RACE FOR THE CURE TO BEING RELEVANT

I have been of two minds about how to approach this. One option is to be thorough, do some research, and make a careful, reasoned argument about why the Susan G. Komen Foundationtm is a marketing consultancy masquerading as a charity, a fact only reinforced by their recent actions regarding Planned Parenthood. The other is to put my gall bladder on the keyboard, crank the Dillinger Escape Plan, and let the bile-laced invective fly. Press A for the first option or B for the second.

That's what I thought. No one ever picks A.

As a preface, please consult Lea Goldman's outstanding, well-researched article "The Big Business of Breast Cancer", which represents what may be the one and only outgoing link to Marie Claire magazine I will ever offer. It details the proliferation of scams in the charity industry (a fitting, if oxymoronic, term) that has sprouted up around breast cancer. There are many organizations that use the funds they raise primarily to raise more funds and pay handsome salaries to the administrators and their talentless family members. It is a long read but well worth it. Note well the point that breast cancer research is hardly suffering for lack of funds. The author conservatively estimates six billion dollars funneled toward research annually with almost no progress made since the 1970s.

Second, just in case you missed what all of the fuss is about, the Susan G. Komen Foundationtm For the Curetm announced on Wednesday that it will no longer be making grants/contributions to Planned Parenthood for early breast cancer screenings for the poor and/or uninsured. Nothing says "We're committed to stamping out breast cancer by encouraging regular, early mammograms" like eliminating funding for mammograms.

OK.

The Susan G. Komen Foundationtm has been on my personal shitlist for many years (this post is from 2008). If this is what it takes to get you on the heretofore lonely Screw Komen bandwagon, so be it. But you should not have a low opinion of Komentm because of their announcement on Wednesday. You should have a low opinion of them because they're a fake charity run like any other company with a product to sell. In this case the product is a combination of guilt, pity, and hope dissolved in a weak acid and dyed a nauseating pink.

Wednesday's decision has been described as motivated by pressure from pro-life groups, but in reality Komentm is (and always has been) run by right wingers and closely aligned with conservative politics. The organization's current president, Karen Handel, ran for governor of Georgia in 2010 and lost in the Republican primary. Sarah Palin endorsed her. During her campaign she promised repeatedly to defund Planned Parenthood. She took over Komentm a few months ago. You do the math. On a personal note, Karen, I hope you get cancer. I hope the doctors find it too late to do anything but treat your pain, and I hope they do a poor job of that. Cut and paste that at your leisure to prove how mean-spirited and Uncivil liberals are.

Komen's founder and CEO, Nancy Brinker, is a big money Republican with ties to the past three Republican administration who received a political appointment from George W. Bush as a reward for her fundraising largesse. She draws a salary of $459,000 annually, money well spent compared to the 39% of its budget the foundation spends on "public health education" (i.e., marketing itself). Not to mention that they also spend a million bucks per year in legal fees to threaten other non-profit groups who use the phrase For the Curetm, to which Komentm claims to have intellectual property rights.

That last part is important to the organization, of course, because every successful marketing campaign needs a good logo and a slogan. And that's all Komen is – a consulting firm that helps large corporate clients sell more of their products through pinkwashing campaigns. By slathering everything from pasta to baseball bats to perfume to fast food with the Pink Imprimatur, consumers are led to believe that their purchases are making meaningful contributions to breast cancer research. Somewhere down the line a few cents per purchase may trickle into those bloated coffers, but the immediate and motivating effect of that pink packaging is to get you to buy things. In short, Komentm is a group of salespeople selling image. Whatever money benefits the sick, researchers, or recovering patients is ancillary. Getting those big, fat tax-exempt checks from their Partners for the Curetm is what drives their business model.

Am I too cynical? Consider their lack of discretion in choosing Partnerstm. Nothing says "We're serious about stomping out cancer!" like a pink bucket of fried chicken or pink bags of deep fried snacks. It's ridiculous on that "Earth Day brought to you by Ford" level.

There is a special circle of hell devoted to people who conceal their own selfish behavior with the appearance of charity and good deeds. I suppose that people who make so much money on the suffering of others need some way to look their spa-treated faces in the mirror every morning, but the rest of us need not be deceived. I have never purchased a Komentm-labeled product and I hope you will make a similar arrangement with your conscience today. Playing politics with people's lives is low, even by the withered standards of morality in the corporate world. The 60% of women whose breast cancer is detected before it metastasizes survive almost without exception. The 40% of women whose cancer is detected after metastasis almost inevitably die within five years.

Regardless of whether they cave to public pressure and reverse this decision, I would love to see the Susan G. Komen Foundationtm and its self-aggrandizing, silly publicity stunts reduced to ground zero. I want corporate sponsors to feel like they'd rather put a swastika on their packaging than another Komentm logo for fear of a public backlash. And I want to prove that charitable giving is not wedded to the act of shopping. And since I'm so much better at pointing out what's wrong with everything than at offering solutions, here's what you should do if you want to help the fight against breast cancer:

1. Donate directly. Call or visit the Sloan-Kettering or Johns Hopkins/Avon cancer research institutes and ask how to make a donation that will go 100% toward research. Or donate to the American Cancer Society, which contributes less to research but does a lot of quality-of-life things like buying wigs or prosthesis for cancer victims. Donate locally to a hospital or hospice in your area that will use your money directly on patient services rather than commercials and administrative salaries.

2. Donate your time. One afternoon helping Chemo patients by cleaning their home or running their errands is worth more than all the yogurt lids in existence.

3. Say no to fake activism and Cause Marketing.

4. Remember that people die from things other than breast cancer. Cervical and ovarian cancer are overlooked. Men needlessly die from the reluctance to get regular prostate exams. AIDS is still a thing. Heart disease is the #1 killer of men and women. Depression is a leading cause of death among young people.

5. Share this with as many uninformed people as possible. On Facebook, via email, or whatever. Show them Lea Goldman's article. Explain patiently why Planned Parenthood is used as a pinata by every floundering right wing political figure to score cheap points and get the rubes whipped into a frenzy. If you encounter said rubes directly, insult them. Suggest that his or her parents were related prior to marriage.

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121 Responses to “RACE FOR THE CURE TO BEING RELEVANT”

  1. Noskilz Says:

    Nice article.

  2. Roberto Says:

    I want to spread this around but that line where you wish death on that lady is making me reluctant.

  3. Middle Seaman Says:

    You have my vote. Anger is justified at the right wing that is way more dangerous to the country than 10 Osamas.

  4. Norwood Says:

    I did spread this around, and your wish for Karen to get cancer is appropriate since she has ensured that countless apolitical women of less financial stature than herself will needlessly suffer. Some of them will die.

  5. Arslan Says:

    May I also suggest reading Michael Maren's The Road to Hell, which deals with foreign aid and charity? It shows that there is indeed a charity or relief industry, and it is quite profitable. http://goodintents.org/ Is also a good resource for avoiding phony, ineffective charity.

  6. c u n d gulag Says:

    Wow, what a great piece!
    No more pink shit sponsored by them for me!!!

    I do draw the line, though, at wishing cancer on someone.

    My 86 year-old father has Stage 4 lung cancer, with tumors on the brain, and probably doesn't have much longer.
    He's still walking around a bit. Still joking. But I don't know how much longer he'll be able to do that.
    There's still some hope that a biopsy will show that radiation therapy might be able to give him a few more months – but it is worth it? At 86, the radiation treatment, and it's side-effects, are as likely to kill him as the cancer. And all to buy just a few months.
    It's his call, while he's still got his faculties.
    His decision will have to come soon. We'll know better about the brain today, and the lungs, after a biopsy, next week.
    I think he'll chose to go with dignity, rather than undergo the treatment and side-effects. I think he's just measuring his options to keep my 80 year-old Mom happy, and to give her some hope in the interim until she adjusts to what's happening. She's still in denial.

