It’s breast cancer walk time, and participation is down more than 25% at some Komen affiliates, according to the Times. Yet, the Brinker family is still in charge, and they’re not even responding to interview requests. I found this interesting:
Under Komen’s franchise-like model, affiliates operate as independently incorporated nonprofits but must abide by the national group’s policies. Affiliates can spend up to 75 percent of their net income on local programs — like breast cancer screening — of their own choosing. The other 25 percent goes to the national Komen organization, where it is used to finance scientific research grants.
The obvious thing for affiliates to do is to withhold some or all of that 25%, since the shortfall is completely due to the national office’s gross incompetence. Or the affiliates can just go independent, because the Komen brand has been destroyed, so what’s the point of associating with them? It’s really too bad that local affiliates are being hurt by this, because they’re full of well-intentioned hard-working people. But it’s clear that failure continues at their national organization, who apparently still think that stonewalling and hiding out are the best strategy to deal with the mess they’ve made.
A family friend died of breast cancer the other day, so I’ve had plenty of time to reflect on how shitty this disease is, how it slowly grinds all the life out of someone by attacking the liver, brain and bones until there’s just a shell of a wonderful person left to put in the ground. Our local breast cancer organization is not a Komen affiliate, so there was no need to wonder if some of my donation would be going to support the Brinkers. Here are some other alternatives.
Someone once asked me why I hated Disney so much, and I said, “Because of their relentless commoditization of art.”
Now, under the New Republicanism, they are doing the same thing with our emotions; even our very lives.
c u n d gulag
I won’t be happy, or contribute a single penny to this organization, until the current leadership at Komen isn’t just goin’, but long gone.
My mom and I have been doing the Koemn walk for years since she recovered from breast cancer. This year we are skipping that walk and we are today marching against the war on women. :)
Here’s a Relay for Life event in progress. We’re just waking up here in tent city:
Villago Delenda Est
Good for you and your mom!
Would it be fair to say that the Komen kerfuffle was the first salvo in the War on Women? That Planned Parenthood, by pointing out what Komen was up to, sparked the whole thing?
Someone I know without health care was just diagnosed with breast cancer and the Komen foundation offered to pay all her health care costs until she’s 65. She’s 61 now.
Villago Delenda Est
Well, at 65, Medicare takes over.
@Villago Delenda Est: no that was the spate of anti-women laws pushed by teatard legislators.
I have no sadness for what’s happened to Komen. they brought it on themselves.
@David: That’s what’s so awful about what Brinker did to the organization. They do a lot of good work.
Local DC TV advertising for Komen’s race:
They’re calling it the 3-day.org, pink ribbons on the first frames of ad, and they don’t identify the Komen tie until the very end.
No clue how they were advertising this DC event last year, but my impression on seeing ad was “this better not be Komen, because no way, no how.”
Per NYTimes article today: It is sad that the Indianapolis chapter might come up $750,000 short for their providers, but they now know what the parent organization is like (if the affiliates didn’t know before), and may have to scout out other donors or alter their arrangement with Komen.
I’d have a problem sending 25% off the top for “research” funding after hearing about Brinker, etc.’s compensation and expenses.
YEA for Valdivia and Valdivia’s mom and Los Gatos.
At first, I wondered if you were walking around Cambria, CA. (Which is awesome. Near Hearst Castle.)
I saw a “women for Obama” sticker on a car yesterday. Very surprised because I had no idea there was such a sticker.
At the risk of seeming to have joined the “war on women,” have you eve seen anyone die of ALS, a.k.a. Lou Gerhig’s Disease? I have. To watch that is to have your heart break every day for a long time. “I can no longer pet my cat,” he says, “so my wife puts my cat in my lap and places my hands on her so that I can enjoy the softness of her fur.” And the cat, knowing, lies still in his lap and purrs softly.
How many marches do we hold per year for ALS? What color does the NFL wear on their uniforms for ALS victims?
Have you ever met anyone with Multiple Sclerosis? In meetings of people with movement disorders, which I attend due to my Parkinson’s, I see them regularly. They suffer serious pain and difficulty for all of their life span, which can be 50-80 years.
How many marches do we hold per year for MS? What color does the NFL wear on their uniforms for MS victims?
@Bill H: This year, about 227,000 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in the U.S., compared with about 5,600 new cases of ALS and 10,400 of MS.
This doesn’t diminish in any way the damage, horror and misery of the latter two diseases, and I agree they ought to be much higher in our national consciousness, but the numbers do explain to some extent why there is so much focus on breast cancer.
@shortstop: Although I do wonder why there isn’t such an outpouring of support for fighting colon cancer, a disease that has hit members of my extended family much harder than breast cancer has. I guess “We Love Assholes” is not as catchy as “We Love Boobies”.
Snark aside, the whole charity approach to fighting disease makes me kind of sad because without universal health care, this is the reality of cancer treatment for tens of thousands of Americans:http://boingboing.net/2012/04/24/my-breast-has-fallen-off-c.html
@beltane: “We Love Assholes” has raised more than $1 billion…unfortunately, all of it for Republican political candidates.
Unfortunately, we tend not to care about issues until we are personally affected in some way. That’s where I think Shortstop’s numbers come into play. The more prevalent something is, the more likely it is to have high profile support, because of how many people are directly or indirectly affected by it.
I didn’t know much or think too much about autism until I had a son with it. And I didn’t really know anyone else who was affected by it, so I just had a general lack of awareness about it. But once it became a part of my life, all of a sudden I realized how many people I knew who actually were affected by it.
Now I see the puzzle piece ribbon everywhere.
