Yesterday I saw a table set up that was offering special pink ribbon license plates for your car to help raise money for breast cancer. Pink ribbons adorned the table and there were pink flowers, tee shirts, and all kinds of “awareness” pamphlets all over. And then I read this well written and thought out post about what is wrong with many most breast cancer organizations. And it got me thinking….
Sure, I have written before about why I don’t support the Susan G. Komen Foundation. But I never really thought about ALL the other marketing that is done to get people to buy pink. On the radio I am hearing lots of commercials for the 3-Day Walk here in Cleveland and wonder how much of all that money raised actually is going into real research and how much is being spent on litigations against other cancer organizations for using the word “cure”.
While I have thought about how wrong it was to develop a pink ribbon perfume, I didn’t think about the effect seeing a chesty spokes model for breast cancer might have on a woman who just got a masectomy…. how cruel. And cute little sayings like “Feel your Boobies” and “Save the Ta-tas” aren’t at all funny to a family who just lost their mother to this awful disease. I, like many others, have wondered what sort of financial system is set up to help families who are affected by breast cancer (and other cancers) and was shocked to read that there are virtually none. So even if you do survive, you are financially ruined. Where are all those funds now??
Let’s see…. $90 registration fee, a MINIMUM of $2,300 in fundraising, the total money raised from just the Susan g. Komen 3-Day walks is in the $70,000,000 range! And none of that goes to families who are in financial need from breast cancer! Does that seem wrong to anyone else? Not to mention all the merchandise who claim to donate or match profits…..
As a woman who has been affected by breast cancer first hand, I am shocked by how ignorant the masses are to this unbalanced way of thinking. How people will buy a bucket of fried chicken because it has a pink ribbon on it even though studies are showing that unhealthy lifestyles contribute to higher chances of getting cancer….
I wish I had a photo of my grandmother who passed away from breast cancer to share with you. She was a beautiful woman who had sparkling blue eyes, who loved to read to me, and who lost the fight after losing both breasts. It was a very long and hard road that I hope I never have to travel down. But if I do I want to know that EVERYTHING that could be done to help is being done and that precious dollars are not being squandered away. (Want to know more about “pinkwashing?” Check out this site!!)
I realize that there are many people who feel comfort being a part of the Komen events and that the intentions are good. My purpose about trying to draw attention to this is not to take away from the cause but to better support the cause, to truly fund research, and to find a way to include family financial support into the stream of fundraising. I do not see how the greater good is being supported by an organization who chooses to tear apart other charities for using a color or a word in their marketing, especially such as important word.
A CURE… isn’t that what we all want?