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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Komen Breast Cancer Charity Cancels Races in 7 Cities

The Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation has canceled half of its “3-Day” fund-raising races around the country next year as it struggles to regain support nearly 18 months after its 2012 decision to withdraw funding for breast cancer screening at some Planned Parenthood affiliates.

Citing the economy and concerns about meeting fund-raising and volunteer participation goals in seven cities, Komen, the nation’s largest breast cancer advocacy organization, canceled its 2014 races in Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Phoenix, San Francisco, Tampa and Washington.

It will continue to hold races in Atlanta, Dallas/Fort Worth, Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Philadelphia, San Diego and Seattle.

After Komen announced its Planned Parenthood decision last year, many longtime supporters took their anger to social media platforms, leading Komen to restore the funds. The foundation, based in Dallas, has struggled to regain those supporters.

The announcement about the race cancellations was made on Monday on the Facebook page Komen had set up for the 3-Day races.

As the Susan G. Komen 3-Day continues to evolve, next year will bring changes that will affect many members of our Komen 3-Day family. The 2014 Susan G. Komen 3-Day will return to Atlanta, Dallas/Fort Worth, Michigan, Philadelphia, San Diego, Seattle and the Twin Cities. However, we are saddened to share that the 3-Day will not be returning to the following markets in 2014: Arizona, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Tampa Bay, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. Please note the 2013 3-Day series will continue as planned.

We are in the process of notifying all of the 3-Day family about plans for 2014, but wanted to share this news with you all here, too. The difficult decision to exit these markets was not made lightly, as we know this bold and empowering event has touched the lives of thousands of participants like you. While the 3-Day has brought great awareness to the breast cancer cause, participation levels over the last four years have made it difficult to sustain an event of this magnitude in 14 cities.

We’d like to thank all of our 3-Day participants for generously giving their support and participation to the Susan G. Komen 3-Day. We deeply appreciate your passion and commitment in helping find a cure for breast cancer and we hope all of you continue your support of the 3-Day and consider participation in one of the seven markets in 2014.

The decision prompted another wide-ranging conversation online, with some people writing on Twitter and Facebook that they were not surprised by the news.

Others expressed disappointment.

A Komen representative replied on Twitter:

A spokeswoman for Komen said on Wednesday that the decision would not affect other races sponsored by the foundation.

On Facebook, Paulene Layher Bitners, who has Stage 4 breast cancer, wrote that she had been looking forward to joining the walk in San Francisco in 2014 “as a ‘triumph’ walk.”

I had many wonderful supporters when I walk in SF in 2009…those people are now supporting me as I walk through Stage 4 Breast Cancer (stage 4 at diagnosis). I was looking forward to walking in SF in 2014 as a “triumph” walk…I will never be called a survivOR, but wanted to walk to show that I am survivING! Now, I won’t be able to walk at all as the travel expenses will be too much on top of the fund raising. So sad to see one more dream stolen from me!!!