Making a Difference through Fundraising: Komen for the Cure
by Bonnie Friedmann
Fundraising isn’t always easy, but it helps me remember that as a UU my faith is “deeds, not creeds.” As a 14-year cancer survivor, I try to live that idea by taking part in the Susan G. Komen for the Cure 3-Day Walk to help raise money for breast cancer research. The 3-Day Walk this year, my 5th, will take place on Sept. 29, 29 and 30 in Philadelphia, and I will walk 60 miles with my teammates, Ingrid and Charlie. Each of us must raise a minimum of $2,300 to participate, which means I have to work up the courage to ask people to give me money, not just by email but in person. Last week I asked around at our German bowling league and got the expected response—a bit of eye-rolling, a couple of angry people spitting out that they had lost someone to cancer (as if how dare I survive), and a couple of people who shared stories as fellow survivors and gave to my little piece of the cause
Komen for the Cure was started in 1982 by Nancy G. Brinker, the sister of Susan G. Komen, after Susan died of breast cancer. Since then, the promise to help save others from early death with better treatment and diagnoses, and even to find a cure, has been the US-based foundation’s goal. With 3-Day Walks in many communities since then, the foundation has been a major contributor to raising not just funding but awareness, and it also sponsors services for low-income women. Also sponsored is a 5 km “Komen Race for the Cure,” which takes place in other countries, too. In Germany, the fourth annual Frankfurt Race for the Cure will be held on Sept. 30th.
The events themselves are amazing—one is inspired and brought to tears, having to confront up close and personal how short our life on this lovely planet really is, surrounded by survivors, supporters, and memories of the many lost to this disease.
The walk is an adventure; it helps me stay strong, and it helps save lives. The statistics are out there: breast cancer is the most common cancer among women, even very young women. I was 40 when I was diagnosed, when my son was four years old.
As a 14-year cancer survivor, I know Komen and its supporters helped save my life. I hope you will consider supporting us—I am almost to my fundraising goal of $2,300, about $430 short after my bowling buddies ponied up. I know I will get there, so please help my teammates. Ingrid has been my best friend since 7th grade and is joining me in Philadelphia for her second walk from her home in North Carolina, and she still has $1,000 to go. The unbelievable Charlie was on my very first team in 2005, when I walked fresh from chemo to take back my life. Philly is his 13th walk, and he has already made his fundraising goal—there’s no stopping that guy! You can access our fundraising links and stories by clicking on our names above. If you can’t donate directly (sometimes the online process doesn’t work in Europe for some techno reason inexplicable to me), just send me a quick email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I will make sure you have the chance to help in any way you can. Even a few euros are appreciated big-time! By supporting organizations like Komen, we can make a difference, helping others as I was helped 14 years ago.