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Komen Puget Sound Still Feeling Effects Of Backlash

Ruby de Luna

The Puget Sound affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Foundation has given more than $2 million in grants to help local efforts in breast cancer screening and treatment. It's $100,000 more than what the chapter gave last year. But funding for future grants is uncertain. As KUOW's Ruby de Luna reports, the foundation is still feeling the backlash from a national controversy earlier this year.


The Puget Sound chapter of the Komen Foundation saw a drop in revenue by 44 percent. The foundation is experiencing a drop in donations and in the number of people registering for their biggest fundraising event, the Race for the Cure.

Cheryl Shaw: "We very much rely on the race for a significant part of our grant funding."

Cheryl Shaw is executive director of Komen Puget Sound. She says they're still feeling the sting from a decision by the foundation's national office. Last December, executives decided to cut funding to Planned Parenthood. Public outcry prompted foundation leaders to reverse that move.

The foundation is trying to move on and focus on fundraising to help fight breast cancer. Shaw says she hopes former Komen supporters will focus on their record: 18 years providing funds for low–income women to get screened and to get treatment for the disease.

Shaw: "And we have not waivered on our commitment, and we will not waiver on our commitment, even in these times."

This year, the Komen Foundation gave the largest grant to the State Department of Health. More than $1 million will go toward the agency's Breast, Cervical and Colon Health program.

I'm Ruby de Luna, KUOW News.

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