    Yes, Karen Handel is a greedy, stupid, ignorant, and evil person, who doesn't deserve anything good to happen to her.
    But she's not some monster.

    God-bothering fundamentalists of any religion are all holier-than-thou assholes, and they deserve our scorn and derision, as well as all of our efforts to try to stop them from their goals.
    But it's another thing to with a long and painful death on someone.

    Sorry, but them's my $0.02 on the subject.

  7. Robert white Says:

    Agreed with much of your argument but appalled that you would wish someone with whom you disagree a late diagnosis and painful treatment of cancer.

  8. Anonymouse Says:

    I feel it's totally appropriate to hope for cancer for the woman so blinded by her pettiness that she's inflicting cancer on others.

  9. * Says:

    There is not profit margin in a cure, so there is no reason to make any progress towards that goal.

    Drug Company X & all of their competition make money selling 30 Pills a month to every sick person – whether they pay out of pocket, via insurance, or by some charity. If they were instead to find a cure they would no longer have someone to buy 30 Pills a month… (& if you think it is only 1 Pill a day, I've got a bridge to sell you.)

    That said, I also must share that I am horrified by this turn of events, at a time when America's health care lags at #37 and exhibits dramatic differences based on race and income. Just as women are about more than our breasts, so is health care for women about more than abortions. Especially the kind of primary health care that Planned Parenthood has been providing for years to women and children who otherwise couldn't afford it.

    The number 37 came out of the New England Journal of Medicine – I am not just throwing around random numbers.

    I've been refusing to buy pink (etc.) for a long time.

  10. tommytimp Says:

    c u n d gulag said:
    "Yes, Karen Handel is a greedy, stupid, ignorant, and evil person, who doesn't deserve anything good to happen to her.
    But she's not some monster."

    Put it that way, she sounds exactly like a fucking monster.

  11. c u n d gulag Says:

    tommytimp,
    Hitler was a monster.
    Stalin was a monster.
    Mao was a monster.
    Pol Pot was a monster.
    Dick Cheney? Monster.
    George W. Bush? Fool.

    Walter O'Malley, who moved the Dodgers from Brooklyn to LA was a greedy man. But he wasn't a monster.

    And she's not a monster. She's a holier-than-thou buttinsky.

    But I get your point.
    How about Monster Lite? :-)

  12. Major Kong Says:

    Karma (or whatever you want to call it) prevents me from wishing cancer on somebody.

    She does sound like a nasty individual.

  13. Andy Brown Says:

    If Karen Handel and the Komen Foundation believe that cancer screenings save lives, then it follows that their new policy of derailing Planned Parenthood will directly result in dead women and men. (Mostly underprivileged it's true, but still . . . ) That kind of priority-setting kinda falls below the bar I set for charities.

  14. eau Says:

    Umm.. You guys realise that Ed wishing for…well… anything doesn't affect…anything… right?

    This piece of shit will ACTUALLY CONDEMN PEOPLE TO DIE WITH THIS DECISION.

    Get a fucking grip. And a sense of perspective.

  15. dianesvoice Says:

    Great post. Thanks for the education. I probably already had an inkling or two that the Komen Foundation was more about marketing than anything close to its intended purpose, but ever since the news broke of their decision to defund Planned Parenthood, I (along with many many others) am making it my personal mission to contact a few of their many corporate sponsors and actively insist that they withdraw their partnership with the Komen Foundation and their sponsorship of Komen-related events. To that end, I have already contacted Wacoal America, this country's top grossing bra manufacturer in order to pressure them into withdrawing their sponsorship. Any enlightened, educated, progressive, forward-thinking individual, man or woman, in this country, must finally step up and take a stand against entities that capitulate to small-minded politically motivated rants from a small and distinct, albeit loud, minority. They cannot take this country backwards and it's high time that we all, for once and for all, stand up to them. Otherwise, we have no one but ourselves to blame for continuing to allow this ignorant ill-informed minority to be the false mouthpieces for the rest of us. And as for the Susan G. Komen Foundation, if they don't fade into obscurity very soon, it will likely only be as a result of the largesse of some right-wing funders with deep pockets like the Koch Brothers. God help us all.

  16. Hazy Davy Says:

    Until yesterday, I had blissfully never thought about the real purpose of these "fake charities".

    Oh, don't get me wrong, I still cynically argued that "awareness" campaigns were worthless. But, surprisingly, I never figured out the consumerism bent.

    [Even without that, yesterday's announcement was a PR catastrophe, because it removes the facade that they care about the cause they claim to support. I mean, it was possible they were a marketing organization and they wanted to help fewer people die from breast cancer. But yesterday, they didn't want door #2.
    http://lianamaris.tumblr.com/post/16884980496/things-that-cannot-screen-for-breast-cancer-and ]

  17. don Says:

    Great piece. Now I get to decide whether to pass it on to my brother and sister in law, who are both enthusiastic walk/race/shop for the cure participants.

    And btw – getting paid nearly half a million dollars a year to run a charitable organization? Fuck that, fuck them, and fuck her. I would have wholeheartedly wished her cancer just for that, even before this latest development. If there's Karma involved, I'll assume its too busy staring down the recipient of that spectacularly amoral salary to pay attention to me.

  18. Ilona Harris Says:

    I am amazed at what I've read here!!!! NO MORE PINK WATER BOTTLES FOR ME EITHER!!! I feel a little violated by these people, naive maybe, but true. Thanks so much for much needed knowledge.

  19. Heqit Says:

    I HATE the whole Pink Ribbon/Komen Sanctimony/Publicity Stunts for the CURE apparatus. My mother is a breast cancer survivor (9 years cancer-free!) and, because she got cancer very young, my sister and I have a double-the-normal chance of getting breast cancer ourselves. So while I agree with every logical reason for despising Komen ™, this is also a very personal issue for me.

    Before my mother was diagnosed with cancer, I was barely aware of the whole Pink Ribbon thing. Ever since, just seeing them makes my blood boil, and I go out of my way to avoid any of that goddamn omnipresent PinkShit. It's just a constant reminder that Komen(tm!) doesn't do a damn thing for women with cancer, it's just a self-perpetuating smugness machine. People display Pink stickers and buy Pink products and then Feel Good About Fighting Cancer, and gather together to tell "inspirational" stories about mothers of five who died at age 39 and then try to guilt you out of MORE money for MORE Pink Shit that has no effect whatsoever, and definitely no benefit for women who have or might get cancer. It's all about the money, the publicity, the smugness, the trendiness, and not doing a damn bit of good to anyone. FUCK THEM ALL.

    /rant

    Defunding Planned Parenthood is just the icing on the cake. Susan G Komen(tm) For the Cure(tm) isn't a charity, it's travesty. Going off to donate to Planned Parenthood now – THERE'S an organization that actually cares about people's health and works to make a (positive) difference.

  20. Amanda Says:

    The only pink shit I own is because I like pink. This was amazing to read. Thanks Ed.

  21. Star Says:

    I've been ranting about this very topic for well over a decade. Thanks for writing this, Ed.

    Just one thing to ad: I added the American Cancer Society to my shit-list a couple months ago when they rejected a $500,000 donation from an atheist group. These charities care more abourt furthering their political interests than saving lives.

  22. Sarah Says:

    This piece of shit will ACTUALLY CONDEMN PEOPLE TO DIE WITH THIS DECISION.

    That line of reasoning only works when you view access to health care as a human right, which neocons do not. They think that these grants were largesse provided by the Komen foundation at the discretion of the Komen board, and that the for-profit nature of our health care system is a good thing. See Rick Santorum's condescending answer to the woman with the sick kid who has to take very expensive medication, while his own sick kid gets her care covered by the taxpayers.

