Friday, February 3, 2012

When turning around is a good thing

Wow what a couple of days this has been.

This is what I know. The Komen board has made it clear that even the perception of politics when it comes to Cancer is not ok. And boy did we ever see those political animals pounce from both sides when Komen dared to “de-fund” Planned Parenthood.

I am glad this happened. Why?

When I am walking in the 3 day there is such a sense of power. That power is not political. There are no party lines. There is no religion or race. When a 3 day walker walks in this walk they know they are walking for a cure to Cancer. 75% of the net proceeds from the money raised at the 3 day goes directly to research the other 25% goes to community education and screenings. Add that up. That’s 100% of the money raised . That is something to be proud of.

So when I received a phone call in 2010 from a stage IV Breast Cancer warrior (age 26) named Bridget, I listened. I listened to her thank me for the money I raised because it was paying for an experimental treatments that might save her life. And she is alive today. She and her husband were able to spend New Years in Vienna and walk in a snowfall holding hands . Susan G Komen made that possible.

I participated in the survivor circle in DC and stood next to some amazing women. One has had 3 recurrences of breast Cancer. One had just finished her chemotherapy. Most were mothers. One, with bright pink hair, told me she didn’t have to have chemotherapy because the research Susan G Komen funded had discovered many different types of Breast Cancer. Through that discovery they were able to tailor make her treatment. They determined Chemotherapy was not necessary. Only a year before she would have been subjected to Chemotherapy and I know how debilitating that is personally. That was made possible by Susan G Komen.

I have wrapped my arms around people walking in the 3 day because their daughter can’t, or their wives. Breast Cancer had taken them. There is so much more we need to do.

Is Susan G Komen perfect? Not by any stretch. No organization is. But it has been and will continue to be our best hope for finding a cure to Breast Cancer. Debate is a good thing. It allows us to really ask ourselves what our true intentions are. Self examination is extremely powerful because it can lead to positive change and that only makes us stronger. This incident has made Komen look in the mirror and ask itself, what is our Mission and how do we protect it. They made a horrible misstep by creating a situation which led some to believe their Mission had changed. An organization in my mind is far more powerful when it is supported from the bottom up, and not the top down. I believe the last few days will strengthen Komen by reaffirming its true soul. It's true calling. To end Breast Cancer.

I have joined thousands who stand at closing ceremonies at the 3 day who hear the words shouted to universe , “Until this is a world without Breast Cancer WE WILL NEVER GIVE UP!” I will never give up. I hope you won’t either.

I hope I can continue to count you as a supporter of this great cause.