pink ribbonA support network is so important for breast cancer survivors and sufferers, not to mention the people who love them. So it's a huge shame that the backlash from Susan G. Komen Foundation's disastrous (since-reversed) decision to stop funding Planned Parenthood seems to be affecting its (usually) extremely popular "Race for the Cure" events. Nationwide, participation has dropped significantly from last year: By 30 percent in both Central Indiana and Southern Arizona and 15 percent in Southwest Florida, to give a few examples.

I'm not surprised, and I don't blame people for dropping out. But this is tremendously sad for the women's health community. Never mind the fact that because of the economy, more people are without health insurance and desperately in need of free breast cancer services than ever.

Race for the Cure has been a unifying, healing event for families and friends. A tradition. Moms, dads, kids, grandparents ... everybody and anybody is welcome to run. What a huge loss it would be if these races slowed to a stop! 

I'm sure a large number of former Komen supporters will transplant their funds and efforts to other major charities like the National Breast Cancer Foundation and the American Cancer Society, but will that make up for the serious amounts of money Race for the Cure is -- or was -- known for raising?

And what, if anything, will make up for the support and connection Race for the Cure represents to so many?

Are you planning to participate in Race for the Cure this year?

 

Image via Paul Falardeau/Flickr