05 August 2008

What to do

I was caught off-guard by the arrival of a pink envelope today.

Having a big, extended family has it pros; today it's a con. The wife of one of my many cousins, one that I'm fairly close to, is doing the Breast Cancer 3-Day Walk. So is another cousin who lives in California, although he hasn't contacted me for money this year...yet.

The letter talks about her mother's battle with breast cancer and how she is now standing up to do something about it. More power to her.

My mother battled for ten long, painful years with this disease. I was young when my mother discovered the cancer and starting college when she lost her battle. Although I had a wonderfully, blessed childhood, it was filled with this monster disease that stomped through our lives and caused me grow up faster than any kid should. Days were spent in doctor's offices, hospitals and clinics. There were surgeries, chemo treatments, radiation treatments, experimental treatments, remission. And then it would start all over again, worse and more virulent.

By the time my mother was finally, definitely terminal, I had confided in my father that I was just so tired of the roller coaster, so tired of the hopes that were dashed and tired of round after round of bad news, that I prayed this was it, that my mother's suffering and our family's would finally, mercifully, be at an end. My strong, protective father looked at me with tears in his eyes, the only time I would ever see them, and was barely able to choke out the words, "I do too, honey."

I think an overwhelming number of families have experiences very similar to this one.

The problem here is the connection between the Susan G. Komen Foundation and the grants it provides to groups like Planned Parenthood, GLBT foundations and fetal stem cell research. The Hadley bloggers did a good job addressing this around Mother's Day this year, and other internet searches will provide more information than I can.

So, I had to write a very uncomfortable letter to my cousin. I was as kind as I could be in my letter because I believe my cousin sincerely wants to make a difference with this disease, who doesn't, but I simply explained I couldn't support such an anti-life organization.

Good luck with the 3-day, my prayers go with you.


Chris said...

It is unfortunate that the majority of advocacy and research groups like SGK support embryonic stem cell research (and in this case Planned Parenthood too).
I recently found this site which promotes alternatives to embryonic stem cell research- http://www.stemcellresearch.org/
You might be interested in the Pope Paul VI Institute too, if you don't know of it already. http://www.popepaulvi.com/

Sanctus Belle said...

I had heard that about the pink ribbon walking thingee...but had forgotten - thanks for the reminder. I'm so sorry about your mother. I was an oncology nurse for a couple of years - the younger the patient, the more deadlier the disease. I pray your mother rests in peace and recommend her to Mary's prayers. Amen+

Mairin :o) said...

I only found out after I volunteered at the walk where sgk donated. I was so unhappy.

gemoftheocean said...

Monica, when I was with my mother in the hospital in the hours just before she died, I did pray for God to take her then, because it reached the point where it wasn't fair to her to be suffering like that. It's almost 13 years to the day since that happened (she died in the wee hours of Aug. 8th, 95.)

I told myself then that I wanted to remember that prayer, so that if ever I was missing her, I'd remember that I prayed that she deserved to be in Heaven.

And good reminder about watching WHERE charities give their research money to. My mother would not have been wanted to be cured on the death of innocents.


Adrienne said...

My Mom died about 26 years ago when I was 36 from breast cancer. I was so glad when she finally went home.

I think you made the right decision and your cousin will understand...

swissmiss said...

Thanks for the link, Chris. I'll have to hang on to that. I did know about the Pope Paul Institute because I use the Creighton model of NFP. Great resource for many things.

Thanks for the prayers, Sanctus!

Mairin...I know how you feel. My cousin in CA does the walk, primarily with my mom in mind, and I sent him money the first year before I knew. He didn't ask me last year since he was too busy, but am waiting to hear from him this year. Another uncomfortable letter I'll have to write :)

Karen and Adrienne:
The walk takes place in September and my cousin's letter was all about the major events in her life that take place in Sept. My mother died in Sept, so it's kind of ironic. Why can't these organizations just do good instead of having to muck stuff up!

Tara said...

So sorry you had to experience the "roller coaster." Satan gets support for his causes by mixing his bad causes with good causes--you didn't fall for the deception--good for you.

Cathy_of_Alex said...

Swissy: I, too, lost my mother to breast cancer but I'm with you regarding the stand against Komen. No way.

Anonymous said...

If you do more research, and by research I do not mean reading what others write on blogs you will see that these are all false accusations. Shame on your for not supporting your cousin, and for not wanting that others in the future do not fight the same battle that your own mother fought.

The accusations and claims that these blogs write are false. And what you are doing is only casting judgement. This is why so many turn away from the church, not because the church is wrong, but people like you all that claim to be the church.

As a catholic and a breast cancer survivor, it saddens me that so much energy is put into this argument. I can't help but to think that it's these conversations, and these barriers that have kept organization such as Komen for the Cure from finding a cure. How much longer are women going to have to suffer from this disease?

I urge you to read this statement from the Diocese of Little Rock. Interestingly enough, I found it simply by googling "Komen for the Cure and Catholic". It was the first hit listed. Maybe in the future you will make more educated statements.


swissmiss said...

Contrary to your claims, as I stated I am supporting my cousin with prayers and encouragement, but I will not send financial support.

My research was not just "other blogs", I merely cited one that addressed the issue as a reference. Look at the link they cite in their blog post and you'll see the crux of what I'm against. Even the article you mention, says this:
I would note that there is a relatively small number of affiliates of Komen that do give grants to Planned Parenthood for breast examinations, treatment, and education, mostly in low-income areas where no other facility is available for the exams. While I understand the motivation for the grants in these instances, I would encourage the national Komen foundation to continue to seek alternate avenues where these exams might be given and to completely sever their connection with Planned Parenthood. Even this partnering, born out of apparent necessity, unintentionally gives credence and acceptability to Planned Parenthood due to Komen’s excellent reputation."

There are many other organizations that I do give money to and support in a variety of ways, but you assume I'm just sticking my head in the sand and sitting on my hands...

And, I NEVER claim to be the Church. I don't see how anyone could read that into my post.