@beltane: Exactly. When some uberwealthy person’s sibling dies of colorectal cancer, maybe we’ll see an organization like Komen sponsoring a Movement for the Cure. (Sorry.) The question isn’t really why private organizations are highlighting one disease over another; the question is why we think asking the private sector to pick up the public sector’s slack on care and research in a patchwork fashion is an acceptable way to approach national health.
The point isn’t to find a better cancer organization to fund. Cancer research is already overfunded. Give your money in much more cost effective ways: http://www.givingwhatwecan.org/resources/recommended-charities.php
Cambria is pretty darn nice, but so is Los Gatos, which sort of like Paso Robles on the edge of Silicon Valley.
Anyway were are walking with an immediate view of the Santa Cruz Mountains. It’s very nice and very productive for raising donations. We doe the Waves to Wine MS Bike ride in September which is also spectacular.
I think my point is not that we should be raising money for ALS or for MS, but that we should be raising money for all sorts of dread diseases. To say that I am going to go out and raise money for some dread disease because it has affected me or a member of my family is not compassion, it is a response to personal tragdedy. It is “getting back” at something that has hurt me, albeit in a constructive manner. To say that I am going to go out and walk until my feet are blistered in order to raise money to combat diseases that have never touched my life; now that is compassion.
My wife, for instance has been hit hard by Parkinson’s Disease. Her father died of it, her sister’s husband had the disease, althought he died a couple of years agoe from cancer, and I was diagnosed with it six years ago. Poor thing, the three men most important to her, all unrelated by blood… And yet the causes she supports, and she is a generous supporter of several, are not focused on any specific issue, but are broad based charitable foundations. Because she does not see charity as being about her.
@Bill H: Yes, raising money should not be about getting back. But that’s all the more reason we should not put money into things like ALS and MS when there are diseases that are much easier to treat with proven techniques — even though they affect people far away from us.
I am not convinced by “broad based charitable foundations” because, well, it’s far from obvious that they spend money in cost-effective ways.
PS: Mistermix: condolences on the loss of your friend. How sad.
@Bill H: That’s a pretty harsh way of looking at the reality that compassion is heightened by deeper understanding of the ones suffering–you know, that’s really all that knowing someone who suffered in a particular way means. It’s not that it’s “all about” one’s self, but that one is better able to feel empathy because one sees the details of the suffering at close hand…just as you describe the experience of your friend with Lou Gehrig’s. And just as we understand any other human experience, good or bad, better for knowing someone who goes through it.
It’s hard to discern your point other than a general disgruntlement that so much attention is being paid to one disease and that people’s charitable efforts are insufficiently selfless by your standard.
Because, for you, charity is about how you feel, about your understanding of the cuase to which you are giving. How is that not centered around self?
To my wife it is what the need is of the organization to which she is giving. How she feels about the cause is not the determining issue.
Where did I say I was disgruntled that too much attention was being given to one cause? My point had to do with motivation, yes, with lack of selflessness, and what I have been saying for months is that the entirety of our society is insufficiently selfless. I will continue to say it and will continue to be flayed for it by people whose feelings are hurt by it because… Well, if one is not self interested then one does not care what I think or say about them.
I would suggest that “things that are harder to treat” deserve more of our funding than “things that are easier to treat” not less of our funding. You don’t give up on something just because it is not easy. JFK, “We do these things not because they are easy, but because they are hard.”
And I have been to Father Joe’s Village, which feeds homeless, houses more than 1000 homeless women and children every night, provides food baskets to low income families, provides shelter to recovering alcohol and drug addicts, offers counsleing services… I think they spend money very well indeed.
@Bill H: Your first comment asked us if we had ever watched someone with ALS die, then shared your own personal experience doing so. Your second example, MS, was also described in terms of your personal history observing it.
You’re not separating your own feelings from what you support. You just don’t realize that you’re doing what other people quite naturally do — have their consciousness, and their desire to act, heightened by a tangible connection with a problem. And you either purposely or quite densely pretend that I was advocating against selflessness when I was pretty obviously just questioning your bizarre and rather self-serving (or, more precisely, wife-serving) definition of it.
You’re not impressing here.
Really? So does your wife give money to “crisis pregnancy centers” that show horrible films to pregnant women to try and convince them not to have abortions because, after all, how she feels about the cause is less important than whether or not the organization needs money?
There has to be some kind of determining factor about how you give your charitable donations because, frankly, not every cause is worthy of support. George Zimmerman really needs money for his legal defense right now — is your wife going to send him a couple of hundred dollars because how she feels about his shooting of Trayvon Martin is less important than the fact that Zimmerman needs the money?
Everyone chooses which causes they support based on their own personal beliefs. Am I supposed to stop donating to Doctors Without Borders because I believe that getting crisis healthcare to civilians trapped in war zones is important?
Also, yes, I feel some connection to breast cancer victims because my mother died of it when I was seven years old. So fuck you for trying to make me feel guilty for supporting breast cancer organizations because I feel emotional about the early death of my mother.
“You’re not separating your own feelings from what you support.” Where did you get the idiotic idea that I make some special effort to support ALS treatment or prevention? I did not say anything of the sort, and I do not do so.
Interesting group here. Not only do you not accept the principle of selfless giving but you are actually offended by it and insult me for suggesting it. I thought that was a conservative approach, but perhaps it is merely a modern approach.
So, Mnemosyne, fuck you for suggesting that self satisfaction is the purpose of charity.
A Humble Lurker
@Bill H: You’re the one who was making the case for ALS and MS with your own personal anecdotes. You’re making yourself look like a hypocrite.