Learn more about Komen Puget Sound and our relationship with Planned Parenthood - View Fact Sheet
[Seattle Times Article Copy Below]
Last week, a decision by the national headquarters of Susan G. Komen for the Cure to adopt a new grant policy attracted a great deal of attention. The Board and staff of Komen Puget Sound opposed the new national policy from the start. We did so because of its far reaching implications and potential to severely compromise our ability to serve the health and well-being of mothers, wives, sisters and daughters in Puget Sound. The National Komen office heard our concerns, and the feedback of many other Komen affiliates, in addition to the public outcry, and they quickly reversed their decision.
Still, the incident has called into question the integrity of the Komen cause for the first time in the organization’s 30-year history. As a result, we are actively reaching out to communicate the important work Komen Puget Sound is doing in our local community every day to save lives and pursue a cure for breast cancer, which killed nearly 800 women in Washington last year alone.
Seventy-five percent of the donations to Komen Puget Sound are invested in our local community and the remaining twenty-five percent are pooled with Affiliates on a national level to specifically fund research into discovering a cure for breast cancer. It’s important to note that not a penny of the funds raised locally is spent on national Komen advocacy efforts.
Last year, Komen Puget Sound funded over 13,000 lifesaving mammograms for low income and underserved women in our community. In addition, we provided nearly 30,000 local women with breast cancer education, diagnostic services, patient assistance and treatment support. We work closely with several local organizations including the YWCA of Seattle/King & Snohomish County, International Community Health Services, Franciscan Foundation, UW School of Medicine, Cancer Lifeline and Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest as well as the Washington State Department of Health.
I recognize and feel the frustration and confusion caused by decisions made by the national office of Susan G. Komen. I am saddened that valued supporters are now telling us they will never have anything to do with Komen again. I respect their decisions, but here is the truth. If donations are directed away from Komen Puget Sound, it is women – and underserved women in particular – who will suffer.
We at Komen Puget Sound will continue to support the best and most effective programs in our community to the best of our funding and ability. Our dedication to the mission of saving lives and ending breast cancer forever is as strong as ever. We can, and we will, achieve it.
Cheryl Shaw is the Executive Director of the Puget Sound Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, a breast cancer survivor and a walker in this year’s Susan G. Komen 3-Day.