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Credit: Reuters/Susan G. Komen for the Cure/Handout

As a person who has lost her mother to cancer, I am well aware of how devastating this horrible disease can be. I celebrate and support any organization with a mission to find a cure or provide support for those suffering from the disease. I have always admired the Susan G. Komen foundation, but as a result of its recent Planned Parenthood debacle, I have come to find out facts about the organization that are not so admirable.

As the saying goes, when the media smells a rat they keep digging and it looks like the Komen Foundation may just be a big smelly rat hiding under the façade of a cute mouse. Here are some points to contemplate the next time you want to make a donation to the Komen Foundation.

  • Take a peek at the Komen website. Initially I thought you could purchase t-shirts and teddy bears, but I soon came to find that this is a full-fledged online shopping site where you can purchase anything from a bottle of Komen perfume to a “passionately pink ribbon dessert pan.” But the item that really just does not sit well with me is the featured item, the “Chemo Beanie,” that costs a whopping $25.00.  My first question is why? Who thought about this name? Who thought it would be a good idea?  And why is it so expensive? There is nothing cute or joyful about Chemotherapy. Is the Komen Foundation trying to inspire hope? Or have they found the perfect way to capitalize on a deadly disease that takes the lives of millions of women every year?
  • Science has shown that Bisphenol A (BPA) can cause cancer and inhibit the effectiveness of cancer fighting medicines. BPA peddling corporations such as General Mills and Coca-Cola donate to the Komen Foundation. It seems that although Komen’s mission is based on cancer prevention, they are gladly accepting money from companies that knowingly produce products that do just the opposite. What does this mean about Komen’s stance against breast cancer? Does it value money over prevention?
  • According to Slate.com in their article entitled Sink Pink, the Komen CEO salary in 2010 was $459,406 a year. Reuters reports that Komen paid founder and CEO Nancy Brinker $417,712 in 2011, that’s a really good salary for the CEO of a nonprofit. Reuters also points out that over the years although the dollar amounts of grants Komen has given out has grown, it still does not account for the amount of money Komen has received from donations. There’s a disconnection— where does this missing money go?
  • Last but not least, why did the Komen Foundation really pull funding from Planned Parenthood? Was it political? Was it because they really didn’t want to fund an organization under congressional investigation? Is it simply that they were threatened by outside groups and pressured to stop funding?

All of these topics funnel down to one point: What exactly does the Susan G. Komen Foundation stand for? Perhaps the board should evaluate their mission statement and make some changes.

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