RE: “Komen should be shut down” [Letters, Aug. 1]:
My sister Joanie and her daughter recently walked the Susan G. Komen three-day fundraiser in Cleveland. Pledges toward their commitment surpassed their goal, at $4,737.
I’m sorry, Steve Morgan, but I know that my sister would not have had 12 birthdays since her diagnosis at age 35 without Komen.
Nancy G. Brinker promised her dying sister, Susan G. Komen, in 1982, that she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer forever. Since then, according to Komen’s website, we have seen:
“More early detection: Nearly 75 percent of women over 40 years old now receive regular mammograms, the single-most-effective tool for detecting breast cancer early. (In 1982, less than 30 percent received a clinical exam.)
“More hope: The five-year survival rate for breast cancer, when caught before it spreads beyond the breast, is now 98 percent (compared to 74 percent in 1982).
“More research: The federal government now devotes more than $900 million each year to breast cancer research, treatment and prevention (compared to $30 million in 1982).
“More survivors: America’s 2.5 million breast cancers survivors, the largest group of cancer survivors in the U.S., are a living testament to the power of society and science to save lives.”
Sadly, the Susan G. Komen organization suffered a huge setback this year at the hand of a single individual, who has since resigned. Many have pulled their support.
We are seeing the results here in Vermont, with a fraction of the registrants for fundraising events compared to earlier years.
It’s a travesty.
Organizers of those events have shown us that the overwhelming majority of the funds they raise (an average of 75 percent) stay here, in our community.
No, Steve Morgan, unless many many folks feel the same way you do (and commit endless hours) with regard to local startup organizations replacing the Komen fundraising, women and men diagnosed, and yet-to-be-diagnosed, with breast cancer will suffer — and die. That’s not a sacrifice I’m willing to make.
I implore folks to continue to support Komen — for my friends and relatives who are survivors, for those who did not survive, for those yet to be diagnosed, and for my sister Joanie.
Laurie Bayer, Putney
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