Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Until now, I had the utmost respect for the work the Susan G. Komen Foundation carries out in the fight against breast cancer. But it has become abundantly clear that the people who run the organization are clueless and until they open their eyes, they don’t deserve our support.
The controversy involves Sen. Joe Lieberman and his wife, Hadassah Lieberman. Ms. Lieberman is a paid spokeswoman for the Susan G. Komen Foundation. However, Ms. Lieberman has also worked as a paid consultant for companies including Pfizer and ALCO, both of whom oppose healthcare reform.
Activists are pressuring the Susan G. Komen Foundation to cut ties with Hadassah Lieberman after her husband, Sen. Joe Lieberman, announced he would not support an expansion of Medicare to cover individuals under the age of 55. Activists did not point to that decision, instead citing Ms. Lieberman’s ties to the health care industry.
The effort to dump Hadassah Lieberman is led by blogger Jane Hamsher, founder of Firedoglake, herself a breast cancer survivor, Hamsher released the following statement:
“We are asking Ellen DeGeneres, Christie Brinkley and other high-profile celebrities who are associated with Komen to demand that no more money raised for cancer treatment be given to Hadassah Lieberman or any other ex-Pharma/Insurance strategists.”
In response, the Susan G. Komen Foundation went tone deaf, refusing to sever their ties with Ms. Lieberman:
“Hadassah Lieberman is an important and valued Global Ambassador for Susan G. Komen for the Cure. As a Global Ambassador, Ms. Lieberman is focused on helping us reach out and educate women outside our borders about breast cancer, sharing our knowledge and experience in a culturally sensitive way that is making a real impact on the lives of women across the globe. We have every intention of continuing our relationship with Ms. Lieberman in our mutual pursuit of a world without breast cancer.”
Without access to healthcare, an estimated 150,000 Americans die each year in the U.S. How many of them are women who find a lump in their breast and instead of seeking immediate medical care, ignore the problem until it’s too late? Unfortunately, none of this resonates with the Susan G. Komen Foundation. What does resonate with them is their high-profile relationship with Hadassah Lieberman.
As a man and a blogger who watched his mother and cousin battle breast cancer, I am calling on the Susan G. Komen Foundation to fire Hadassah Lieberman immediately.