JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation's decision to pull funding it gave to Planned Parenthood for free breast exams has hurt its bottom line, which could hurt those suffering from breast cancer.
Janis Fleet, who won her battle against breast cancer two years ago, decided she would support the American Cancer Society over the Komen Foundation when it came to donating her time and money this year.
"I really was not happy with Komen's defunding Planned Parenthood. I feel Planned Parenthood is a good organization," said Fleet.
Fleet isn't the only one. The Komen Foundation's walk is about 20% behind its numbers last year. Chapters all over the country are seeing a similar trend.
"We have spent a lot of time helping folks, talking to them about the issues that surrounded that event," said Bruce Grob, the local Komen executive director
The open dialogue and even the foundation's quick reversal of its decision has not prevented the backlash's long term effects to take shape.
"They should not mix politics with their fight. I think it really hurt them..." said Grob.
Grob said he hopes people will separate the two issues, especially since the local Planned Parenthood has buried the hatchet and has its own team participating in the walk this year.
Less than a week out from its local, annual walk, the Komen Foundation needs a major push for participation or Grob said innocent people will pay the price.
"Komen funding has saved their lives and to know that we may not be able to fund next year a lot of those grants, at least not at the same level, because of the politics, it's sad. It hurts a lot of folks," said Grob.
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