Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Check out this great breast cancer awareness poster

From Breast Cancer Survivor to Skinny Ms. Slow Cooker

I love to cook, but I only get the chance to do it a few times a month. So especially in the winter, I like to use my slow cooker, it lets me make a decent size batch of food and put a few dinners in the freezer.

So I thought it was pretty cool that a two-time breast cancer survivor penned a healthy slow cooker book. 

“Skinny Ms. Slow Cooker: Natural Recipes for a Healthy Lifestyle” by Tiffany McCauley and Gale Compton. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ho

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Komen Quandary

One of my favorite bloggers posted recently about the Komen quandary.

Bridget is a delightful young woman who was diagnosed with MBC at the age of 21.

She works with Komen, and her defense of the organization is very well thought out, I encourage you to read it.


If I was in her shoes, I too would not want to quibble with the people who did so much for me.

BUT (sigh)

I just have to say something about the whole idea of politics and advocacy.

They are the same thing.

The American Cancer Society has a campaign called the "Power of the Purse." The whole idea is to lobby Washington for more funding. A totally reasonable thing to do if you are the ACS. But to say it is not political is silly. It may not be partisan, but it's political.

Komen too has an advocacy alliance. 


There is nothing wrong with that, it's not sneaky, it is part of our system. We can't all go knock on doors on Capitol Hill. But to say that politics plays no role in these organizations is just plain silly.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

I'm not sure this is better

While many supporters of Komen have breathed a sigh of relief at the reversal of the PP decision, it actually left me feeling a bit more concerned about the organization.

What concerned me was not the funding choice, but the way they defended themselves.

The claim that this was not a political decision seems hard to believe.

They wanted to end their relationship with a controversial, headline making grantee.

I believe they were hoping to steer clear of politics, something I actually think could be defended.

If they had clearly explained their rationale for the decision, if they had presented an alternative way of funding screening, they might have had some people unhappy but it would probably not have engendered the snowball of fury.

Transparency. In the news biz, when we make a mistake, transparency helps.

Own up to what happened, and explain what is going to change.

I may be alone here, but I actually lost faith in their integrity. The flip-flop seems like a knee jerk reaction.

This may seem crass, but really they need to focus group these big decisions.

Does anyone watch, "The Good Wife," on CBS? They need a real life Ari Gold.

Thursday, February 2, 2012


I have been really dreading writing about the Komen controversy, and I kind of want to hit the delete button.

Also I tend to be kind of a fence sitter on these things, as a professional journalist my instinct is to try to be neutral.

So for a moment I am going to put aside the right/wrong part of the issue, and look at it from a different point of view.

For quite a while Komen has been making tone deaf PR moves.

The fried chicken is a classic example. The organization, to me, does not seem to understand that it's future is based on public perception.

I think I understand their rationale for pulling the Planned Parenthood funding. 700 thousand dollars is a small fraction of their funding, and I believe they only utilized PP in smaller cities.

I can imagine them saying, the distraction of Planned Parenthood is not worth it, and it's distorting our central message.

There was an organization that pulled their pink "for the cure" bible (I think it was a bible) because of the association.

I can imagine the conversation that said, we need to be apolitical and keep the focus on curing breast cancer.

But what they have not done is communicate any sort of a plan to send those women somewhere else. Maybe there is a plan, if so, they need to communicate it.

They don't seem to have any idea how to manage a crisis, and they seem to have lost their voice.

I still believe Komen does a lot of good, really I do. I love a lot of women who are involved with the organization. I have really enjoyed participating in their events.

But this one decision has exploded in a way the fried chicken or perfume dustups have not.

Women who really gave their all for Komen are turning away.

To be honest, I have always suggested that people donate to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, which is sort of the un-Komen. But I still respect that Komen has been very good at creating community connections. It is sort of a VFW for women who have been in the cancer war. They are places no other organization is.

I feel like a friend who wants to do an intervention.

Komen please do what it takes to get back in touch with the rank and file.