Thousands of people flock to the Portland waterfront every September in support of the annual, Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.
But this year it was different.
With past participation reaching heights of 25 thousand walkers and runners, this year the amount of participants is not being disclosed, according to an article in the Oregonian.
Purely based on my own observation, the Portland Race for the Cure’s numbers have significantly dropped. This is not only the number of runners and walkers, but also the number of sponsors and vendors.
Many participants at the race on Sept. 15 said that they believed the lack of involvement was due to Komen’s actions early last year relating to Planned Parenthood.
One volunteer even went so far as to tell me that many Race for the Cure events have been effected. And, while the numbers of participants is not being disclosed, it was evident to me that there is a problem.
Though, Komen says the number of participants is not the point of the event, according to an article in the Oregonian, it is sure disappointing to see the lack of support.
While the event raised nearly $100,000 more than the 2012 race, it was the sense of community and support that drew me to the races for the past 15 years.
I think it is great that Komen was able raise more money than previous years to go towards the cause.
However, the support for those affected by the disease, the survivors and their families, should not solely be translated through the amount of money raised.
If it is the situation caused between Planned Parenthood and Komen that is causing the decrease in participation, I only have to say, people should go beyond the controversy.
This is a disease that can affect anyone: female, male, young, old and all races.
It’s time that the problems between those who are Pro-Choice and Pro-Life to be put to rest.
When it comes to events and causes that can better the lives of everyone, no matter what side you fall on, opinions should be set aside in order to join a better cause.
For those who are mad about Komen’s initial pull out from Planned Parenthood, these were the actions of a few individuals who did not give all the facts.
And, for those who are mad about Komen’s general involvement with Planned Parenthood, Komen, while they do provide money to Planned Parenthood, give money for mammograms and breast health.
It is my hope that in future events and fundraisers, Komen is not only able to raise the needed funds, but the much needed participants.
Breast cancer affects everyone, whether they know it or not, and it is up to all of us to fight it, regardless of where your political views stand.
Let’s not punish those affected most because of being Pro-Life or Pro-Choice.
I’m Pro-Support, and everyone deserves support.
Kaylyn Peterson / Managing editor
Kaylyn Peterson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.