    This same line of reasoning allows neocons to oppose sex education and reproductive services, thus condemning poor women to spending their lives punching out one kid after another (the privileged will, of course, be able to continue getting abortions), and then be unable to get health care and education for those kids.

  23. Jonathan Says:

    Also, the wife of that traitorous whore Joe Lieberman is/was on Komen™'s board. If the Enemy Expatriation Act passes, I nominate Tricky Joe's ass as the first they should haul off to Gitmo.

  24. Xynzee Says:

    Wow!! Known for years that many charities are a scam, but this takes the cake.
    Having done some fund raising, it's hard yakka. There are many costs involved, and having to do all the leg work is a full time job. I'm ok with the idea that an organisation has full time staff, and to get and retain qualified staff does cost money. But $500k?? Now that's just the head dog. There'll be several below her that are on half that, say 5 at $250k, $1.25m. Then another layer and another layer, etc. and all PP gets is $700k.

    Good church organisations actually are far better, as staff pay can come from a different pot altogether, so what is given to that cause goes to that cause. Those are rare and far in between. The reality is closet to Jim and Tammy Faye.

    I believe that was the point of Franklin's view of giving directly rather than through an organisation. Though, I was more cynical abt Franklin's intention as to avoid giving.

    Off topic: in the Susan Brown FJM, we talked abt the Right's lack of facts. So I found myself down in the Fox stye wrastling a bloated, curly tailed, furless Faux, getting covered in Faux shit the other day.
    According to him, "liberals spend hours, searching the net for proof to back up their feelings", all Liberals have no jobs, and I and all my liberal friends need to stop smoking medicinal marijuana.
    Some how Rightwing stupidity has achieved a scale of exponential extremes. So my "feelings" are backed up with facts. Only in Faux News land are facts a bad thing.

  25. plonker Says:

    thanks for the link to the marie claire article, it's very well-written.

    just a note, karen handel is not the president of susan g komen foundation, she is the senior vice president for public policy. i don't think it's a coincidence that her arrival quickly brought about the defunding of planned parenthood though.

  26. Bubbelah Says:

    You better do more research on Hospice before you run off telling us to heap money in their direction. Hospices commit Medicare fraud and hospice scams to exploit patients, their families and caregivers. Do some research on THAT also. They are ruthless businesses that take advantage of a poorly run system designed to reward how many participants there are as opposed to actually treating the ill and dying.

  27. anotherbozo Says:

    Do they give Pulitzers for blogs? That'd pay for a few years' website upkeep, I think.

    Anyway, this soared. Thanks Ed.

  28. Liz Says:

    I'm outraged by them pulling support from Planned Parenthood. PP has been there for my friends and I throughout most of our lives. We've had pregnancy tests done, gotten birth control, had ovarian cysts removed… Yet I cannot think of one single thing that the Susan G. Komen Foundation has done that has directly impacted my or someone I know's life. This move is personal to me, in so many ways. I'm disgusted.

  29. Cynthianne Says:

    So if wishing cancer upon this nasty lady is too harsh, perhaps a Zen curse… May she get EXACTLY what she deserves!

  30. acer Says:

    The right has been wishing illness, poverty, and miserable communities on me for years. I could cry for this lady, but I'd need a lot of booze and Crooked Fingers.

  31. bb in GA Says:

    Guess who is on your side against Komen?

    That'd be Alex Jones although he is fussing at them for being globalists and financial supporters of big pharma's "cancer laden vaccines" via the IoM.

    You raise an interesting point. We could argue that we all have a personal moral duty (at least for Christians thru the Good Samaritan story for example) to render help when we see need.

    However, they (Komen) have organizational financial decisions to make and PP isn't the only vehicle on earth to accomplish those goals. Your assumption appears to that if PP doesn't do it, it won't get done. Is that fair and accurate? I don't know.

    Stepping back from the instant discussion, that tactic is fairly common among Liberals. If you don't want to solve the problem our way, then you aren't really serious about solving the problem. I guess the flip side is that Right impugns the patriotism of Lefties that don't support some their adventures.

    I don't have any dogs in Komen's hunt other than I support the fight against all sickness and disease and back it up w/ money to various outfits.

    //bb

  32. Sky Says:

    This is why we should choose our charities wisely. Personally, I choose to be actively involved in one with an enourmous VOLUNTEER base which doesn't reply on selling things to raise money. Plus, 75% of what it raises goes to either research or patient advocacy. This charity's work is also why my dad is alive today.

    I don't think Komen can say that.

    So…make a difference. Donate directly to you local Planned Parenthood, or any not-for-profit healthcare organization that shares your ideals – I'm sure the money will be well spent providing care in your local community.

  33. acer Says:

    I wish all stopped clocks were as funny as Alex Jones.

  34. rafael Says:

    The only way that wishing her death could be justified morally is if it prevented an even greater number of deaths (by removing her from the decision-making process). But wishing her suffering is not morally defensible, as it seems unlikely to relieve the suffering of others. I think it is important to be consistent about ethical positions when talking about the ethical positions of others.

  35. Elle Says:

    Preach it, Heqit and Sarah.

    This post is tremendous. The pinkification of disease by SGK and its international equivalents, with their reframing of cancer as a journey of self-knowledge and wondrous discovery of What Really Matters, stands in opposition to science, medicine, and the lived experience of women.

    Lining themselves up with the opponents of accessible reproductive healthcare for women is a hateful strategy, however much it enhances their income from people who want dirty sluts punished with unwanted children, and/or dead from cervical cancer.

  36. unkommen Says:

    GREAT article! Thank you! One quibble, though: I would absolutely not recommend the American Cancer Society. Here's one place to start learning about them: http://www.preventcancer.com/losing/acs/wealthiest_links.htm. There are better organizations to send your support. Breast Cancer Action is one, and there are many http://bcaction.org/

  37. jeneria Says:

    @bb If you're a poor woman (which I have been) there are not any options for screening and health care outside of PP in many communities (I used PP when I lived in Montana) because Doctors cost too much, hospitals cost too much, free clinics are usually woefully unequipped. So for poor women, PP is the only option. And Komen is doing whatever it can to prevent access.

    That is stepping back from the discussion.

  38. plonker Says:

    @bb – the question is, why stop funding planned parenthood's breast heath program when there's nothing wrong with the way they've been handling it? why should sgk or anyone else have to scramble for a new way to do things when the old way was working fine?

    instituting a policy that organizations under *congressional* investigation will not be funded is just absurd. a congressperson can on a whim form a committee to investigate anyone for anything. i can understand a similar policy that applies to criminal investigation onli, but sgk should just admit that they did this because planned parenthood also performs abortions and the "new policy" was invented specifically to targed pp.

  39. bb in GA Says:

    @jeneria

    I was with you till you said "whatever it can to prevent access."

    They are affirmatively providing support to whomever they choose by whatever criteria they choose. It is a grace gift. It is their damn money and you have no moral right to put that trip on them. And I am not an SGK supporter.

    I'm sorry for your former condition and I actively provide both money and time to combat poverty and support health and growth where I live.

    //bb

  40. nate Says:

    Dillinger Escape Plan \m/ \m/

    The real tragedy of the cancer "cure" industry, to me, is that it's virtually impossible to find a dime for researching the CAUSES of cancer.

    Big money in treatments, though, which is where almost all of the research goes.

  41. Sarah Says:

    Stepping back from the instant discussion, that tactic is fairly common among Liberals. If you don't want to solve the problem our way, then you aren't really serious about solving the problem.

    I seem to recall a certain Republican POS (other than yourself, that is) saying something about being either with us or against us. And that was before dragging us into a boondoggle of a war which drained many times what PP's spending on their overall budget–including a few billion that just vanished without a trace.

