Several people have asked me to share my Team Hello Courage page for the upcoming September 28th Race for the Cure in NW Ohio. I would be DEEPLY honored if you would consider contributing any amount however small to Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure for my team, Hello Courage, for the race which I am the “In Celebration of” honoree. Asking for money is one of the things I like to do least.
Here is why I am committed to this cause:
- I am alive today because of God’s grace and research dollars generated by Komen.
- My Oncologist, Dr. Daniel Hayes, is a National Komen Scholar along with 59 other of the best and brightest breast cancer experts from around the world. Dr. Lori Pierce, one of my mom’s physicians for her recent breast cancer diagnosis, is also a National Komen Scholar. Here is a list of breast experts who are Komen Scholars: http://ww5.komen.org/ResearchGrants/ScientificAdvisoryCouncil.html
- Dr. Hayes told me that almost every breakthrough in breast cancer research in the last 20 or more years has Komen stamped all over it.
- The hospital where I received and continue to receive treatment, the University of Michigan, has been the recipient of millions of dollars from Komen.
- The hospitals here in Toledo where I live received radiation have received funding to allow thousands of women who have no insurance or who are underinsured to receive mammograms.
When I got that phone call saying I was chosen from a field of very worthy candidates, terror hit me I must admit. From watching past honorees on the megatron screen on race day, I wanted to say no, to turn it down, but I knew I could not. I knew this would give me more of a platform to get my message out to women and men I would otherwise not be able to reach who would not read my Blog. That message is: do monthly breast exams, get your mammograms and don’t stop until you die, early detection does save lives (a lesson I learned when my mom was diagnosed Stage 1 at age 80) and fight like crazy if you are diagnosed because if I can do it, you can do it as well!!
Some women tell me that they are tired of pinkwashing and pink ribbons. Sometimes I am too, especially in October when there are even pink eggs at the grocery store. But as a Stage 3 Breast Cancer Survivor, I would rather live in a world with too many pink ribbons than live in the world my aunt by marriage lived in during the 1960s after an advanced breast cancer diagnosis. She had absolutely no one to talk to, she never even talked to my mom about it who was a close friend, people whispered about her, she endured a mutilating surgery, no treatment options were available then, and she raised 4 children while being totally alone with breast cancer–no computer support, no blogs, no breast doctors, NOTHING. She lived against all odds and died of something else in her mid-70s. I often “talk” with her now with tears in my eyes and tell her I am so sorry she had to endure such pain and agony alone.
Komen was surrounded by controversy several years ago about the Planned Parenthood situation. People were angry no matter what side of the issue they were on. Komen handled the whole controversy poorly. I understand how that can happen as I’ve received several emails, some telephone calls, and several friends have confronted me to voice their opinions. I wasn’t prepared for the onslaught. Neither was Komen.
What I found out was there are 117 Komen affiliates in the United States. Each one is a separate 501C3 organization. My local affiliate gives 75% of money received for breast cancer health and treatment programs and 25% to national research. My local affiliate and the majority of local affiliates around the country, do not fund Planned Parenthood for mammograms as Planned Parenthood in most all or all locations, has no mammography equipment. My local affiliate funds hospitals to give mammograms to uninsured or underinsured women. Here is a list of hospitals in the NW Ohio and SE Michigan area that are currently doing free mammography screening to those in need funded by Komen. http://www.komennwohio.org/about-us/news/upcoming-mammogram-screening.html
National Komen, a separate entity, ONLY gives money to research. They do not fund local programs or organizations. National Komen has one objective – money for research to find a cure.
I would be so appreciative if you would consider a contribution. If Komen isn’t a charity you can support for whatever reason, please consider giving to another worthy breast charity.
Thanks so much!