Does "support" include treatment?

Komen just received a $1 million grant to tell poor ladies in the Rust Belt about breast cancer. Over the next four years, the program will train nearly 500 lay health advisors [first in Ohio, then east and west] to provide education and outreach on breast cancer in 17 communities served by Key Bank and Komen Affiliates nationwide. Lay health advisors will provide information, referrals to health care resources, one-on-one consultations, assistance with scheduling, support during health care visits and more.

Komen founder and CEO, Ambassador Nancy G. Brinker, said the grant will help Komen reach women who otherwise might not be helped. “These women may be unaware of their risk for breast cancer, unable to access the health care system for answers, or unsupported if they do need treatment. Our mission is to ensure that all women have the information and support they need to confront this disease. This commitment from KeyBank Foundation will help make that possible.”

Are these women going to be treated for their cancer? Is Komen going to get them mammograms and biopsies and MRIs and surgery and chemo and radiation? Will these disadvantaged women be trained to find out what they need, and then discover on their own that they can't get it it? I'm all for helping people who need help, but there's help and then there's help. The adviser can make an appointment for you, but who's going to foot the bill?? I can't find any more info about this on the web, and we bloggers are known as parasites of mainstream media, feeding on what's already out there, ready to quick-draw our opinions. Oh no, does this mean I'll have to do some original reporting? Stay tuned.


CancerCultureChronicles said...

This is a perfect example of what I feel like I've been banging on about these past few weeks in the blogosphere. We're so busy making everybody "aware" but it all seems to stop there. As I keep asking, we make people aware, potentially get them diagnosed, and then what??? Hope they get treatment? Hope they live to tell the tale? There's a lot just hanging on "hope" and nothing in this campaign that gives me reason to think we're moving the fight forward. I'm staying tuned!

Northwestern MA/MFA said...

Thanks for writing. Apparently there's already a group in Ohio that's doing the advising, and because of its track record, it's receiving the money from the bank foundation. So what is its track record? How many cases identified and treated? I looked at the Plain Dealer on line and it doesn't seem like there are any reporters there asking these questions.
C. Bitch

nancyspoint said...

I believe quality health care is a right for all Americans. What are these women supposed to do? Finding out you are at risk or have cancer isn't much good if you can't be treated...

Gayle Sulik said...

You are asking crucial questions here about how that $1 million will be spent. Why didn't the journalist who reported the story think to ask those questions and then dig a little deeper to find out the answers? There are too many feel good fluff pieces about all that good money going to the good cause. Millions and millions and millions of dollars spent. To what end? I'm looking forward to hearing what you find out.

Northwestern MA/MFA said...

I'm away from home (50 miles!) and will be busy for awhile. I hope that tomorrow (Tues.) i'll have time to make calls. If not, Wed.
C. Bitch

The Accidental Amazon said...

Hi, Sandi, how are you these days? Thanks for writing this. You ask the "$64,000 question," - which probably costs more than that these days. It would not have taken much more effort on the part of any journalist reporting on this to include at the very least the web address for the insurance options finder at, instead of leaving readers with the same questions you & all of us have after reading this. Sigh... We'll all have to keep doing more reporting.

Plastic Surgeons Atlanta said...

Yes there is a need to widen the circles of cure and medical help in bigger realms and any such help and support is much appreciated.This is a very happy news.

Cancer Bitch said...

Yes, Accidental Amazon, there is much work to do. As Rabbi Tarfon said, "It is not incumbent upon you to finish the job, however, neither are you free from doing all you can to complete it."

Anonymous said...

Here is some info about Metavivor, Chronic Disease Fund, Sisters Network, Driving Miss Darby and Abigail Alliance. I think they are making a difference!

Anonymous said...

Hi All,

I'm a breast cancer activist here in Ohio. As near as I can tell, Key is just re-bundling pots of money it normally gives to hospitals and other cancer groups. Instead of going directly to those providers, it is now being funneled through Komen. Some appears to be money that used to go to ACS for their patient navigation program.

NE Ohio Komen is a highly predatory chapter. They spend a great deal of money and time duplicating the work of other breast cancer groups and programs, while gradually stealing their funding. Its been very destructive to breast cancer patients in NE and NW Ohio, one reason why we still have such high bc mortality rates among the uninsured here. Most uninsured patients still ping pong around the system for weeks or months at a time before getting treatment.

Hospitals are afraid to question them for fear of being cut off from Komen's "research" grants. Key Bank also competes with National City (now PNC) who has a pink ribbon credit card. A few years ago National City began giving their money to that Texas group that tells you to click on the pink ribbon to give someone a free mammogram.

Yeah, NE Ohio is the domain of the sharp elbowed breast cancer kings and queens and the rest of us serfs manage to make do with occasional crumbs from the royal table.

What? I thought it was like this everywhere else. Are we worse off than the rest of you guys ;-)?

Cancer Bitch said...

Thanks, Anonymous. Has any of this been documented publicly? So much energy going in the wrong direction.
C. Bitch

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