that the other aforementioned breast cancer charities use on their programs. Their fundraising expenses are about 11%, which I'm fairly sure includes the money they spend on pampering the walkers and crew members. Again, that's right in line with other charities. While I do support these other charities, I don't think it's fair that SGK is the one getting all the bad press when they are raising more money than all of the other charities combined, and their percentages are around the same. 82% of 343 million is FAR more than 88% of 1.5 million.

And for the record, no I don't work for SGK. I'm just a girl who wants her mom's death to mean something, and I truly believe that supporting the SGK organization by fundraising and walking in the 3 day is the way to do so.

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Jul 9, 2013 09:13PM Chickadee wrote:

If all SGK wants to do is have walks and pink celebrations while doing almost nothing for "the cure" they deserve the backlash they are currently experiencing.

I sincerely hope that other organizations can benefit from the donations that no longer go to SGK. We don't need anymore "awareness" campaigns. We need research, research, research.

I'm in such bad shape, I'm wearing prescription underwear." Phyllis Diller 1917-2012 Dx 9/1/2009, IDC, 1cm, Stage IV, Grade 3, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jul 9, 2013 10:44PM Spookiesmom wrote:

Oh, I'm aware all right. I've donated all I'm going to. BMX..

DD did the walk here in "Tampa Bay Area" which is 20 miles west of Tampa. She won't be doing it again if I can help it.


Reoccurrence 3-19. Dx IDC, Stage IIIA, Grade 3
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Aug 23, 2013 10:17PM fredntan wrote:

Irritates the hell out of me. Less than 15% to research. Dread the pink season starting up again

MBC bone mets, afinitor,aromasin,xgeva Dx 8/3/2011, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 13/17 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/9/2011 Lymph node removal: Right, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Right Radiation Therapy 3/29/2012 Breast, Lymph nodes Surgery 10/8/2012 Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap Surgery 4/3/2013 Reconstruction (left): Nipple reconstruction; Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction Dx 10/2013, Stage IV, mets Chemotherapy 11/20/2013 Abraxane (albumin-bound or nab-paclitaxel), Fluorouracil (5-fluorouracil, 5-FU, Adrucil) Hormonal Therapy
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Aug 24, 2013 01:50AM Blessings2011 wrote:

I got my annual "Komen Race For The Cure" application in the mail last week. I've participated in the last two events...and now I am dreading having to decide if I'm going to do it this year or not. (It's not the three-day walk; just the one-day race/walk event.)

My first event was dreadful. I was NOT "inspired by the sea of pink" as promised by a BC sister. I was horrified at the circus environment and the tsumami of cheap, pink, "Made In China" tchotchkes given out to survivors as prizes. Of course, this all happened right after my dx and prior to my surgery, so I admit my mind had not yet caught up with my body at that point.

The second year (last year) was better, as I attended with some more sisters who were long term survivors. I had a better attitude about the way that different people celebrate survivorship and grief. I'd completed my BMX and recon, and felt for the first time I had reason to celebrate.

Do I love Komen? No. Do I like and respect the women who work tirelessly at the local level to bring awareness to our community? Absolutely.

But at this stage of the game, I know pretty much all I need to know about "Awareness"... as do most of the women I know. 

We want fewer gimmicks, giveaways, Pinkwashing, (oh, Lord, help me get through "Pinktober"), corporate misuse of funding, and whatever is preventing the breakthrough to finding a cure.

Better yet, find a way to PREVENT this disease.

O.K., off my soapbox now....

Dx 9/15/2011, IDC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 12/4/2011 Lymph node removal: Left; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 8/21/2012 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Hormonal Therapy 9/4/2012 Arimidex (anastrozole) Hormonal Therapy 10/21/2013 Femara (letrozole)
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Aug 24, 2013 12:52PM FireKracker wrote:


Focktober!!!!Pink stinks!!!!

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