    Hm.

  42. blondie Says:

    Excellent post.

    When one is a young, poor, not-very-knowledgeable (you can be college-educated and still pretty dumb about your own health care) woman in need of health care, Planned Parenthood is a Godsend.

  43. marismae Says:

    I have to say… it may be their damn money to give out as they see fit. But, it's my damn money and time to donate as /I/ see fit when I consider which charities to support. And, I no longer support SGK, and I will encourage others not to support them. It's my right to think what they are doing is wrong and immoral whether they technically can or not, and it's the right of everyone who disagrees with them to say so loudly and as often as they want. There are other breast cancer charities to give to, and one can donate to PP directly, which is what I've chosen to do.

    I'm certain that there are a number of conservative anti-choice people who are now going to support SGK who wouldn't before, and that's also their perogative. But I hope that SGK falls flat on their face and this decision bites them in the ass.

  44. Vic Allen Says:

    Great article. As others here have mentioned one should always be careful when donating to any organization. The American Cancer Society no longer gets any support from me because of their gutless, two-faced rejection of a $250,000 matching grant from an atheist organization. See http://www.alternet.org/belief/152685/is_atheist_money_too_controversial_for_the_american_cancer_society_
    for the details. I guess they're willing to take my money so long as I agree to be a second class citiizen.

  45. bb in GA Says:

    @Sarah

    Your ad hominem skills are as sharp as ever.

    Did you bother to read the sentence that came after the one you quoted? Poor comp reading skills?

    Probably your reading teacher was a POS too…

    //bb

  46. mm Says:

    @ bb
    Yes, SGK has the right to say where their money goes. I, as a free speech-loving American, have *every* right to call them out on their hypocrisy. I also have the right to participate in the public outcry that has erupted and to be an activist against them if I choose to. It's called the free exchange of ideas.

    Nothing seems to stop ragingly bigoted conservatives from imposing their "values" on others. Why is it different for liberals?

  47. Snowwy Says:

    Got referred here from Balloon Juice. Gotta say, I'm well and truly impressed, and plan to keep reading.

  48. Sarah Says:

    @bb, sugar-pop, just taking a page from your very own troll playbook in quoting stuff out of context. I'd be willing to bet my reading comprehension is better than yours, as well as the political candidates for whom you vote.

  49. bb in GA Says:

    @mm

    You don't git it…

    nothing to do w/ what you said..amen & huzzahs etc to you

    @jeneria

    accused SGK of doing "whatever it can to prevent access"

    That is outrageous on the face – period. Where I or anyone else choose to give charitable benefits in no way denies anyone of anything.

    Y'all can blather about who struck hypocrisy all you want and call me names and blame GW Bush – but it doesn't change my point.

    Give or withhold your money and time to whomever you choose. That is a glorious thing (still) about the US of A.

    //bb

  50. bb in GA Says:

    @Sarah

    I'm sure you can read better'n me, are smarter than I am, and are absolutely better looking.

    But didn't I say what you said about the Right in the sentence following the one you quoted?

    Please provide me an example of my 'out of context' troll quote and I will account for it.

    //bb

  51. mm Says:

    @bb

    Your point isn't really valid, though.

    If you think that the people behind the SGK defunding decision don't want to do everything they can to disenfranchise those who don't agree with them (regardless of the collateral damage they leave in their wake), you are at best sorely misunderstanding what's happening here.

    And by rehashing your (invalid) point, you ignore that you said we have no "moral right" to speak out on this issue. So which is it – "no moral right" or "huzzah and kudos"?

  52. Alan C Says:

    I guess Planned Parenthood is the new ACORN.

  53. Major Kong Says:

    @bb "If you don't want to solve the problem our way, then you aren't really serious about solving the problem. "

    That sounds a lot like the Right's approach to illegal immigration.

    "What? You libs don't support my 12-foot border wall with machine gun towers and a shark moat? You must be in favor of open borders!"

  54. Boombats Says:

    Just so everyone knows, you can't give someone cancer by saying you wish they got cancer, so Karma and any other unverifiable belief you may have is not going to hurt you if you endorse this message. Fuck Karen Handel and I hope she gets cancer on her "pink ribbon."

  55. Ken Says:

    There is a special circle of hell devoted to people who conceal their own selfish behavior with the appearance of charity and good deeds.

    Probably eighth circle, sixth bolgia – the Hypocrites. All the ones in Dante are religious hypocrites, but I don't see why the principle doesn't extend; an attractive outer face concealing their dark heavy sins. Their contrapasso or "just desserts" punishment is to walk around in half-ton robes of gilded lead. Slowly.

  56. prosopopeia Says:

    @Ken,

    It's the eighth circle, but we're looking at fraud, particularly fraudulent advice (bolgia 8); they get individual giant flames to burn in for eternity.

  57. Juliet Buck Says:

    Best thing I've read on this subject all day. And I've read a lot. Nice. Job.

  58. Mike Says:

    OK, but please tell me that yellow-ribbon bumperstickers still support the troops.

  59. Karen Says:

    Thank you for an informative well-reasoned analysis. You helped to nail what was always my uneasiness about this organization. Apparently gin and tacos lead to wisdom. I'm definitely trying that route. :)

  60. bb in GA Says:

    @mm

    I understand perfectly why there are wars.

    Its huzzahs and kudos, more free speech, not less.

    "Oh Lord, please do let me be misunderstood…" Eric Burdon and the Animals circa 1963

    //bb

  61. bb in GA Says:

    @Major Kong

    I said a paraphrase of that in the next sentence

    "I guess the flip side is that (the) Right impugns the patriotism of Lefties that don't support some (of) their adventures."

    Did you and Sarah just check media matters on what they quoted from me :-)

    //bb

  62. Ellie Says:

    Thank you. You always manage to do a better job of saying whatever it is that I've been inarticulately spluttering about for ages.

    And by the way, if you haven't read it, I recommend Barbara Ehrenreich's 2001 article "Welcome to Cancerland." It was originally published in Harper's but is now available on her website.

  63. BobS Says:

    I had cancer, and I approve of this post.

  64. Joel Says:

    If you really want strides in breast cancer (or any) research, lobby the government to expand funding to the NIH and NSF. The private foundations are tapped enough as they are. But so it goes in the austerity business.

  65. Gboggs Says:

    Instead of a "cure", how about looking into a little prevention?? Working to rid containers of bisphenol A for example. But wait…prevention brings in no big money, no profits. Boring.

  66. Bernard Says:

    such hatred for those different. these kind of people wish disease and untold misery just because they "believe" in a different and Party Approved version of society. of who matters and how to take "care" of them. or not.

    such vile for those who don't do it "MY" way. to let women die just to die , cause the Politics is wrong.

    gosh. that is so hard to grasp on such a fundamental level. and consider these are "worthy themselves". Throwing stones gets bloody for all.

    Yes, PP is the new ACORN.

    been that way for a long time, pick and choose the organization that can be "got" since Liberals just moan and never raised their voices before.

    now we get some pushback against immoral behavior. Finally enough caring people are seeing how:

    First they came for ACORN,
    then they went after Planned Parenthood.

    we shall see who's next. there is always a "next."

  67. Calming Influence Says:

    "On a personal note, Karen, I hope you get cancer. I hope the doctors find it too late to do anything but treat your pain, and I hope they do a poor job of that."

    Seriously, some people have a problem with this? To (appropriately) go all Olde Testament Biblical on her ass, this isn't even close to an eye for an eye.

