Some Catholics are speaking out against a well-known breast cancer research and support organization. The Diocese of Toledo, Ohio announced it would no longer support the Susan G. Komen Foundation, based on concerns that donations may go to Planned Parenthood and embryonic stem cell research.
In January 2010, Cristal Hydo was among the sea of survivors and supporters in the Komen West Palm Beach Race for the Cure.
Hydo, who is now 29-years-old, is a Palm Beach County breast cancer survivor and a proud supporter of the Susan G. Komen Foundation.
"I signed up for the race and I was halfway through chemo, bald and everything,” she said. “I went and walked that 5K with 100 of my closes friends. It was wonderful to see that and the support from the Komen Foundation."
Hydo was disappointed to learn the diocese of Toledo in her home state of Ohio is withdrawing support from Komen.
"Komen is the #2 contributor next to the government in breast cancer research,” she explained. “All of the drugs that saved my life, all of the chemotherapy, surgery is funded by #1 the government and #2, Komen."
In a letter to parishioners, Bishop Leonard Blair of the Diocese of Toledo said, "At present the Komen Foundation does not fund cancer research that employs embryonic stem cells. However, their policy does not exclude that possibility."
The Diocese of Palm Beach is encouraging Catholics to do their homework and make their own decisions.
"As Catholics, the Diocese urges people to find out where the money is going and use the guidelines of the Church's teachings," said Diocese of Palm Beach Spokesperson Dianne Laubert.
Ultimately, the letter from the Diocese of Toledo says they will not support fundraising efforts of the Komen Foundation, but they calling on Catholics to make up their own minds. It is still too early to see what impact that will have on the Komen Foundation.
In response to the Diocese of Toledo, the Susan G. Komen Foundation issued this statement: “We have very positive relationships with Catholics and faith-based organizations and have never funded embryonic stem cell research.”
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