Letters to the Editor

Pink Ribbons, Inc. leaves out other facts and voices


Re: Pink Ribbons, Inc. film review.

As a breast cancer survivor, and volunteer with the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation (CBCF), I watched with interest the premiere of Pink Ribbons, Inc at the Toronto International Film Festival last fall.

The film, which speaks to the need for inclusivity of perspectives and attitudes about the cause, misses out on the voice of the thousands of women and men who proudly raise funds for breast cancer research and awareness.

All while questioning the motives of the corporations and foundations involved in breast cancer awareness, the filmmakers never sought to question the motivations of the members of the breast cancer community who participate in the runs and walks, or to explore the value they derive from that very community.

Another element of the film’s thesis is around transparency and accountability.

The filmmakers left out some interesting facts. There has been progress in the field of breast cancer — the mortality rate in Canada has decreased by 35 per cent since 1986. Finally, the vast majority of the film’s statistics and examples were not Canadian.

For Canadian statistics, examples, and practices, please visit the CBCF website at www.cbcf.org.

The film raises a valid point when it talks about the use of the pink ribbon on products and what per cent of proceeds actually go to research. I would like to see corporate partners be more transparent about exactly how much they are giving and who they are giving it to when they use the pink ribbon.

My mother and I battled breast cancer in 1992. Breast cancer killed my mother. When breast cancer knocked on my door a second time in 2008 I knew progress had been made since my initial diagnosis and I was thankful to have CBCF in my corner.

Together, with others like me, volunteers, researchers, and individual and corporate donors, we are creating a future without breast cancer.

From the heart,

Carol Ann Cole, C.M.

Toronto, ON

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