    -This is an extremely wealthy woman of the "I got mine fuck you" political persuasion cutting off funds for cancer screening and treatment, because 3% of what Planned Parenthood does is provide safe (and LEGAL) abortions to women, some of whom may have been rape or incest victims, and some others who's lives may be endangered if they carry the pregnancy to term.
    -This is a woman cutting off funds for cancer screening and treatment, because maybe a single woman, possibly underage, will became pregnant and the man she thought would stand by her left without a forwarding address, and she knows that if she carries the pregnancy to term she is dooming herself and her child to a life of poverty and despair.
    -This is a woman who is cutting off these desperately need funds for cancer screening and treatment not because they will go to fund the abortions she finds so intellectually unjustified from her perch high above the rest of us, but because the funds will go to an organization that on occasion provides this (LEGAL) service to those woman who have had to make the very difficult decision to terminate a pregnancy.
    -Considering that the result of less funding means some greater number of woman will die of cancer, clearly this is a woman who clearly doesn't give a fuck about the least among us.

    So let me, on a personal note, say this: Karen, I hope you get cancer. I hope the doctors find it too late to do anything but treat your pain, and I hope they do a poor job of that. Then I hope you finally die in a fire.

  68. moe99 Says:

    As a nonsmoker who was diagnosed with stage IIIB Nonsmall cell lung cancer in September, 2009, I was appalled when I learned how little $ is spent funding lung cancer research and treatment. More people are diagnosed with lung cancer each year than are with prostate, colon and breast cancer combined. And non smoking women are the fastest growing cohort of lung cancer patients. Ask Christopher Reeves' wife (oops she's dead–within a year of diagnosis).

  69. Kim Says:

    On Monday, I will be having an LCIS removed from my breast. So this is a relevant topic to me. I remember reading ages ago Nancy Brinker waxing on about how she created the Susan G Komen Foundation in memory of her sister who died of breast cancer. Clearly, on her death bed, Susan also asked her sister to make sure she made a shitload of money and to take the Mitt Romney approach to the poor. I've had friends who wanted to do that walk for the cure thing but couldn't cough up enough money to cover the tents, hot meals and showers they keep harping about on ads (but don't tell you that you need to have enough donations to cover your costs to them). I guess that this just proves that if you have money, your attitude is that those with should live and those without shouldn't. I hope that these people remember that the little people they are condemning to possible breast cancer death are the same people who clean their houses, make their meals, take care of all the little things in their lives they ignore.

  70. Pongo Says:

    I work for a rare disease nonprofit org. Rare diseases get the shit end of the stick for research funding (and all other types of funding). The fact that their tiny operating budgets come almost entirely from a small pool of very sick people and their families has never stopped Komen from coming after these most fragile of advocacy orgs for using the term 'for the cure.' I personally know of two with operating budgets under $100,000 who had to answer a summons from Komen's lawyers. One group served a population of mentally challenged children who have insatiable appetites as part of their syndrome. The group's tagline had been 'Hungry for the Cure' for three decades. They never thought to trademark it because it never occurred to them to behave like assholes over a trademark, so they couldn't imagine another nonprofit doing so. Komen forced them to 'cease and desist' as this slogan–which in no way referenced breast cancer–might 'confuse' donors who would accidentally direct donations meant for Komen to this other org. They complied because they couldn't afford to fight it and ended up incurring costs to reprint all their materials and rebrand their website. Komen doesn't care what the disease is or whether it poses any credible competitive threat to their brand. They are equal opportunity bullies.

    Sadder still, they are role models for a particularly slimy new business model called 'venture philanthropy.' The success of Komen and similar outfits caught the attention of venture capital and they are racing in with nonprofit front organizations that are heavy on marketing and feel good promises, but light on any actual patient services. These groups are well connected politically and have significant power and influence–even among supposedly neutral govt agencies. Among their sleazier profiteering practices they engage in the procurement and distribution of patient data (by tricking patients into sharing protected medical information through 'share your story' sites they can legally use it without incurring HIPAA protections) which they then sell to their pharma and corporate clients, including Wall Street private equity firms–yes, Wall Street investors are buying patient data right now–God only knows what for. It's possible they have run out of ways to figuratively wring out our blood, sweat and tears so now they want to find ways to literally do it. Unbelievably, some of the biggest names in these schemes are KNOWN con, men and felons. like Michael Milken's 'Milken Foundation.'

    Milken wants to accelerate rare disease research, or rather, pick the bones of politically powerless rare disease sufferers for a profit. I am part of a coalition of 80+ small rare disease organizations who work together to improve federal funding for rare disease research. We enjoyed a productive and collegial collaboration for years until recently when a VC backed pseudo-nonprofit infiltrated the group, monopolized our contacts at the federal funding agencies and just generally set about to 'komenize' rare diseases for their own profit. It's hard to sit back and watch this transformation take place while you are powerless to stop it. I hope some of this Komen debacle will serve as a cautionary tale, but where there is a lot of money, integrity flies out the window.

  71. dabneyesq Says:

    Susan G. Komen Foundation's announcement that it will no longer provide funding to Planned Parenthood for early breast cancer screenings for the poor and/or uninsured merely illustrates the social perversion of right-wing ideology which proves to be committed to the extermination of the "have nots" by the vehicle of capitalism or by more literally purging a class.
    What is more frightening is the number of discussions presumable held in boards meeting among these types who have bought into this "movement." There is more to follow. It is an indirect attack on the new healthcare legislation, in addition to eroding a true sense corporate (catholic, with small "c") social welfare [wellbeing] – now that's an oxymoronic phrase.

  72. disgusted Says:

    Someone who would repeat/retweet this?

  73. disgusted Says:

    Someone who would repeat/retweet this?

    "Just like a pro-abortion group to turn a cancer orgs decision into a political bomb to throw. Cry me a freaking river."

    This is the VP of public policy. I do hope they are getting their money's worth but considering how much she just cost them, I doubt it. Wonder how the Komen family feels about this?

  74. Fiddlin' Bill Says:

    This is an outstanding piece and I'll spread it around as I can. Concerning the cancer wish which bothers some here–let's keep in mind that it is only magical thinking which converts "wishes" into anything beyond rhetoric–and as rhetoric the remark is dead on (no pun intended). It may be that in this particular instance, the Komen group has gone so far over the line that there will be a big backlash against them. The President of NOW predicted last evening that they might well be entirely gone in 5 years–a welcome result. The much much larger and much more difficult problem remains, that we have an incompetent press which has devolved into a propaganda machine/entertainment niche market–there are far too many holes in the dike. Still, may the Komen Foundation die an ugly death, and may Brinker stop getting her paychecks. It's what she and they deserve.

  75. Heather Says:

    I am not a big fan of SGK and the pink landslide in general, especially since reading Bright-Sided by Barbara Ehrenreich, but one little fact makes me less angry about this PP decision – PP does not provide mammograms.

  76. Kevin Says:

    Well put. I hope your message gets out in a big way.

  77. DrSiegel Says:

    Heather says "…but one little fact makes me less angry about this PP decision

  78. Star Says:

    But, Heather, PP offers breast exams AND educates women about doing self exams, and they refer out to other medical professionals if they find anything suspicious in an exam, so they do provide the same type of breast health services that a regular primary doctor does. After all, primary care doctors do not, as you say, "provide mammogram[s]" either…they refer patients out if there is a need.

  79. butler Says:

    Um in your list of PinkShit™ you missed something truly amazing:

    http://www.discountgunsales.com/walther-p-22-hope-edition-34-pr-4228.html

    … seriously. It has a pink slide! Life is sacred before birth and utterly expendable afterward – give someone a post-natal abortion today w/ your pink gun!

  80. booz endormi Says:

    Great essay. Thanks.

  81. Katie Says:

    Ed-I just wanted to tell you that this is probably one of my favorite posts you've ever written. You said everything I've always *thought* about Komen, but that I'm far too inarticulate to say. Thank you!

