What do you want for Mother's Day? I'm a mother of five, and the first wish on my list would be to hear from my own mother, who died of breast cancer seven years ago. To that end, my daughter looked into a meeting with one of my favorite television personalities, Theresa Caputo, also known the Long Island Medium, but there's a three-year waiting list.
So now on to number two on my list, which is a little more difficult: I want Susan G. Komen for the Cure's former senior vice president of public policy, Karen Handel, to apologize for ripping through the organization like a tornado to promote her own personal beliefs.
Perhaps I shouldn't say so. After all, I am this year's survivor fund-raising chair for the Philadelphia Komen Race for the Cure, which is on Mother's Day.
But the truth is that for the first time in Komen's 30-year history, someone was allowed to bring her personal politics into an organization where they do not belong. Partly as a result, registration for the Philadelphia event is down by nearly a fifth from last year, and similar declines have been reported around the country.
It's time for Handel to apologize and try to make things right. And it's time for Komen's national leadership to clear up the confusion with full disclosure and transparency about what is now known as the "Planned Parenthood debacle," in which Komen threatened to withdraw funding for the organization. (The threat was withdrawn, and Handel resigned, following a public outcry in February.)
I also want to give the gift that I would like to get for Mother's Day. Although I am not personally responsible for them, I apologize for the actions of Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
The facts are that over the past five years, Komen affiliates' grants to Planned Parenthood have funded 139,000 clinical breast exams and nearly 5,000 mammograms, enabling the detection of 177 breast cancers. No one ever even suggested changing the Philadelphia affiliate's support for Planned Parenthood. And to ensure that something like this doesn't happen again, Komen affiliates are forming an affiliate leadership council and task force that will include representation on the organization's national board of directors and will take part in its management decisions.
And now on to number three on my list of Mother's Day wishes. As I, a two-time breast cancer survivor, walk for the first time in the Susan G. Komen Philadelphia Race for the Cure as part of team Soni's Day, in memory of my mother, I want everyone to support my team by joining me on Sunday and donating to the cause. After all, I am this year's survivor fund-raising chair.