June 21, 2018
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Komen Foundation was smart to admit mistake

Renee Ordway
By Renee Ordway, Special to the BDN

In case you missed it the first or fifth time I wrote about it:

The breast is a powerful thing.

Behold the power of the breast!

I say it again — to those who have them, have lost them, who love those who lost them or loved those whom they have lost because of them.

Here is what we have learned this week: We indeed have a say.

This lesson that we have learned goes far beyond breast cancer.

It goes to the very heart and the very power that we as feeling, human individuals have for those we love and for those whom we know that others love.

And if I may say it — “You all kicked a bit of tail.”

The Susan G. Komen Foundation Race for the Cure made a big mistake this week in deciding not to provide resources to Planned Parenthood. As The Associated Press reported, Komen adopted criteria excluding Planned Parenthood from future grants for breast-cancer screenings because it was under government investigation, citing a probe launched by a Florida congressman at the urging of anti-abortion groups.

But to be perfectly honest, that was its decision.

The nonprofit organization has the absolute right to decide where its money should be spent.

But you as their donors have the absolute right to decide where you spend your money.

Simple as that.

Those of you who sent an email off to your legislator or your local branch of government or the national affiliate made a difference.

Those of you who — upon hearing that the Komen Foundation would no longer provide grant money to Planned Parenthood — said, “I will never again support this organization,” made a difference.

Clearly you changed their minds.

Because of you, an enormous agency with a wealth of power that does great things for breast cancer research changed its mind.

You mattered.

You mattered, with a bit of help from the press.

Many years my husband and I have sat on our front porch and watched thousands of people from the Bangor area walk proudly by our home to raise money for “The Cure.”

Of late, I walk myself, along with my kids. My husband watches from the porch because he likes to sit there and wave and talk to all of the members of the community we know as they walk by raising thousands of dollars for breast cancer research for an organization we have all stood proud to support.

This week that support was threatened.

This week, the support for The Cure was questioned.

The one thing we all seemed to agree on was that we did not question our desire to support breast cancer research or support.

I believe the Susan G. Komen Foundation made a mistake. It was perhaps a political mistake and a business mistake.

It would appear the foundation has admitted that.

That actually takes a bit of guts.

Guts get things done.

There is a chance that we can all move on and get to our common goal.

Breasts and guts.

It’s a powerful combination.

Perhaps most of all is the admission of a mistake. I think the Susan G. Komen Foundation has admitted that. I think you all are responsible for it as well, as the media.

And sometimes, just sometimes, things turn out all right.

Have feedback? Want to know more? Send us ideas for follow-up stories.

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