  82. Wormboy Says:

    I'd link to this article and spread the word on Facebook, but I'm reluctant be connected with the comment wishing death on the Director. I love me a good rant and I understand the spirit in which the author did it. Heck, I don't even mind. But you can't sign your name to that kind of thing, y'know? So it seems to me that you're seriously weakening you message and credibility by including such hyperbole. Otherwise, keep going.

  83. Kissmagrits Says:

    I met a professional charity campaign organizer in the early seventies. He was
    in town for several weeks to design the campaigns for our local fund drives:
    United Way, American Cancer Society, Red Cross, Boy Scouts, etc.

    He showed me that national fund drives had already become big business nearly
    forty years ago. So, when I donate money, it's very specifically targeted and local.
    It also assures me of not funneling million dollar payouts to charity executives,
    their families and friends. In addition, I've discovered that political action committees are
    often a family enterprise and a handy piggy bank for the members.

    One more thing: Always check with your state's attorney general for charity scams.
    Ersatz "Veterans Aid" charities are the current favorites, but there are others.

  84. chicodude Says:

    When I was recovering from my surgery for colon cancer, my buddy who worked as a cook at an old folks home would stop by every day when he got off work and bring me dinner that he made at work.

    Way better than participating in some 'race for a cure' bullshit.

  85. JB Says:

    "You better do more research on Hospice before you run off telling us to heap money in their direction. Hospices commit Medicare fraud and hospice scams to exploit patients, their families and caregivers. Do some research on THAT also. They are ruthless businesses that take advantage of a poorly run system designed to reward how many participants there are as opposed to actually treating the ill and dying."

    This can't go unanswered. The writer paints with a ridiculously broad brush. Of course there are some hospices (mostly for-profit hospices) that are poorly run, or try to exploit the system and flout the laws for undeserved profit. And increasingly, the feds are on to them: http://www.fbi.gov/philadelphia/press-releases/2011/hospice-owner-charged-in-health-care-fraud-and-embezzlement-scheme

    But the vast majority of hospices (and especially not-for-profit hospices) DON'T do those things. They provide compassionate care for patients and their families in extremely difficult times. The vast majority of patients and families have extremely positive experiences in hospice care. Once in hospice care, many say that they waited too long to begin hospice and wish they had started sooner.

    All too often, physicians, families or the patients themselves delay hospice so long that they are unable to get the full benefit of being in hospice care. Patients can enter hospice care when are expected to live 6 months or less, but frequently they wait so long that many patients die within days or even hours of being admitted.

    For a variety of reasons, some people don

  86. JB Says:

    Sorry for the sentence fragment at the end, please ignore.

  87. JB Says:

    Well, crap, I'm having trouble here. Sorry.

    Here's the whole thing:

    "You better do more research on Hospice before you run off telling us to heap money in their direction. Hospices commit Medicare fraud and hospice scams to exploit patients, their families and caregivers. Do some research on THAT also. They are ruthless businesses that take advantage of a poorly run system designed to reward how many participants there are as opposed to actually treating the ill and dying."

    This can't go unanswered. The writer paints with a ridiculously broad brush. Of course there are some hospices (mostly for-profit hospices) that are poorly run, or try to exploit the system and flout the laws for undeserved profit. And the feds are on to them: http://www.fbi.gov/philadelphia/press-releases/2011/hospice-owner-charged-in-health-care-fraud-and-embezzlement-scheme

    But the vast majority of hospices (and especially not-for-profit hospices) DON'T do those things. They provide compassionate care for patients and their families in extremely difficult times. The vast majority of patients and families have extremely positive experiences in hospice care. Once in hospice care, many say that they waited too long to begin hospice and wish they had started sooner.

    All too often, physicians, families or the patients themselves delay hospice so long that they are unable to get the full benefit of being in hospice care. Patients can enter hospice care when are expected to live 6 months or less, but they wait so long that many die within days or even hours of being admitted.

    For a variety of reasons, some people don’t have positive experiences with hospice. (It isn’t difficult to have a bad experience when you are watching a loved one die.) I’m sure you can find their stories online. But they are in the minority, as are the hospice providers who exploit their patients and steal from the government.

    The writer’s comments serve much the same purpose as the reprehensible “death panels” discussions during the health care reform debate: they muddy the waters about wonderful care that is available to nearly all Americans regardless of their income or status, and increase the odds that people will delay entering hospice care when the time is right, thus increasing the pain and sorrow of both patients and their surviving family members.

  88. Franceen Says:

    Thanks for a saying what I have been thinking for a long time. I hope everybody follows your lead!

  89. Heather Says:

    Yes, the referral is part of the battle, I agree, but if you can't afford a mammogram and if you can't afford to find out that you have breast cancer because you couldn't afford to do anything about it anyway and the diagnosis creates a pre-existing condition that might preclude you from getting treatment in the future then it might not be such a big help. This system we have is broke and needs real fixing.

  90. fish4letters Says:

    Well said.
    However, you're not alone on the bandwagon, and it was filling quite nicely in the past few years. Here are just a few:
    http://komenwatch.org/
    http://cancerculturenow.blogspot.com/2011/03/komen-by-numbers-2010-and-still-no.html
    http://gaylesulik.com/
    And there are many, many more.

    If you do want to take action against Komen, why not address their sponsors directly – https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=2849710436023&set=a.2412250139789.126358.1057325634&type=1&theater

  91. Atlanta Says:

    Thank you for this post, ginandtacos, awesome work.

    I am delighted with all the background coming out. Like a pink handgun! It would coordinate nicely with my hello kitty backpack. So buy a few and save some lives: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/02/03/1061363/-The-Komen-Pink-Hand-Gun,-Just-Appalling

    And Handel and Diebold are BFFs, so cute:
    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/10/09/cbsnews_investigates/main4512526.shtml
    http://www.politicususa.com/en/pallin-around-with-voter-purging-susan-g-komens-dirty-leadership-secret
    pdf: http://www.voterga.org/uploads/voterga/The%20Greatest%20Scandal%20in%20Georgia%20History.pdf

    Other good story coming out, also via dailykos, out of public view Komen tried to derail a proposed publically funded breast cancer prevention program: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/02/01/1060885/-Behind-the-Pink-Curtain-Komens-Political-Agenda

  92. Laura BA Says:

    You are my hero.

  93. Cyberkrin Says:

    Agreed with all you said except the part about wishing she gets cancer. No matter how pathetic a human being she is, she IS still a human being and why would you want that bad Karma hanging over you.

    I tried for two years to raise the required $2300 and was not able to do it…twice. So, I wasn't able to walk in the 3-day, despite the fact that I trained and trained (which honestly benefited me, so I am not complaining). It was disappointing. Sure, I COULD have walked if I personally guaranteed I make up the difference within 30 days of the last day of the walk. Really??

    The worst part was having to tell my donors that I wasn't going to be able to walk. Not one of them understood when I told them the bs that Komen tells us…that they need this to be a break-even event so that we raise the money to cover our own expenses. Seriously? Does it cost $2300 to accompany me while I walk 60 miles and then sleep overnight in a tent?? To feed me (how much do they think I can eat??)? And the little things they don't tell us, like having to pay to park our cars for the 3days because the Wal*Mart wouldn't just let us park there ($25). Or the $25 EACH WAY we had to pay from the parking lot to the start of the walk for the shuttle service. Even the hotel rooms they "blocked" for us were more expensive than the rooms I could get on my own. I started to see myself more as an indentured servant than someone doing a good thing.

    When I was a kid, I used to ride my bike in bike-a-thons for the March of Dimes. All I had to do was find sponsors to promise to donate a specific amount for every mile I rode my bike. And no matter how much I raised, MoD allowed me to participate in that bike-a-thon. I never rode less than 50 miles and at 10 cents a mile that's not a whole lot of money. And they provided us with snacks. We had fun and I felt like I was DOING something.

