Published: Monday, February 06, 2012, 8:00 PM - We are all here for the mission; saving lives and ending breast cancer forever guides what we do each and every day at Komen Oregon and southwest Washington. What we have experienced and witnessed over the past week is an extraordinary level of passion about the importance of preserving access to breast cancer screening and treatment for women in need.
Personally, as your local affiliate board president and breast cancer survivor, I could not agree more. I consider myself fortunate, having had the means to catch it early. And, because my mother, father, sister and I all have had this terrible disease in common, my passion for our mission of saving lives and ending breast cancer runs deep and pure. There is no confusion in my mind between politics and mission; that clarity is what I bring to the table and what guides our local affiliate.
My heart breaks though, over who will pay the greatest price for Komen headquarters' costly mistake that has caused politics and emotions to shift our focus away from our mission. The real loss is to the low-income and underserved women and their families throughout Oregon and southwest Washington who do not have the means for early detection for a disease that can have an almost 100 percent survival rate if found early.
Seventy-five percent of the money raised by Komen Oregon through individual and corporate contributions and events such as Portland and Eugene Race for the Cure stay local to support women in need with resources and access to breast cancer screening and treatment. In partnership with the state of Oregon, we are able to provide more than 8,000 life-saving mammograms for low-income and underserved women each year.
The remaining 25 percent of money raised by Komen Oregon is pooled with affiliates on a national level to specifically fund research, one important key to ending breast cancer forever.
Local dollars are not spent on national Komen advocacy efforts -- a clear distinction we feel important to point out.
Despite the series of recent decisions made by Komen headquarters that has cast doubt upon our commitment to our mission of saving women's lives, my hope is that Komen's 30-year track record of stewardship and fiscal responsibility will count for something.
We have more detailed information on how your dollars are invested locally on our website, komenoregon.org.
For those of you considering marking us off your donation list, please carefully consider who will pay the greatest price from reduced support. Local women who need our resources will see their access to breast cancer screening and their fighting chance of early detection diminish.
Komen Oregon and southwest Washington's commitment to our mission is, and will always be, unwavering.
- Marta Monetti
Monetti is board president of the Oregon and southwest Washington affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure.