The Star Tribune is the latest to report on an issue we’ve reported on before on this blog. Their story, “Lawsuits For the Cure?,” begins:
Sue Prom helped organize the “Mush for a Cure” sled-dog race to raise money to fight breast cancer five years ago, a fundraiser that was humming along nicely until it received a letter from an attorney for the organization Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
Komen, best known for its pink ribbons, Mother’s Day runs and other mega-fundraisers for breast cancer research, asked Prom to stop using the phrase “for a cure” and to halt its request for a Mush for a Cure trademark.
“It was like, ‘You’ve got to be kidding,'” said Prom, whose all-volunteer fundraiser outside Grand Marais, Minn., raised about $30,000 last year.
“People are donating money to this organization [Komen] to fight cancer — not to fight another organization fighting breast cancer….We raised thousands of dollars for breast cancer and don’t pay ourselves a dime. Then someone with really deep pockets tries to make life difficult for you. It’s not a warm fuzzy feeling you get from a beloved brand.”
Last week, the Chemobabe blog posted, “Komen Has Crossed the Line.” Excerpts:
While I have had fun making fun of all the pink crap that purports to support breast cancer patients, I have avoided direct criticism of the Susan Komen Foundation. Until now.
Friends, I have to speak up. While the unity may be 100% real, the purpose has become distorted. I feel that these women and the people who donate to them are being misled. I do not like to see people’s good intentions exploited.
I realize I’m a little late to the Komen critique party. Heck, there’s an entire blog dedicated to Komen oversight. Others have already pointed out how little of Komen’s money goes to research. More egregiously, they have trademarked the phrase For the Cure® and they sue smaller organizations for using it. …
What was the straw that broke my back? It’s (Komen founder) Nancy (Brinker)’s latest product, Promise Me perfume.
My outrage is simple and comes in three parts: linking cancer to a perfume, the weird beauty breast cancer connection, and the misleading use of the money.
1. Many people in chemo, myself included, become incredibly chemically sensitive. I almost passed out when a woman at my gym sprayed perfume in the locker room. I was shaking and it took a half an hour for the episode to pass. The last thing I wanted to be near or around was any kind of fragrance. There is even evidence that fragrance may be carcinogenic – For the Cure® indeed!
2. Why do we have beauty products to raise funds and awareness for breast cancer alone? It is the only form of cancer that demands that we stay beautiful, even as we puke our guts out and lose our hair. Komen perpetuates this ideal.
3. This “floriental” scented perfume costs $59.00. Of that, how much do you think goes to research? If you said $1.51, you are correct! (Thanks for the math, Uneasy Pink!) Since Komen spends a minuscule fraction of that on researching metastatic disease, very little of your fifty-nine bucks is going toward a cure.