Today I received the following letter from the San Diego Branch of the Susan G. Komen For The Cure:
We have a very small office here in San Diego – so that the majority of the money we raised can go right back to the community. Last week’s political firestorm shook each of us to the core. It may also have rocked you. For the first time in my six years here, the integrity of this organization was questioned. Even after we took responsibility for the mistake and moved quickly to fix the problem, some said they would never have anything to do with Komen again.
Okay. I understand that. Everyone needs to make decisions that they can live with and feel good about.
But here’s the truth. While some may leave us, we will never leave you or the uninsured women that we fight for every day here in San Diego.
I want to make sure this is clear:
• In San Diego, Planned Parenthood has not applied for Komen funds. Instead, we have been able to help thousands of local uninsured and underinsured women by funding access to breast cancer screening and treatment in partnership with the Council of Community Clinics.
• In the 19 counties around the Country where local Komen affiliates were funding Planned Parenthood for breast health services only, those grants would have continued through the end of the grant cycle.
• Komen would never have left poor, uninsured or medically underserved women without services. Never.
• Since 1995, Komen San Diego has distributed more than $10.5 million in local grant funds to organizations across our County. Another $5 million has funded international research. Next to the U.S. government, Susan G. Komen for the Cure is the largest funder of breast cancer research in the world.
• Of every dollar raised, 75% stays local; 25% funds international research. The majority of the money we grant is raised largely through the efforts of our Race for the Cure – the 16th in the series is coming up on Sunday, November 4.
Without the dollars raised at the Race for the Cure, there are no funds to distribute.
Breast cancer is an indiscriminate killer of mothers, sisters, daughters, and friends. We hope we can count on your support so that we can continue to deliver on our important mission of providing breast health programming to the women and men of San Diego County.
Over the next few weeks, we’ll be reaching out to you. Please don’t wait to tell us.”
It is not surprising that I did not wait to give them my answer. Here it is:
My daughter sent me your note about the flap over the Planned Parenthood/Susan G. Komen fiasco of last week. I have mixed thoughts about your answer and how I can ever support the SGK funding again.
I am a 16 year breast cancer survivor. My daughters have walked in the “3 day” numerous times. I have written two cookbooks with all the proceeds going to the fund. One of my daughter’s lost all her toenails in a rainy walk. The pain was worth the possible benefits of a breast cancer cure. If I were to add up the amount of monies I have contributed over the years it would be in excess of $20,000.
It is all well and good that OUR branch does not have anything to do with funding of Planned Parenthood, a group I support as a female, a mother and grandmother, and as an educator working with “at-risk” women. But what is the premise of the SGK fund. Isn’t it all for one? Aren’t we all seeking a cure to his insidious disease? What difference does it make if San Diego does not cut the funding when the goal is to find a cure.
As so much of this world today, politics has reared its ugly head into something where it does not belong. Until Karen Handel is removed from her position with the organization, I do not feel that I can lend support to the Susan G. Komen foundation. I, personally don’t care what is happening here in San Diego; rather I care what is happening and what will happen nationally when the cure is found.
Thank you for giving me an opportunity to voice my thoughts.
Please write to Karen and let her know how you feel. Laura@sdkomen.org