This week there are bandwagons and soap boxes turning the fight against breast cancer into a political debate. I am all for opinions and freedom of speech and I am really for donating money to causes you believe in. Those are some of the greatest aspects of being American, we get to speak, and decide and give at will.
So, for the record (if anyone is even keeping one) I am PRO-BREAST and the women behind them! I am for Democrat breasts and Republican ones. Rich ones, poor ones, and middle class ones. Young ones and old ones. Big ones, small ones, and sagging ones. Motherly breasts, sisterly breasts, and daughterly breasts.
And also (for the record) I am Pro – brain, colon, lung, ovary, cervix,blood, bone, liver, skin, prostate…. any part of the body that can be attacked by this devastating disease I am for. If there is hand cancer, I will run a 5K to support “saving the pinkies.” If it seems that I am simplifying the issue, I am. Bottom line, I believe that we need to spend money and time on education and prevention. We need to provide screenings, treatment and psychological support. We need to offer counseling and aid to families going through the struggle. We need to work hard and fast to find better treatments and cures.
The controversy all over the internet and news this week is in regards to the Susan G Komen foundation and their discontinued contributions to Planned Parenthood. While I have listened and read, there are a few aspects that I can’t seem to get past.
1) If so many people wanted their money to go to Planned Parenthood, why didn’t they donate directly to them? When you donate money to one organization, in hopes that they will then donate your money to another organization, you are just wasting a good portion of your donation money on the administrative costs of 2 charities.
2) I am just guessing here, but I am fairly confident that Susan G Komen will still continue to fight against Breast Cancer (fund breast exams and mammograms, educate, support, etc.) they will just do so through other venues. So it isn’t like they were all about breasts and people donated their money and then SGK switched their focus to Saving the Whales. And don’t get me wrong, I am not against whales. They are great. I am just making a point that SGK is still an organization that will support ending breast cancer.
I am not going to argue about statistics, nor am I going to compare the salaries of each charity’s president. Instead I will say this:
Planned Parenthood saves lives. Even if you want to argue that performing abortions diminishes this, it is ignorant to discount the good that is being done. If you disagree with their policies, then don’t donate to them, that is your right. If you think they should be supported, then do so, that is also your right.
Susan G Komen also fights breast cancer. Any organization that can get 60,000 women out in the street celebrating the lives of survivors, honoring the lives of those who have passed and reminding us all to do self exams is a success. Even if those events didn’t raise 1 cent, they would still be worthwhile. I hate to think that upcoming races will be turned into political rallies or places of protest. The survivors deserve better than that.
So what does that mean for me?
If a local Temple is holding a bake sale to help a struggling cancer patient cover her medical bills, I am going to buy a cupcake (even if it isn’t Gluten-free) because I applaud their work. It does not mean that I am going to convert to Judaism.
If a hospital that doesn’t accept my health insurance hosts a half marathon to raise money for research, I will not be angry that they must be “anti-military” by not accepting tricare. I will run, and donate, and pray that their findings somehow impact us all.
And someday, if I am drowning in the nightmare of breast cancer and someone reaches out a helping hand, I am going to take hold of it. I WILL NOT CARE if that hand is attached to body that has a different faith, skin color, bank account, political affiliation or history than mine.
Let us all remember again what the fight is really about. It isn’t against each other. It isn’t right or left. Good or bad. We are ALL still fighting the same monster.