Ginny Knackmuhs of the Metastatic Breast Cancer Network has posted a new ad from SGK that actually acknowledges Stage IV breast cancer. The ad itself is a good start, though SGK only takes credit for helping Bridget Spence find a new doctor and nothing about the paltry percentage of money raised that Komen allots to research.
Knackmuhs make a brilliant suggestion for what Komen really needs to say in an advert like this: The true source of HOPE for metastatic disease is research. That’s why we at Komen are dramatically increasing funding for research into the cause of metastases (the spread of cancer) to stop it in its tracks and save the lives of the estimated 155,000 women and men living with metastatic or stage IV breast cancer in the US, as well as the lives of 30% of early stage survivors who will have metastatic recurrences in the future.
Knackmuhs also suggests that those of us who are Stage IV or metastatic contact our local Komen organizations and thank them for the support shown in this advert, while telling them that we hope to see Komen devote more energy and funds to the study of Stage IV and metastatic breast cancer.
This idea gave me pause. After everything that has happened with SGK, from its pathetic allotment to research in general, its collusion with pharmaceutical companies to make breast into a chronic disease instead of finding a cure, its consistent denial of environmental factors linked to breast cancer (including bovine hormones, antibiotics, etc.,) the enormous operating costs ($500,000 a year to already multi-millionaire Nancy Brinker alone,) to its attempt to hold women’s healthcare hostage to political ideologies, SGK has failed to live up to its promise to women and men with breast cancer. I find it problematic that those of us who are dying from their neglect need to pat them on the head for one advert that says nothing about research, just helping someone find a better doctor.
Should we treat SGK the same way PETA treats McDonalds? Do we need to applaud each baby step they make toward doing what they should have been doing all along? To thank them for throwing us crumbs? I don’t know. I don’t know if I can be that forgiving for something this small. I don’t know if I’m that good a person.
What do you think?