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Kings Mountain, North Carolina, United States
"A mind lively and at ease" is a blog by a first-generation Russian-Ukrainian immigrant Maria K. (Maria Igorevna Kuroshchepova). An engineer by education, an analyst by trade, as well as a writer, photographer, artist and amateur model, Maria brings her talent for weaving an engaging narrative to stories of life, fashion and style advice, book and movie reviews, and common-sense and to-the-point essays on politics and economy.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Today... I am not walking

Several people asked me whether I was planning to once again participate in a Susan G. Komen's 3-Day For The Cure event. The answer, plainly, simply, and sadly is "no".

No, it's not about the money. Last year, I only raised one third of the $2,300 required to participate, and I paid the difference out of pocket and walked anyway.

No, it's not about the physical challenge. I had some issues with my feet last year, and I've been training to correct that. Besides, once you've done a 60-mile walk you know you can do it again.

No, there was nothing wrong with my previous experience. The volunteers, the supporters, the fellow walkers were incredible. If any of them are walking again this year, I wish them all possible success, no blisters and packs of BioFreeze close at hand.

The shock came in February - when Susan G. Komen Foundation threw Planned Parenthood under the bus. It backed away and took PP back later, following a huge public outcry, but we still don't know for how long and on what terms. I was a part of that outcry with my open letter to the organization.

Not wishing to be a "one issue" person, I did what many other former Komen supporters did: I went and looked deeper into its activities. I felt physically ill, and I am not exaggerating. While we were hoofing it all around Atlanta, Georgia to help fund breast cancer research, Komen was busy appointing Pro-Life conservatives to critical positions within the organization. Behind the adorable pink... everything: t-shirts, coffee mugs, hats, bracelet charms, teddy bears, and other merchandize were the disgraceful lawsuits against smaller organizations over the use of the words "for the cure".

I am neither the first nor the last person to become disillusioned and lose faith in something I believed in. But knowing what I know now, I cannot in good faith support Susan G. Komen Foundation or participate in its events. I shall continue contributing to my regular charities, and re-direct the money I would have normally sent to Komen either to Planned Parenthood or directly to one of the local breast cancer research centers.

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