I live in the First Congressional District in Nebraska. Why should I care about the Georgia 6th?
Let me tell you a story. In 2008 I was diagnosed with early stage breast cancer. Breast cancer research got me an early diagnosis through a screening mammogram. DNA testing of my tumor showed that I only needed surgery & radiation treatment, not chemotherapy. Nine years later I am still cancer free. I am grateful for the breast cancer research that occurred before my diagnosis and formed the basis for my treatment protocol.
In 2009 one of my closest friends, Myrta Hansen, died from endometrial cancer. I was sad; I was angry; and I wanted to do something bold and maybe just a little crazy. I found what I was looking for in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure. For those of you who don’t know, the 3-Day is a 60 mile walk, 20 miles a day for 3 days. In addition, you have to fundraise in order to participate. I somehow talked my college roommate, Judith Siminoe, into doing it with me. We trained, individually since we live in different states. I even walked the Lincoln half marathon as part of my training. We raised money, and we talked to everyone we knew about the 3-Day. We told them that Komen raises money for breast cancer research and screenings. How could there be a better cause?
We did the 2010 walk in Seattle. For me it was a life changing experience, and I felt empowered and as though I had done something significant. Walking for three days with breast cancer survivors and people who had lost family members to breast cancer was incredible.
I signed up for the 3-Day in Washington, DC for 2011. My friend Marcia White agreed to walk with me, and four friends went to crew. Crew members work day and night to enable the walkers to complete their walk. We had torrential rain in DC, and those crew members were heroic in their efforts to keep our campsite free of mud. BTW who knew that rats ran out of the sewers in Chinatown and would run through the groups of walkers. Our walk ended at the White House and the Washington Monument.
I signed up to walk the 3-Day in 2012. On January 31, 2012, the Komen Foundation announced they would no longer fund Planned Parenthood breast cancer screenings. I was just getting ready to start fundraising and training for the 2012 walk. I was shocked and angry; I followed Facebook late into the night as 3-Day walkers and other Komen supporters voiced their support for Planned Parenthood over the Komen Foundation. Hundreds of walkers vowed never to walk or raise money for Komen again; I was one of them. Andrea Mitchell interviewed Komen CEO Nancy Brinker in what became a PR disaster for Komen. The interview is here. An excellent analysis of the entire situation is here.
It soon became clear that Karen Handel, a newly hired Komen executive, was behind the move to cut Planned Parenthood off from future Komen funding. This is the same Karen Handel who is running against Jon Ossoff in the Georgia 6th. Part of my mission in this new normal is to do everything I can to make sure that the anti-choice, Planned Parenthood hating Karen Handel is not elected to any public office. An analysis of the Georgia 6th and Handel is here.
So I am asking you to consider a donation to Jon Ossoff’s campaign even if you don’t live in the Georgia 6th, because we all know we don’t need another anti-choice, Planned Parenthood hating congressional representative in the House of Representatives. #Flipthe 6th
And remember to vote in the Lincoln and Omaha general elections on May 2, 2017. I am endorsing Leirion Gaylor Baird, Bennie Shobe, and Maggie Mae Squires for City Council and Zachary James for Airport Authority.