    I walked away from my two separate years trying to fund raise for Komen with a bad taste in my mouth. I felt like I let down my donors. I felt like I let down all the women I listed on my Komen wall who'd had breast cancer and had either succumbed to it or beat it. Komen didn't let me walk either time, but they kept the money.

    The least they could have done was said thank you…

  94. E* Says:

    @Calming Influence:

    "Then I hope you finally die in a fire."

    I laughed until tears ran down my cheeks. A beautiful addition to an already beautiful post. I love the interwebs!

  95. Sarah Says:

    They reinstated the funding, y'all.

    @bb, sorry to be so late getting back to you. A few points I'd like to address: The Komen board does indeed have discretion in whom they choose to give their grants, but that money is NOT "their" money–certainly not in the sense that I have my money and you have your money, at any rate. That money is raised under the pretense of providing various services to women in relation to breast health and breast cancer. This is their express mission. The donors who give in various ways, do so under the impression that their gifts will be used to further that mission–and that is what Planned Parenthood was doing with their grants. To pull that money from Planned Parenthood *now* when PP has been giving reproductive services for many years, and is now the convenient let's-blame-our-social-problems-on-the-nearest-scapegoat is indeed political motivation. No matter how you want to slice it. PP is the only option available to many women, and those women would have lost access to those breast health services because of this loss of funding. Therefore, this is a FAIL of the Komen mission. Got it? I know illiteracy is an issue among those of your ilk, so go back and read it again if you need to.

    And by the way? Challenge accepted. I'll let you know when I come across an example of your trollish behavior.

  96. Greg Says:

    I would have shared this, but I too disagree with every fiber of my being where you wished cancer upon Karen – worse than mean-spirited, that is just downright evil. On the other hand, you raise many valid points, and I'm almost equally as disgusted by a foundation posing as a charity that benefits from people's pain and suffering. I am motivated to donate directly to American Cancer Society or other medical centers, rather than fund Komen, who I think has significantly lost face with arguments like "it's not about politics". Whenever someone says "it's not about politics" or "it's not about the money", 99.9% of the time IT'S ABOUT POLITICS OR MONEY!

  97. Linda T Gioscia Says:

    Thank you for this blog! I would take it one step further and say that the FDA and even the American Cancer Society aren't really looking for a cure, business is too good. There is a DR in Texas Dr Burzynski who has found a cancer treatment that works better than chemo and radiation with non of the nasty side effects. Here is a documentary about him http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1qG_ZWs04es

    The FDA is trying to shut him down even though he has a better success rate treating cancer! why? Becau$e the Pharmaceutical companies are in bed with the FDA and they can't make money on their outdated chemo and radiation if word gets out and he is in business. (they have made it illegal for him to treat anyone outside of Texas!)

    I believe the corruption is way deeper than just the pink ribbon!
    So sad!

  98. daeja Says:

    excellent piece.
    Komen is trying to back track now, but even their corporate answers are covered in pink snow.

  99. jim Says:

    Hope you've got one of those plastic keyboard protectors – I hear bile is hell on microswitches.

    My cruelty is far more ruthless than your own.

    I wish Karen Handel would wake up tomorrow with as rich an understanding as her IQ will allow of exactly what she's done with her life, along with a highly evolved, lucid & acutely sensitive conscience … & a very long life spent in sterling good health with which to "enjoy" contemplating the real-world implications of her newfound insight.

  100. bb in GA Says:

    @Sarah

    As you know, SGK folded on their apparently "misunderstood" position.

    Good for whoever!

    Even though you think me illiterate, I am a Board member for a homeless/addiction recovery/restart for ex-offenders christian ministry for men. I am familiar with the 501 c3 routine and the pain-in-the-ass that is the IRS.

    Unless a gift is designated for a specific purpose (I mean in a letter accompanying the donation or at the very least in the 'memo' on the check), a general donation can be spent on anything and any purpose the Board decides consistent with the law. "Impressions" don't count. If a great enough percentage of the charity's income is not being spent on the stated "mission" it is your responsibility as a donor to conduct your "due diligence" and know that.

    Complain to the IRS.

    The IRS rides herd pretty close on charitable corporations, even small ones like ours. They do more than a good job (see I can compliment government!)

    //bb

  101. dorne Says:

    I am one of those people with a rare(VERY) cancer. When first diagnosed information given to me was pretty sketchy. I spent hundred of hours doing research just to find there is very little research to find and what I did find you could not draw conclusions from. out of necessity participant numbers were quite small.Most seems to be done in the asian market,then France then U.S.The problem with pool size (besides it is rare) are the requirements. Most don't accept stage 3 or 4 (we die to quickly,before data can be gathered)and very few are discoverd in stage 1 or 2 because of the umbiquous symptoms.
    We rely on privately funded donations,and university studies.
    Most Dr.s will not even know what Thymic Carcinoma is and 90+ oncologists if they know what is have never treated it or even seen a patient with it. But I digress

    It ……….pisss me off some days (especialy in Oct.) that so much attention is payed to Breast Cancer and Lung Cancer or any of the ones Lawyers are advertising for lol.

    I feel for every woman or man that has cancer any Cancer.
    It makes you suffer in so many different ways. For a decade now we have been hearing how closse they are to the cure for breaast cancer. GREAT then continue that string of research to the end but free up some of the money for the rest of us. We suffer,our families suffer just as they due for victims of breast cancer but we don't have a light at the end of the tunnel. What we see is darkness hopelessness and few that care. Thymic patients are constantly at risk taking any "new" "in-testing" "off-line"use drug that one Dr. saw hope in, of course it may have already failed for more.But when there is NO HOPE MANY SETTLE FOR A SMALL CHANCE. can we all say one million dollars? That is what it may cost to die while taking a chance on the newest drug! experimental = $$$$$$$$$$$$
    and Thymic patients may have friends throw a neighborhood BBQ(for ex.) but we DO NOT HAVE A NATIONAL ORG. THAT CAN HELP US. sO YES I RESESNT THE WASTED MONEY .i DON'T RESENT THE CAUSE OR THE WOMEN SUFFERING AND WOULD NEVER WISH CANCER ON ANYONE. bUT PEOPLE OUT THERE NEED TO WAKE UP THERE ARE A LOT OF CANCERS OUT THERE SO DONATE TO AMC NIH OR JUST THE LOCAL PERSON WHO HAS TO CHOSE BETWEEN CANCER DRUGS AND FOOD OR HEAT

  102. nitpicker Says:

    "The organization's current president, Karen Handel, ran for governor of Georgia in 2010 and lost in the Republican primary. "

    This is not true. Handel is an SVP at the organization, not its President.

  103. Sarah Says:

    If a great enough percentage of the charity's income is not being spent on the stated "mission" it is your responsibility as a donor to conduct your "due diligence" and know that.

    And….that….would….be….the….point….of….this….post. That….would….also….be….the….point….of….the….entire….backlash….and….all….the….discussions….it….has….spawned….including….this….one. I….am….not….sure….how….you….expect….donors….to….exercise….this….due….diligence….if….no….one….knows….about….their….fuding….decisions….and….how….they….are….made. Psychic….powers….perhaps? You….like….to….yammer….about….how….you….believe….in….the….christian….religion. I….could….swear….that….followers….of….judeo….christian….theology….did….not….believe….in….that.

  104. RPD Says:

    You're right. Same on Planned Parenthood for taking a nickel from this organization.

  105. bb in GA Says:

    @Sarah

    Did some ol' psychic mess w/ your posting? It kind of ran over the borders a little. Thanks for your kind and concise response.

