Komen 3-Day Walk canceled in Chicago, 6 other cities in 2014

June 5, 2013

Donna Pelletier describes one of the ways her life changed in 2005, when she was first diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer.

"Constantly relying on new medicines, new treatment plans out there that can prolong my life," said Pelletier.

Now stable eight years later, she's participating in a clinical trial and says part of the funding for her treatment comes from charity, like the money raised from the Susan G. Komen 3-Day race.

"It's because of people raising funds that I'm standing here today. If you saw me, not knowing me, you wouldn't know I'm a cancer patient. I like that," said Pelletier.

But it was announced this week that the Susan G. Komen Foundation is canceling its signature three-day walk in Chicago and 6 other cities next year.

This slashes the number of the fundraising events by half.

A statement from the Susan G. Komen 3-Day says in part: "The difficult decision to exit Chicago was not made lightly, as this bold and empowering event has touched the lives of thousands of participants … While the 3-Day has brought great awareness to the breast cancer cause, participation levels the last four years have made it difficult to financially sustain an event of this magnitude in 14 cities."

The announcement comes about a year and a half after Komen experienced intense backlash after news became public of its decision to stop giving grants to Planned Parenthood for breast screenings.

Pelletier says she's disappointed that the fundraiser is being scaled back.

"I wish you could walk my walk without actually living through it, so you know how important it is to move forward with the research," said Pelletier.

This year's Chicago 3-Day will still be held on August 9-11. But next year, walks are also being cut in in Washington D.C., Arizona, Boston, Cleveland, Tampa and San Francisco.

The Komen Foundation says it will maintain a strong presence in Chicago. It organizes a 10K Race for the Cure twice a year.

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