Susan G. Komen Founder & CEO Steps Down From the Organization's Sinking Ship

komenIt's been months since the big Planned Parenthood controversy, but Susan G. Komen for the Cure is still shuddering with aftershocks. Yesterday the organization's founder and CEO Nancy Brinker stepped down. She announced that she will focus on fundraising for the organization.

The woman who founded Komen in memory of her sister is no longer leading her organization.

It's sad news, but sadder than that is learning that participation in Komen's Race for the Cure events had declined by as much as 30 percent. Fundraising has been down. And what that means is less money for the women who need it most.


Komen President Liz Thompson is also stepping down. Right after the Planned Parenthood debacle, Komen policy chief Karen Handel resigned. She was at the center of the storm since it's believed she was behind the decision to end the partnership with Planned Parenthood. She had been a vocal critic of abortion services. Three other Komen executives resigned soon after Handel.

It sounds like Komen is in crisis. It's sad that in the battle between Planned Parenthood supporters and opponents, it's women's health that lost.

I can only hope these changes in leadership lead to a stronger, more focused organization. Reportedly, about $400,000 of Komen funds were spent to pay Brinker's annual salary. And that's just the beginning of Komen's many head-scratching practices (lying about the effectiveness of mammograms? Uh oh.). This is an organization that's supposed to be saving lives, and even without the Planned Parenthood shit storm, I feel like the organization had been losing its way.

People contribute to Komen because they have loved ones who have battled cancer. The organization owes it to its supporters to focus on preventing and fighting breast cancer. Period. Maybe the near-collapse of Komen is a good thing -- maybe this is their big Come to Jesus moment. I hope so.

What do you think will happen with Komen?


Image via Fifth World Art/Flickr

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