Komen Scandal May Hurt Your Chance to Run a ‘Race for the Cure’

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

breasts, cancer


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nonmember avatar Jess

Given that so little of what's donated to the Komen Foundation actually goes to cancer research, I'm seriously doubting that breast cancer research is suffering from donating to a different organization. I think only 20% of whats donated goes anywhere, the rest is eaten up by the foundation.

nonmember avatar Vic

And it was my understanding that funds raised by "Race For The Cure" really only went to funding "Race For The Cure"--none into actual research.

Mary Beth Mohr

Komen has been exposed. It is not a Race for the Cure, but rather a Race to raise money for the Right WingNut Komen admins who have exacerbated their personal affluence therefrom. What a shame (an emotion of which Komen is incapable) that women and their sponsors are duped by these charlatans.

Jen Kirk Dinoia

Good, I am glad fewer people will have this chance. There is nothing unifying or healing about this race. It is a ridiculous display of wealth and power by a group that has done next to nothing for those who need it.  I did not and would not have taken ONE THIN DIME from Komen, had they actually offered, instead of stepping up their requests for donations from me AFTER my dx two years ago.

Prancing around in pink t-shirts that say save the tatas (my surgery did nothing of the sort), or "these are fake, my real boobs tried to kill me" (mine didn't , one just had a few bad cells in it) is humiliating and stupid.  People who have dealt with this issue need to be encouraged to get their old lives back (it's possible, I've done it), NOT to create this new pink, plastic junk filled identity encouraged by the Komen Kulture.  We don't need people doing more races, they need to take that time and get their lives back...go on vacations, garden, have time with their families...NOT waste more time giving Komen more money it is just going to squander!

nonmember avatar rb89

Your sadness over losing such a memorable, wonderful event is misplaced. Rather than than focusing on those folks who have SGK in droves, I'd be angry at SGK for losing its focus and mission. An organization "for a cure" should spend a huge amount of $$$ on research yet SGK does not. Less than a dime per dollar donated goes toward research. What's lost in the so-called reversal is that nearly $12 million for stem cell research has been withdrawn. Yet, marketing of unhealthy products of their sponsors is in full force--KFC, Coke, and other products that contain carcinogens that may have links to breast cancer are promoted and pinkwashed. So I guess Komen wants people to feel good while consuming products that hurt them? That's just wrong!

So, while I am truly sorry that survivors and their families have lost a memorable event, you need to keep in mind that the feeling everyone had of coming together to make a difference and contributing to the effort to find a cure was sadly false. The effort "for a cure" has in reality been minimal despite their tagline (though they are quick to sue anyone who uses the phrase!). I hope the organization finds its way back to the original purpose, and can apologize for misleading so many. And meanwhile, I sincerely hope that those who not only want to come together in support of one another can find an organization that is actually dedicated to supporting healthy lifestyles and finding a cure.

Kath Cahill

I am a breast cancer thriver. I never have nor will I ever run a race for Komen. There are so many other Breast Cancer Organizations with so much more to offer than SGK. Komen is far too Corporate that their mission is lost. Nancy Brinker is money and power obsessed that the original goal is long forgotten. I support Breast Cancer Action, Love/Army of Women, Y-Me to name but a few.

Torra... TorranceMom

Our family does not support any organization that has ties to Planned Parenthood - never have, never will.

Tracy Walker

I'm with the others who are not impressed with Komen's pathetic history of funding themselves rather than actual breast cancer work.
And I'm wondering why TorranceMom hates women - most of PP's work involves healthcare for women, including breast cancer and std screenings and pap smears. Does she want these poor people to die? How can anyone be that filled with hate?

nonmember avatar Toni

I am a 10 year cancer survivor and have walked in the race for the cure for 10 years and have walked in the 3day twice. i have never known where any of the money that I personally raised went to in the komen fondation. I will now support any local organizations directly in my community and not to a company who can not tell me where my hard earned money is going.

Marie Russo

I've already sent my request for them to withdraw my info from their files and I will not participate on the race (too bad, I was looking forward to celebrate my 5th year survivorship).

I'm not a bit concerned, my money will go to more serious institutions, those that really consider women as human beings not mass of maneuver

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