Sunday, December 23, 2012

Is all this controversy really needed?

Human beings are very good at giving a moments peace...and then giving in to the appeal of controversy. We  see it in the news after every tragedy. A mass murder turns into a debate about gun control and health care reforms in less than 24 hours, with each of those innocent lives lost being used as mortars against each other side's attacks.

Amy's passing has made me realize that the controversy never stops where people say it does. It is never just the media, never just the politicians, and never just the activists. It is a habit of humanity, not of news reporters, an act of American citizens, not limited to radical party leaders. I have witnessed it within my family, friends, and just in glimpses of conversation on the street. Amy's passing was a tragedy within my family and her network of peers, friends, and students. But just as is seen with so many tragedies, it did not take long for me to recognize the controversy.

Many people whose lives have been impacted by breast cancer have a passionate desire to work towards a cure. For some it may be as simple as getting a yearly mammogram and reminding their friends to get theirs. For others it may be participating in races, walks, and cycling that fund raise for research and education. And for some still the fundraising and education never stops. Many of those that participate in fundraising causes pick a "favorite" (if you will) organization they consistently participate with. There are so many organizations that are working towards a cure (whether through funding research, education, treatment, or all three):

Susan G. Komen for the Cure
Avon Foundation: Breast Cancer Crusade
IBC Network 
Breast Cancer Fund...and others.

In the past month I have heard criticisms against so many of these wonderful organizations..."Oh that organization doesn't do enough with IBC", "Well this organization only donates x-amount to research","Most of that fundraising goes to payroll".

Why is any of that needed? There are many organizations doing great things in our communities, and many have focuses in different areas of funding...that's the beauty of it! We have one organization that donates a majority of funds to research, one to education, and one to assisting in treatments. All of these things are critical to continued survival of breast cancer sufferers, survivors, and potential patients.

My "favorite" has always been Susan G. Komen for two reasons:
1. Accessibility to a young woman through college and early stages of her career with regards to the availability of information and fundraising opportunities I can take part in
2. A large portion of their funding goes to education ($140 million), and still grants $75 million to researchers and research projects.

You can pick your favorite, but here isn't a need for criticism of others trying to help solve the same problem.  I have decided to take the journey of the Susan G. Komen 3 Day walk again in loving memory of my Aunt Amy. I have a goal to raise $3,000 by November. I will proudly walk in this event and I will reach my goal. Please don't let "favoritism" get in the way of helping those around you that are trying to reach their goals, because some day the small goals they reach themselves may help reach the goal we all strive to achieve...a cure for breast cancer.