Drowning in Pink

Something must be in the water. First, in January, there was the absurd cancer patient shaming that the awful Keller duo vomited on the public.  Now, we have Kohl’s and Susan G. Komen undermining the work of METAvivor, the only organization in the U.S. dedicated to awarding research funding for Stage IV breast cancer.

METAvivor was created during a time when there were ZERO patient advocacy  groups helping to give metastatic patients a voice and ZERO organizations dedicating funding for stage IV research.  Currently 30% of breast cancer patients develop metastatic disease. 30%.  Guess how much funding via breast cancer research is funneled their way? 2%.  Yep, 2%.  It’s abysmal. I encourage you to visit METAvivor’s (beautifully designed) website and learn more. You might be surprised to learn that metastatic patients can live for many years with their disease.  Through research and advocacy the goal is to preserve quality of life and manage disease for these patients.

So what’s the beef with Kohl’s and Susan G. Komen?

Kohl's steals METAvivor's breast cancer campaign

Kohl’s and Susan G. Komen essentially ripped off one of METAvivor’s advocacy campaigns, “Elephant in the Pink Room,” refuses to admit it, and didn’t even correctly interpret the goal of “Elephant in the Pink Room.”  In fact, they got it backwards.  The goal of “Elephant in the Pink Room” was to shed light on the fact that metastatic patients are left out of the pink movement.  There is no cure for metastatic disease and there is very little research dedicated to metastatic disease.  Pink campaigns that are “fun” and “exciting” do very little to highlight the reality that 30% of breast cancer patients will find themselves part of the metastatic patient family.  Its something no one wants to talk about on their cheery, pink awareness campaigns.

Kohl’s instead missed the point and says “It’s the pink elephant in the room.”  Hmmmm. Let’s pause for a moment. The point of METAvivor’s campaign is to point out that metastatic patients often feel like the elephant  in the room, not that breast cancer is the elephant in the room.  Let’s get real, at this point, awareness of breast cancer is not the problem.  You could easily argue that breast cancer is the most publicized, well-known cancer out there.  To go even farther in demonstration of the fact that they don’t understand that PINK is not the answer, Kohl’s then turned their logo and twitter page pink.  Pink does not save lives. Research, advocacy and medicine save lives.

To check out the blatant rip off of Metavivor’s campaign by Kohl’s please visit Nancy’s Point: a Blog about Breast Cancer and Loss.  Here you can see the images of Metavivor’s campaign and Kohl’s campaign.

Kohl’s/SGK are using a well-known successful advocacy campaign to make a profit and at the same time making a mockery of what Metavivor has worked so hard to achieve.  Please visit METAvivor’s blog where you can read exactly what is transpiring and how Kohl’s/SGK are unwilling to remove the elephant image used in their campaign and the messaging they stole from METAvivor. Through social media, patients and advocates are asking for your support to have the campaign stopped.  Are you on twitter? Tweet Kohl’s and SGK’s hashtag #TalkPink and tell them what you think.  Have a blog? Share this story.

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4 thoughts on “Drowning in Pink

    1. I’m so sorry to hear that, Dennis. There is much work to be done and amazing physicians and patients who are helping to lead the way. Hopefully, some day, families will no longer experience loss associated with breast cancer.

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