The photography and expressions sections of my site have stayed woefully quiet these past few weeks. Mainly because I don’t trust my ankle enough to take my camera outside with me, and well, you just don’t get a whole lot of excitement when you’re stuck at home.
I really miss walking for hours on end in the park next to our house, that is now a fairytale world filled with golden, green and red leaves. I’m terrified I’ll slip on one of the leaves and face it, it’s just not the same in a wheelchair.
Aside from that I’m doing great. The ankle is healing and bit by bit I’m regaining use of it. Started physical therapy, but aside from a stretching exercise there isn’t a whole lot he could do for me at this point. I found so many exercises at livingstrong.com, that I’ve already giving myself the ultimate post-op workout.
And I take pictures of my son. A lot. So much that he’s been desensitized and doesn’t even notice me and my camera anymore.
But what has really bugged me these past few days are the latest developments around the Pink Ribbon foundation here in the Netherlands—a foundation I have supported for as long as I can remember.
Once the news spread that Pink Ribbon Holland donates only 1.8% of the money they receive on cancer/research all hell broke loose in my country. Of course all that wasn’t true, according to Pink Ribbon.
It prompted a Dutch breast cancer survivor and writer, Karin Spaink, to do a little research of her own and meticulously go through their annual reports, where it became clear to her that even the almost insulting 1.8% seemed too colorful a picture. The entire sum of their donation to cancer research was: nothing. nada. zip. 0,0.
This wouldn’t have been an issue if only they made it clear from the start that their sole purpose is to create awareness. That all the donations they receive go straight to that and just that. I’m good with that. But they didn’t, and still they don’t, yet that is why people donated their money and bought pink items and their magazine. Getting people to donate under false pretenses is deceit in my opinion.
Their annual reports continuously state that 15% of their donations goes straight to research, 70% goes to Psych Social-care and 15% goes to awareness.
But if you look at the numbers: the money Pink Ribbon Holland has donated to research between 2007 and 2010 was 3 million euros. Over 3.1 million has been collected for them by third-parties: A Sister’s Hope and KWF (Dutch cancer foundation). That money was already marked for research and given to them by those organizations under the specific condition it was to be used on research only.
From the looks of it, and according to their own numbers, PRH spend none of their own funds on research. Not one lousy euro. Worse even: they still have a hundred thousand euros of the money marked for research by the third-party organizations lying around doing nothing particularly useful.
So, what did they do with the total sum of 18 million euros they received through donations from 2007 to 2010 on?
Well, about 3 million went to the cost of the organization itself, 6 million was spent on psych-social care and 1.5 million was spent on education… which leaves them with a whopping 7 million euros in reserve.
Still with me?
Pink Ribbon then posted a blog update but strangely enough there seems to have been some creative bookkeeping involved. What they list in their annual reports as Psycho Social Care has miraculously been changed to a ‘Psycho social-care and quality of life research‘ status.
Now if all this still isn’t shady enough for you, it also turns out that the Professor who conducted this Psycho social-care and quality of life research is also a member of the advisory council responsible for granting the subsidies.
Must be nice, being in a position where you are able to grant yourself a subsidy.
I’m left with the question how much of the money I spent on annual donations, pink kitchen items, cute bracelets, caps and whatever-I-can-do-to-support-the-cause actually goes towards breast cancer? I fear the worst. I guess you could say I feel duped. And if I already feel duped, how on earth will all these Dutch women suffering from breast cancer feel?
And that’s where my favorite chocolate incense kicks in, to keep me zen. And my son, to keep me busy.