    You can request a 'P&L' from your favorite charity or for the real small ones, you can probably get an email.

    You be sweet now and have a nice weekend.

    //yammer bb there (sorry Mr McDonald)

  106. Elle Says:

    If a great enough percentage of the charity's income is not being spent on the stated "mission" it is your responsibility as a donor to conduct your "due diligence" and know that.

    This is really interesting.

    Charity law in European countries provides a great deal of protection to the donor. The roots of its formulation lay in the interest of wealthy patrons, who gave money for specific purposes, to ensure that they were not shortchanged on the delivery of that purpose by future generations of charity trustees. Charities in many countries are intensively regulated to ensure that they are delivering against their stated purpose, do not spend excessive amounts on administration, are not involved in (party) politics, and have governance arrangements in place that far exceed the requirements of for-profit companies.

  107. bb in GA Says:

    @Elle

    Things in the US are more liberal relative to charities, but we are not alone. There are organizations such as:

    http://www.charitynavigator.org/

    that are available to help you evaluate groups that solicit your charitable contributions. They have in-depth ratings on many charities, but for the drive-bys, there is a list of 574 (currently) with a star rating system with the details availble for 'drillers'.

    Our org of interest:

    Susan G. Komen for the Cure 4 Stars

    Dallas, TX

    Ending breast cancer forever

    Health : Diseases, Disorders, and Disciplines

    Their Program/Admin ratio is just a little of 80/20 which is the mark of a well run charity.

    I would really be interested to know what percentage of their Program Expenses is tied up in the PP controversy.

    I'm betting way less than 10%

    //bb

  108. bozo Says:

    props to plonker at 12:43 2 Feb

    Handel is not president of Komen.

    Asserting that Handel is president is Just Plain Wrong(tm) and leaves your post an easy target.

    My two pesos.

  109. eau Says:

    @bb – I usually regret engaging with you, but…

    Are you seriously saying that this organisation misleading people into charitable donations is a-ok with you because it's not technically illegal?

    And for those shrieking "She's not teh Prez! WHoLE pOST iz NULL adn voId!!!1!!!!!!!" –

    But both Handel & Brinker are, in fact, big money Republicans, no? Anyone bother checking out the rest of the board/executive? I thought not.

  110. GuyFromOhio Says:

    Never wish cancer on anyone. Ever.
    It sucks so hard, it defies description.

    I can only conclude that no one close to you has ever suffered so, or you would never have written such words, as justified as you think you might be in writing them here.

    Otherwise, another excellent G&T post.

  111. zyxomma Says:

    I've never bought pink-ribbon anything, and never will. I had their number from the start. It took courage at the cash register when the grocery clerk asked, "Do you want to give a dollar to Komen for the Cure?" to tell her why I didn't and wouldn't, ever.

    I'm not indifferent. My mother had breast cancer. It was iatrogenic, brought on by THREE mammograms a year (justified by her doc because she 'had all the risk factors'). The gallows humor in radiology is, "We X-ray the breast until we find the cancer the X-rays caused."

    Look into thermography. Stop eating so much reproductive tissue (eggs, dairy). READ the labels of all your cosmetics, skin care, and hair care products. DISCARD all those that contain parabens (ethylparaben, methylparaben, butylparaben). Pathologists find parabens in EVERY breast tumor they examine. Beware of "fragrance;" it's probably loaded with petrochemicals. Use nail polish without formaldehyde, butylene, and pthalates. Cultivate an attitude of gratitude. Wear underwire and/or polyester bras only on rare, special occasions. Eat lots of fresh vegetables. Drink plenty of water.

    Health and peace.

  112. bb in GA Says:

    @eau

    No, I'm not making that point. I'm ignorant of the charges. I'm not for misleading people legal or not.

    Komen seems, by objective measures I've seen, to be a reasonably well run charity. I don't understand their tactics. If they are in the anti-breast cancer biz, I would think they could easily make a designated gift to PP for just that (breast cancer screening).

    I know money is fungible and designated gifts are somewhat silly from that perspective, but it would preserve their anti-abortion position with their donor base (if indeed that is the deal.)

    Since cancer is non-discriminatory by Left/Right politics (w/o regard to the Fearless Moderator's desires) I can see the tactical FAIL, but I don't doubt it is their right to give/not give as their Board and/or Execs decide.

    Help me here, If SGK didn't donate to PP, wouldn't that money be used for the intended purpose or mission of SGK somewhere else? Does this become an efficiency argument of some kind? No other available agency could get the most out that money in providing the preventive care than PP?

    I really want to know how much of their Program Expenses are involved w/ PP. I'm betting small.

    //bb

  113. Clix Says:

    In fairness, cancer research isn't just about finding a cure. When I went through my chemo last year, I was able to use drugs that had fairly mild side effects. And I just love the skin-glue stuff; my scars are much smoother than they were last time. Also, hurray for sentinel-node biopsies! Thanks to them, I still have almost all of my lymph nodes.

    I don't think I got any assistance from anything Komen related. I did get quite a bit of help from the American Cancer Society. They gave me a gas card, and a wig, and set up a makeup session! It was a blast. There were three of us patients there, and we had soooo much fun.

  114. Kimberley Says:

    Awesome! A few years ago I made a very unpopular statement about breast cancer fundraising and am so happy to read your post and see that I am not alone in this opinion. Love that I found you!
    Cheers- drink up!

  115. Scott Says:

    @bb – You're right that the money would go to fight cancer, even if it wasn't going to Planned Parenthood, although the amount the director of the charity gets gives me some reason to doubt that assumption. But let's assume you're right.

    The problem with this assumption is that Planned Parenthood is one of the only, if not the only, form of health care for poor women (and men). By defunding Planned Parenthood, Komen is taking away the only opportunity for some women to get breast cancer screenings and treatment. In other words, Komen's actions say that fighting cancer is great, but only for those that can afford it. Everyone else can go off and die – preferably quietly.

  116. Bitter Scribe Says:

    Until recently I edited a trade magazine that covered consumer goods packaging. I used to get so fucking tired of press releases about how this or that box or bottle would sport pink trim as a sign that for each one purchased, one penny or whatever would be donated to the Komen foundation "to fight breast cancer." I'm sure breast cancer was shaking in its shoes.

  117. Schroeder Says:

    Thanks for this. All these decades I thought I was alone on the Screw Komen (& Nancy Brinker) bandwagon. I've lived in Dallas over 50 years & have followed Brinker's career with interest, beginning with her prowl thru Dallas high society in search of a rich husband. But what really sets her apart from normal people, & establishes her bona fides as a self-serving Republican, is the cold-blooded way she used her sister's death as a path to fame & fortune.

  118. Bellesouth Says:

    Someone pointed this post to me tonight, calling you a "kindred spirit." I've been all up in these a-holes for YEARS, have written anti-pink-ribbon posts every October, and wrote a couple of posts this week about how evil these guys are.

    The pro-life/pro-choice thing does NOT MATTER. Komen is a corporate shill, sells fried chicken and SUVs, and raises funds from Race for the Cure to PAY FOR RACE FOR THE CURE.

    When people were passing around the petition to send to Komen, I was all "screw 'em. They suck." Because they do. For about a gazillion reasons that have nothing to do with abortion. Sharing.

  119. Ruthie Says:

    "And that's all Komen is – a consulting firm that helps large corporate clients sell more of their products through pinkwashing campaigns. By slathering everything from pasta to baseball bats to perfume to fast food with the Pink Imprimatur, consumers are led to believe that their purchases are making meaningful contributions to breast cancer research."

    Edl: You apparently missed the "For the cure" ™ special edition handgun with the Pepto-pink slider. Everyone has a breaking point. When I realized that it wasn't an "Onion" article, I swore off those pink products for good.

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